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The Price of Sin Part 4

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Introduction

John 19:1–3 NASB95
Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face.
Flogged — Pilate was still trying to find a way to release Jesus. His ploy with Barabbas had failed...He still doesn’t believe Jesus to be guilty of anything deserving a death sentence and knew the Jewish authorities were attempting to manipulate him to their own ends. So…he has Jesus brutally flogged (worst of the three types of flogging) believing this might be enough punishment to satisfy the demands that Jesus be punished.
Flogging was a horrible kind of torture. While Jewish law limited the number of strokes to 40 the Romans were not under such limitations. We have no idea how many times Jesus was struck with a whip knotted with sharp pieces of bone or iron. He was stripped naked and beaten until the two men doing the flogging were too exhausted to continue or until their superior told them to stop.
Luke 23:13–16 NLT
Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”
But this wasn’t enough for the soldiers. They sent one of their servants into a nearby field to gather thorns (there would be no such plants within the city) so they could make a crown to put on his head. They put a purple robe on Him...mockingly hailed Him as King and slapped Him in across the face…a sign of contempt.
Jesus was left physically shattered by all of this abuse. Many men died from this brutal form of flogging. In this devastated state, Pilate brings Jesus before the Jewish officials and crowd.
John 19:4–6 NASB95
Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.”
John 18:4–6 NASB95
So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
“Here is the man” —
“I find Him not guilty” — Pilate announces his verdict as he presents the physically devastated Jesus before them. His desire was that they see Jesus as a harmless, pathetic man.
“Look, here is the man!” — Here is the beaten, torn, pathetic looking man whom you find so threatening. Pilate presented a Jesus dripping with blood and dressed as a clownish king asking the obvious question, “Can such a man be a threat to you? He does not deserve death!” He mocks Jesus and ridicules the Jewish authorities in the same breath.
“Crucify him! Crucify Him!” — The chief priests and temple guards begin to shout for the crucifixion of Jesus. Flogging was not enough…they wanted Jesus eliminated.
“Crucify Him yourself” — At this point Pilate is frustrated and annoyed. He is disgusted with the rulers and is angry at their attempt to use him as a pawn in their own little squabbles…a squabble which had absolutely nothing to do with Rome or him. He dismisses them with the words, “Go crucify him yourself.” This of course is a sarcastic taunt.
John 19:7–11 NASB95
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
The Jewish officials knew full well
The Jewish leaders now fear they are losing the day. They are now unsure Pilate will follow through with their intentions for Jesus…that Pilate might let Jesus go. So they change tactics and turn the tables on Pilate.
“By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” — They had stressed the political component of their case up to this point, thinking it would be most damaging to Jesus and lead to His crucifixion. Now they are pressing a theological point and in so doing they uncover their true motives for opposing Jesus.
“A Roman prefect was not only responsible for keeping the peace but was to maintain local law as well. So the Jews reference a point of law they want Pilate to grasp. We have a law does not refer to Torah as a whole but to one statute, presumably : ‘anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.’ Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 599). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.
Leviticus 24:16 NASB95
‘Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.
“More Afraid” — The Romans were very superstitious and Pilate, upon hearing these words became extremely concerned. Up to this point we see Pilate as cynical and blunt…a man more concerned with putting the Jewish officials in their place than seeking any kind of real justice for Jesus. Now we see a different side of the man. Pilate now realizes that he might have gotten himself into something he didn’t understand.
Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 599). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.
As a superstitious man Pilate feared that if Jesus was actually the son of some kind of god then he had just had a son of god whipped. This literally put the fear of God or fear of a god into the man. Pilate rushes back inside the Praetorium where Jesus is and begins to question Him anew.
“Where do you come from?” — Pilate desperately wants to know the answer to this question now. But Jesus has no response for him. The fact we see Jesus respond to anything at all at this point is a testament to His strong constitution and iron willpower.
Pilate rushes back inside the Praetorium where Jesus is and begins to question Him anew.
“Why don’t you talk to me? Don’t you realize I have power?” — The silence of Jesus irritates Pilate. He begins to raise his voice, his fear getting the best of him now, and asks Jesus if he understands that Pilate has the power to release or crucify Him.
“You would have no power...” — Jesus, beaten and battered, musters the strength to give Pilate a lesson on power.
All human authority is derivative in nature, not absolute. Pilate rules in Palestine, but is accountable to higher Roman authorities. He would have been answerable to the Roman legate in Antioch, and to the Emperor and the Senate in Rome. Ultimately, however, human authority comes from above, i.e., from God Bryant, B. H., & Krause, M. S. (1998). John (). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.
The College Press NIV Commentary: John The Flogging of Jesus and Delivering over of Him to the Jews by Pilate (19:1–16)

