"Pilate went out again and said to them, 'See, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.' So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, 'Behold the man!'" (John 19:4-5). Read John 19:1-16.
Pilate has one last, desperate trick up his sleeve. It's a long shot, but it's his last chance to set Jesus free. He orders our Lord to be flogged. Many died from such a cruel scourging; others died later from the complications of those severe injuries. Pilate thought the scourging might just satisfy the blood lust of the Jewish authorities.
As Pilate had Jesus brought forward it was a pitiful sight to behold. Jesus had been beaten severely. A crown of bloody thorns was on His head and a blood-soaked, purple robe was draped around His shoulders. Clearly, the Jewish authorities could not consider Him a threat now.
But once they had gotten a taste of Jesus' blood, the authorities had only one thing to say, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him!"
Tonight we gather in church to celebrate the Lord's Supper and receive His true body and blood. We remember Pilate pointing and saying, "Behold the man!" We remember John the Baptist pointing and saying, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." We remember this body was beaten and nailed to the cross for us. This blood was shed by the scourge and nails for us. And because Jesus offered His body and poured out His blood in our place-as our Substitute-we are forgiven and free.
"Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19b).
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You freely offered Your body and blood for our salvation. Move me to receive it in gratitude and joy, and to serve You throughout my days. Amen.