Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, Behold the man!
I. WHOM? The Man — perfect humanity.
1. Physically, Christ was perfect —
(1) In form. It is not without significance that He is the principal figure in art, and that the world's great painters have depicted Him as "the altogether lovely." We have no portrait of Him extant, but it is difficult to believe that the genius of eighteen centuries has nothing corresponding to its ideal.
(2) In health. He bare our sicknesses, but was never ill Himself. No disease could prey upon a sinless body. What vigorous health must Jesus have had to have maintained such unruffled calmness and nerve, through these protracted proceedings, after the agony of Gethsemane; and then after such sufferings to have survived to die on the Cross.
(1) He was without doubt. He had perfect intuitions of God and Divine things. Hence the perfect confidence with which He moved towards each of the phases of His great career.
(2) He was without error. He had perfect knowledge of all things that pertained to His mission. Hence He never made a mistake, or failed to deliver a necessary truth.
(3) He was "the Truth" personally. Compare Him with others.
(1) He was without sin, as confessed by Himself, Pilate, Judas. Peter tells us He "did no sin." John, that He "had no sin."(2) He was entirely holy. Not only was there no law broken by Him: He fulfilled all righteousness.
(3) He was utterly self-abnegating and benificent. "He went about doing good." "Greater love hath no man than this," &c.
II. IN WHAT CHARACTER.
1. As a Saviour. Had He not been a man He could not have qualified Himself for this office by death. Had He not been the Man, the Man appointed, perfect, Divine, His death had been of no avail. But being "without blemish," He was the accepted "Lamb of God that taketh away," &c.
2. As an example. Students require the best models in art, music, literature. Perfect imitation may be beyond reach; but the study of imperfect models infallibly ensures imperfection. So with man. But there is only one perfect Model — Him who left us an example that we should follow His steps.
3. As a Friend. Who possesses such qualifications for friendship as Christ?
4. As Lord.
1. Under conviction of sin — "To whom shall we go?"
2. In trouble.
3. In difficulty.
4. In the hour of death.
5. In the day of judgment.
(J. W. Burn.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!