All human authority is derivative in nature, not absolute. Pilate rules in Palestine, but is accountable to higher Roman authorities. He would have been answerable to the Roman legate in Antioch, and to the Emperor and the Senate in Rome. Ultimately, however, human authority comes from above, i.e., from God

“The one who handed me over to you...” — Judas, Caiphas and Pilate all acted under God’s sovereignty. But the one who took the initiative to get the ball rolling on His arrest and thus turn Him over to Pilate has the greater guilt…Judas and Caiphas
John 19:12–16 NASB95
As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.” Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.
“Pilate tries to release Jesus” — Pilate was now convinced that Jesus had done nothing deserving of death…he had been duped by the Jewish officials to partake in a kangaroo court and condemn an innocent man to die…and that man might possibly be the son of a god…He wanted nothing to do with any of this and was determined from that moment on to find a way to release Jesus.
The Jewish Pivot — Seeing that a condemnation from Pilate was slipping through their grasp, the Jewish leadership throw up one last legal “Hail Mary” and seek to blackmail Pilate into giving them their way.
“If you let this man go you are no friend of Caesar” — This was a threat. They had now played Caesar into a corner and there was no way out...
What defence of himself could be possibly give to a somewhat paranoid ruler, against the charge that he had failed to convict and execute a man arraigned on well-substantiated charges of sedition—brought up on charges put forward by the Sanhedrin, no less, the highest court in the land and known to be less than enthusiastic about the Emperor’s rule?
What defence of himself could be possibly give to a somewhat paranoid ruler, against the charge that he had failed to convict and execute a man arraigned on well-substantiated charges of sedition—brought up on charges put forward by the Sanhedrin, no less, the highest court in the land and known to be less than enthusiastic about the Emperor’s rule?Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 602). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.
Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 602). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.
Pilate decides he has no options. In order to save his own neck he must condemn Jesus to die. He sat down on the judgement seat (bema seat)…in affect this convenes court…the legal proceedings have now proceeded to a session of court and the judgement…this Bema seat was an elevated bench upon which pronouncements were made in the Roman system. When sitting on this seat his verdicts have binding, legal force.
Pilate knows he cannot escape the political trap that has been set for him, but he taunts his hated opponents once more. Without a trace of remorse for the shame and scorn that both he and his opponents are heaping on Jesus, he mockingly acclaims Jesus, as if at a coronation: Here is your king.
Pilate knows he cannot escape the political trap that has been set for him, but he taunts his hated opponents once more. Without a trace of remorse for the shame and scorn that both he and his opponents are heaping on Jesus, he mockingly acclaims Jesus, as if at a coronation: Here is your king. Pilate is no fool. He is perfectly aware that the ostensible allegiance of the Jewish authorities to Caesar (v. 12) is no more than political hypocrisy deployed to ensure that he will condemn Jesus to the cross. By this acclamation of Jesus, he simultaneously throws up with bitter irony the spurious charge of sedition in their face, and mocks their vassal status by saying that this bloodied and helpless prisoner is the only king they are likely to have. But again, the Evangelist sees still deeper irony. Like Caiaphas before him (11:49–52), Pilate spoke better than he knew. The long-awaited king of the Jews stood before them, and they did not recognize him
“Pilate is no fool. He is perfectly aware that the voiced allegiance of the Jewish authorities to Caesar (v. 12) is no more than political hypocrisy deployed to ensure that he will condemn Jesus to the cross. By this acclamation of Jesus, he simultaneously throws up with bitter irony the spurious charge of sedition in their face, and mocks their vassal status by saying that this bloodied and helpless prisoner is the only king they are likely to have.” —D A Carson
Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 605). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.
The Jewish leaders respond they have no king but Caesar — in so doing they reject Jesus’ messianic claims and abandon Israel’s hope of a future king…they are rejecting any claimant of the title of Messiah. They are disowning the kingship of the Lord Himself.
John 1:11 NASB95
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
Jesus was absolutely, totally and completely rejected by the Jewish leaders and their followers. Pilate hands Jesus over to the soldiers to satisfy the demands of the Jews...

Conclusions...

