would like you to turn to
John 19:4,5: "Pilate therefore went forth
again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you,
that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then Jesus came
forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And
Pilate said unto them, Behold the man!" What a picture of the Son of God, standing in mockery and
ridicule before the jeering throng. They plaited a crown of
thorns and put it upon his head. They put a purple robe on
him and mockingly proclaimed, "Hail, King of the Jews"
and they smote him with their hands.
says, Behold the man
Verse 4-5 says,
"Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them,
Behold, I bring him forth to you that you may know that I
find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the
crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto
them, Behold the man."
Thus, He was
officially presented to the world by the Roman ruler Pilate.
He had examined Him, he had checked Him on every point, and
yet could not find a fault in Him. And yet he resisted Him.
He was willing to surrender Him to the angry preachers and
priests and Rabbis and to the rabble rather to take a stand
for Him. It says in another place that he washed his hands
of the Master.
Are we also
guilty of crucifying our Lord?
How many individuals are
crucifying their Lord? How many are betraying their Master
by refusing or neglecting to come out boldly before the
world to take their stand for Him?
I think you will agree that
a large part of the people in this world do not take their
stand for Jesus simply because they are afraid of what
people will think about them. Pilate came out and admitted
publicly that he realised that this must be right, "I
find no fault in him." And then he presents Him to the
world, "Behold the man."
It is very important to
talk about the divinity of Christ the Lord and we should
lift up His divinity. But I want to talk for a little while
about the human side of Christ today.
Hebrews 4:15 the apostle
Paul says, "For we
have not an high priest which cannot be touched by the
feelings of our infirmities but was in all points tempted
like as we are, yet without sin."
Now isn’t that a wonderful
text! Yes, He had a body with every tendency toward sin even
as we have, but He stood out and resisted. "Tempted in
all points like as we are, yet without sin."
provided an escape from temptation
There may be someone here
today who is finding it difficult to overcome and live the
Christian life. The wonderful thing is that Jesus has
provided a way of escape and can bring victory to every
soul. There are no exceptions, for every soul there is an
avenue of escape. The apostle Paul says,
"The Lord has with every
temptation provided a way of escape that ye may be able to
Now isn’t that wonderful!
That should bring encouragement to each one of us. But
everybody has a good excuse, that is the extraordinary thing
about it. Satan has studied this thing of deceiving souls
for nearly 6,000 years and he has a special trap for every
soul in this world today. He suggests, "Why not put it
off for a more convenient season? Why rush into it? Why not
wait?" Yes! Satan is very experienced and he has a
remarkable way of making his cause and his way look a little
easier, and a little more attractive than God’s way.
man at the Last Supper
And now let us take a look
at Christ the man at the ‘last supper’. The Scripture says
that Judas arose and went out. Jesus bade him goodbye
saying, "Judas what
thou doest, do quickly."
Oh, what a awful hour.
Judas went out, it says. And it was night. It was night in
his soul as well as outside in Jerusalem. Judas did not stay
for the best part of that meeting, for after he had gone the
Master told the disciples those famous words, "Let not
you heart be troubled … you believe in God… I will come
again." Judas never heard that.
overcome by anguish
Jesus suddenly seemed to be
overcome by some indescribable anguish. The disciples could
not understand it. Always before, He had faced the adversary
courageously, coolly, calmly. He turned to his disciples and
said "Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that
doth betray me." (Matthew 26:46)
Oh! that awful hour of
darkness when the battle of the universe was to be fought
out in His lonely life. The disciples now followed in
silence. They had been arguing, who was to be the greatest
and so on.
man in the Garden of Gethsemane
They now followed on
silently as they went out the East gate, down through the
little Kidron valley, and out the East Side of Jerusalem.
Jesus began the ascent up the slopes of the Mount of Olives.
He turned into the Garden of Gethsemane.
The disciples one by one,
began to find stones to rest on. One by one they found an
easy place to spend the night as they had done quite often
before when Jesus had gone apart to pray.
disciples to watch and pray
But now! Jesus turns to
those three closest friends, the ones that He could usually
count on if He could count on anyone. He said,
"Would you mind going into the
garden just a little further with me?" "Oh no, we will be
glad to go."
