Behold the man

John 19:5

19:5 Behold the man. Pilate, evidently trying to show the crowd that Jesus was a pitiable shell rather than a king (thus demonstrating the absurdity of their charge), urged them to behold Him in this forlorn state and ridiculous caricature of kingly apparel, thinking thereby to displace their hatred with pity. But when he said, sarcastically, no doubt, “Behold the man,” he was unwittingly using prophetic language. Through the prophet Isaiah, God had said concerning the coming Messiah, “Behold your God!” and “Behold my Servant” (Isaiah 40:9; 42:1). Through the prophet Zechariah, God said concerning Him, “Behold the Man” and “Behold, thy King” (Zechariah 6:12; 9:9). Note how these four scenes we are urged to behold correspond to the respective pictures of Christ in the four gospels—“King” in Matthew, “Servant” in Mark, “Man” in Luke, “God” in John. Pilate sarcastically used two of these titles: “Behold the Man” in John 19:5, and “Behold your King” in John 19:14.

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