God’s will is going to be accomplished
God will use the rebellion of sinful man for His purposes when necessary
Proverbs 19:21 NLT
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Judas had plans. He likely believed he was going to force the hand of Jesus so that He would lead a rebellion against the Romans and usher in the Messianic Kingdom. He thought if he brought the Romans to Jesus then the process would start…the Kingdom of Israel would be restored.
Caiphas and the Jewish high officials all had plans. They were goin to keep the status quo…keep their positions of authority…their high standing in the community…keep the Romans at bay…squash the “sect” of Judaism created by Jesus.
There were all sorts of plans, ideas, hopes and dreams surrounding the life and ministry of Jesus…you know which plan happened and changed the world in the process? God’s plan.
God has a plan and we can be a part of that plan. The question is simple…will we choose to humble ourselves, listen and follow Him.
A lady who had an only child said to Mrs. Pearsall Smith, "I do not dare to pray, 'Thy will be done,' because I am afraid God will take away my little boy or will send me some heavy trial ' To which Mrs. Smith replied, "Suppose your child should come to you and say, `I want to be and do just what you desire today,' would you say to yourself, `Now is my opportunity to make this child do all the hard, horrible, difficult things I have always wanted done; I will take advantage of his willingness to please me by removing all pleasure from his life. "No, no," said the mother, "I would give him the best day I could possibly plan." "And do you think God is less just and loving than you?"
Ignoble — not honorable in character or purpose.
God loves us and wants us to be a part of His plans in such a way that we are blessed. So that we might enjoy what He is doing, enjoy Him and enjoy the results of His work. But, if you choose to rebel, consider your plans better than the Lord’s…you can be assured of a life far below that for which you were created.
God will take your rebellion and hard heartedness and use it for His purposes if you will not repent, turn to Him and be a part of His plans in a noble, righteous, willing way. It happened to Judas, the Jewish leaders and Pilate…don’t let it happen to you!
We all have a choice how we are going to use our time, talents and bodies.
Romans 6:13 NASB95
and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
God will use the rebellion of sinful man for His purposes when necessary
All authority, gifts and privileges are from God…we offer them to Him as instruments of righteousness or un-righteousness…Judas, Caiphas, the Jewish leaders and Pilate are examples of how God chooses to further His plans through even the most wicked of men…but to be a part of God’s plan this way is to miss God…miss relationship with Him, His glory, and the joy of being a part of what He is doing.

Application

Follow Jesus
Are you living for yourself, your plans and your ideas or have you submitted your life to God and made the decision to completely, utterly and radically follow Him.
Someone once said, “"Most people," he said, "don't want to know the will of God in order to do it; they want to know it in order to consider it."
Following Jesus is something few actually do. Most , even in the church, simply want to know about Jesus and follow Him to heaven someday. Few want to follow Him with their life while living on earth. Too many want to follow their own plans and hope Jesus puts His tamp of approval upon them.
Jesus said take up your cross and follow Him…die and be raised to a new life in Him. Place yourself on the altar as a living sacrifice…this includes your time, talents, money, body, everything.
Judas, Caiphas, Pilate, the Jewish leaders…they were living self-centered lives. They were living for self…for pleasure…for what they wanted…what made them comfortable…what made them feel secure…are you doing the same?
We all must ask the question…am I living for God or am I living for me?
The late actor, Academy Award winner and brother of Tim Conway, George Sanders was one of Hollywood's leading men a generation ago. After a glamorous life, however, he felt there was nothing else to live for. Having no peace, Sanders took his life, leaving this note: "I committed suicide because I am boring and because I have already lived long enough." 
If we choose to live for ourself we choose a boring, unsatisfying life. We miss out on what makes life worthwhile in the first place...
If we live for self, we put lives in the dangerous place where we might be used to further God’s plans through our rebellion rather than our obedience. The Jewish leaders, Pilate, Judas and Caiphas were used in their disobedience and missed out on the relationship and joy of being a part of what God is doing.
Their lives never became what they could have been. They missed the joy. They missed eternal life. Don’t let the same be said of you. What are you living for???
A young man came to an aged Professor of a distinguished University and with pleasure shared with him the desire of his heart: he was to study law. 'Well, and when you have finished your study, what do you mean to do then!' asked the Professor. 'Then I shall take my degree,' said the young man. 'And then?' 'Then I shall get difficult cases and win fame by my eloquence and acuteness.' And then?' 'Then I shall be promoted and become rich.' `And then?'—
Leonard Ravenhill — Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?
Only those who commit their life to Jesus can actually following Him…and only those who following Him have actually committed their life to Him.
For what or whom are you living? How do you spend your time? Do you spend time with Christ? Are you looking to where He is at work? Are you spending your money, time, effort and ambition on Him or on yourself?
“Only one life will soon be past…only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Have you really given your life to Jesus? Does your life back up what your mouth is saying in answer to such a question?
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