The mouth can give easy
consent. So they followed deeper into the garden little
realising the agony that Christ was to experience, little
realising that in those next few moments, in the next few
hours the battle of the ages would be fought. The great
controversy between Christ and Satan was being settled right
there in the garden of Gethsemane, in that awful struggle
which Christ must fight out alone.
He turned to the disciples
as they followed him into the garden a little deeper saying,
"Tarry here and watch and pray, that ye enter not into
temptation." (Matthew 26:41)
The disciples began to
pray. Jesus went in a little further: He must have gone
quite a fair way into the garden for it says that He went
about a stone’s throw from there. Far enough so that they
could see him there.
agony pleaded with His Father
The Passover moon was
shining full at that time of the year. Jesus went back deep
into the garden alone. He experienced that awful agony of
facing the battle alone. The last awful hour of struggle had
come. And there He cried out in agony pleading with His
Father. The weight of a lost world was crushing down upon
his heart. There He cried in agony as the Passover moon
shone full upon his prostate form as the dew settled on the
trees. What a sight for the angels to behold! as they
witnessed their Master, their Maker, in His agony in
Gethsemane. The Father had forbade them to help Him. He must
struggle on alone: pay that desperate price for sin alone.
Jesus felt cut
off from His Father
Christ felt alone too. He
kept praying, but it seemed as if the Father did not hear as
He had on other nights. Jesus felt strangely cut off. In
desperate agony He pleaded,
"O my Father, if it be possible, if there is any way Father,
let this cup pass from me."
He hated the thought that
some sin might steal into His life: That some slip might
come from His lips. He could not bear the thought that He
might be separated from the Father. In desperation He
pleads, "O my
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me."
encouragement from his disciples
He felt that He could bear
it no longer so He decided, "I will go back to my
disciples for a word of encouragement and a word of cheer."
Do you know what He found? He found them asleep. He
shook the sleeping disciples and spake to them kindly and
sympathetically, "Couldn’t you watch with me just one hour? I know the spirit
is willing but the flesh is weak."
He was kind even then. He
tried to excuse them even in their weakness. And then He
urged, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into
temptation." Pray for me and pray for yourselves.
Once more He went back yet
deeper into the garden. Then He knelt down on the grass
beneath the old olive tree, close by the palm trees, as they
glistened in the moonlight. Then Satan whispered his most
insidious temptations to him. He whispered, "Do You think
that You could be right and all the religious leaders, those
educated men, wrong? That only Your cause is right? Do you
think that anyone is going to believe on Your name? "Why,
You know that Judas is waiting to betray You. You know that
Your disciples are out there asleep, the ones You trusted
most. That will give You an idea of how people care! Do you
mean to say that if You go and die as a criminal on the
cross tomorrow, that anyone will believe on You?
Despised by Your own church
as an outcast, do You think that You will save the world
asleep when needed most
All of these hideous taunts
Satan hurled at the Master as He agonised in Gethsemane
alone. He said, "I must go back to my disciples to get
some word of encouragement", for He had taken about all
He could bear. But do you know what He found? He found them
asleep. Somehow Christians often do sleep right when they
are needed most. On the very hour of eternity, the hour of
destiny, Christians will sleep and linger in their lethargy.
pleas to His Father
He went back into the
garden, deeper still. It seemed as if what Satan had
suggested was true, nobody cares. And for the third time, He
cries out in desperate agony,
"Oh, my Father, my Father; if
it be possible, let this cup pass from me."
Could Jesus have expected encouragement from us?
Now I want to ask you, had
you seen Him there, struggling alone that sad evening. If
you heard Satan suggesting, "Nobody will believe on Your
name. People will not be willing to give up their jobs,
their church ties, and all the rest that ties men; they will
not be ready to sacrifice for You." I want to ask you,
had you seen Him there going through that dreadful struggle,
would you have been willing to look in His face and say to
him, "Jesus, all men may forsake You, You may feel that
this is in vain. But there is one thing that I want you to
know, If you are
willing to go through that much for me, I am willing to go
through anything for you. I will give You my heart today."
Would you have done it
then? If you would have done it then, you will do it today.
May each one here today re-dedicate our hearts and lives to
the Saviour and thank Him for what He did for us on Calvary.