And when he had scourged Jesus - See the notes at Matthew 10:17. Among the Romans it was customary to scourge or whip a “slave” before he was crucified. This was done to inflict greater suffering. than crucifixion would be alone, and to add to the horrors of the punishment. Our Lord, being about to be put to death after the manner of a slave, was also treated as a slave as one of the lowest and most despised of mankind.
He delivered him to be crucified - Not merely gave him up to them to crucify him, as if they only were answerable, but he gave him up as a judge, when he ought to have saved his life and might have done it. Crucifixion was a Roman punishment; it was performed by Roman soldiers; Pilate pronounced the sentence from a Roman tribunal, and Pilate affixed the title to the cross. Pilate, therefore, as well as the Jews, was answerable to God for the death of the Savior of the world.
Scourged Jesus - This is allowed to have been a very severe punishment of itself among the Romans, the flesh being generally cut by the whips used for this purpose: so the poet: -
- Horribili Sectere flagello.
"To be cut by the horrible whip."
Hor. Sat. I. 3. 119.
And sometimes it seems, they were whipped to death.
See the same poet, Sat. I. 2. 41.
- Ille Flagellis Ad Mortem caesus
See also Horat. Epod. od. iv. v. 11.
It has been thought that Pilate might have spared this additional cruelty of whipping; but it appears that it was a common custom to scourge those criminals which were to be crucified, (see Josephus De Bello, lib. ii. c. 25), and lenity in Christ's case is not to be allowed; he must take all the misery in full tale.
Delivered him to be crucified - Tacitus, the Roman historian, mentions the death of Christ in very remarkable terms: -
Nero - quaesitissimis poenis is affecit, quos - vulgus Christianos appellabat. Auctor nominis ejus Christus, qui Tiberio imperitante, per Procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio affectus erat. -
"Nero put those who commonly went by the name of Christians to the most exquisite tortures. The author of this name was Christ, who was capitally punished in the reign of Tiberius, by Pontius Pilate the Procurator."
Who is able to describe the last scenes of Christ's life on earth, His trial in the judgment hall, His crucifixion? Who witnessed these scenes? The heavenly universe, God the Father, Satan and his angels. Wonderful events took place in the betrayal of Christ. At His mock trial, His accusers found nothing by which He could be proved guilty. Three times Pilate declared, “I find no fault in Him at all.” Nevertheless he ordered Him to be scourged, and then delivered Him up to suffer the most cruel death that could be devised.... LHU 257.3Read in context »
Christ's Heart Rent—How different was the true High Priest from the false and corrupted Caiaphas. Christ stood before the false high priest, pure and undefiled, without a taint of sin. 5BC 1105.1
Christ mourned for the transgression of every human being. He bore even the guiltiness of Caiaphas, knowing the hypocrisy that dwelt in his soul, while for pretense he rent his robe. Christ did not rend His robe, but His soul was rent. His garment of human flesh was rent as He hung on the cross, the sin-bearer of the race. By His suffering and death a new and living way was opened (The Review and Herald, June 12, 1900). 5BC 1105.2
(Leviticus 10:6.) A Positive Prohibition—It was the general custom for the garments to be rent at the death of friends. The only exception to this was in the case of the high priest. Even Aaron, when he lost his two sons because they did not glorify God as had been specified, was forbidden to show sorrow and mourning by rending his garments. The prohibition was positive [Leviticus 10:6 quoted] (Manuscript 102, 1897). 5BC 1105.3Read in context »
Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. COL 294.1
The Jewish people cherished the idea that they were the favorites of heaven, and that they were always to be exalted as the church of God. They were the children of Abraham, they declared, and so firm did the foundation of their prosperity seem to them that they defied earth and heaven to dispossess them of their rights. But by lives of unfaithfulness they were preparing for the condemnation of heaven and for separation from God. COL 294.2
In the parable of the vineyard, after Christ had portrayed before the priests their crowning act of wickedness, He put to them the question, “When the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?” The priests had been following the narrative with deep interest, and without considering the relation of the subject to themselves they joined with the people in answering, “He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render Him the fruits in their seasons.” COL 294.3Read in context »
The scene of Satan's accusation was presented before the prophet. He says, “He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” Jesus is our great High Priest in heaven. And what is He doing? He is making intercession and atonement for his people who believe in Him. Through His imputed righteousness, they are accepted of God as those who are manifesting to the world that they acknowledge allegiance to God, keeping all His commandments. Satan is full of malignant hatred against them, and manifests to them the same spirit that he manifested to Jesus Christ when He was upon earth. When Jesus was before Pilate, the Roman ruler sought to release Him, and desired that the people should choose to release Jesus from the ordeal through which He was about to pass. He presented before the clamoring multitude the Son of God and the criminal Barabbas, and inquired. “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” “They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let Him be crucified?” TM 37.1
The world was stirred by the enmity of Satan, and when asked to choose between the Son of God and the criminal Barabbas, they chose a robber rather than Jesus. The ignorant multitudes were led, by the deceptive reasonings of those in high position, to reject the Son of God, and choose a robber and murderer in His stead. Let us all remember that we are still in a world where Jesus, the Son of God, was rejected and crucified, where the guilt of despising Christ and preferring a robber rather than the spotless Lamb of God still rests. Unless we individually repent toward God because of transgression of His law, and exercise faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, whom the world has rejected, we shall lie under the full condemnation that the action of choosing Barabbas instead of Christ merited. The whole world stands charged today with the deliberate rejection and murder of the Son of God. The word bears record that Jews and Gentiles, kings, governors, ministers, priests, and people—all classes and sects who reveal the same spirit of envy, hatred, prejudice, and unbelief manifested by those who put to death the Son of God—would act the same part, were the opportunity granted, as did the Jews and people of the time of Christ. They would be partakers of the same spirit that demanded the death of the Son of God. TM 38.1Read in context »