Capitulation

Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged.  The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head.  They clothed Him in a purple robe and went up to Him again and again, saying,  “Hail, king of the Jews!”  And they struck Him in the face.

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews,  “Look, I am bring Him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against Him.”  When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them,  “Here is the man!”

As soon as the chief soon as the chief priests and their officials saw Him, they shouted, “Crucify!  Crucify!”

But Pilate answered,  “You take Him and crucify Him.  As for me, I find no basis for a charge against Him.”  John 19:1-6.

I find it weird Pilate flogged Jesus even though he didn’t think He was guilty.  I don’t know where he was during the abuse which followed the flogging—or if he even witnessed the flogging—but it’s amazing to me what happened to even an innocent man under his leadership.  He had Jesus flogged, beaten and humiliated  to appease the crowd.  I see in this more as a sign of those times rather than anything indicative of Pilate’s character.  The upper classes treated the lower with indifference and disdain.  To be born in the lower class meant the gods didn’t favor you—this POV permeated even Jewish society—to the point that abusing a lower class person seemed natural and right.  Using them till they dropped was not being inconsiderate in the upper class’ mindset but simply thinking of them as tools to be used at a particular person’s pleasure.

The fact that Pilate could allow Jesus to be abused so has caused much discussion amongst modern thinkers.  Some have used it as an example of man’s inhumanity to man; some have used it as a means to decry social injustice and push for change; others preach it in a dramatized manner in order to manipulate those listening.  There are more of these type of interpretations, of course, and they fall into a line of thinking where the cross becomes a symbol/metaphor for whatever cause the group or person is championing at the moment.  The cross is definitely awful, the beatings terrible, but worst of all was the fact of what humans were willing to do for the sake of political or religious gain.  Jesus’ trials—both before the high priest and Pilate—were little more than jokes of justice.

Pilate used the scourge as a lesser of two evils.  The cross and death were definitely worse options than a cat ‘0’ nine tails.  He let the soldiers have their “fun” out of it as well, for they must have heard the news about Jesus’ claims through the priests and officials, otherwise how would they know to make a crown of thorns, clothe Him in purple and hail Him as “king of the Jews”?  No, they were aware enough, probably given to mockery anyway and with a disdain for the Jews and all other nations as inferior to their own Roman heritage.  In their minds Rome ruled by dent of the gods’ favor, therefore they were better than other men.  Pilate, on the other hand, was half convinced Jesus’ claim was true, but not enough to keep him from appeasing the blood lust of the mob outside his judgment hall.

So Jesus got whipped 40-minus-1 for just being a nuisance to the Roman government and a threat to the Jewish leadership—at least, that was their reasoning.  In the real world, the character of the leaders of both parties were used against them to accomplish the goal of salvation.  Yet what does it say about a person when their very weaknesses can be used to predict an outcome?  Pilate may not have been a weak willed man, but the political pressure of the times, his own missteps and the Jew’s tendency to riot at the drop of a hat, knocked his usual resolve.  He capitulated to the crowd in a spiritual chess game he was primed for but not able to play to win.

The nature we feed will be the nature which rules in time of crisis.

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3 Responses to “Capitulation”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    We need to pray that we never get so caught up in what others think that we lose our soul.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    That’s one of my faults

  3. tlc4women Says:

    You’re preaching to me as well, friend!

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