Third Stage of the Roman Trial (Part 3)
After the scourging, "the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe" (John 19:2). It is doubtful that any of the Roman soldiers had a personal disdain for Jesus, but this was an opportunity for them to show their contempt for the Jews in general by mocking Him as a Jewish king. This was nothing more than a time of amusement and cruel fun for them. The robe and crown composed a simple costume representing the attire of a king.

"Then they said, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' And they struck Him with their hands" (John 19:3). The verb tenses indicate that they kept on deriding Him and striking Him.

"Pilate then went out again, and said to them, 'Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him'" (John 19:4). This statement is illogical to our modern-day sense of justice. After all, if Pilate found no fault in Jesus, why did he allow Him to suffer terribly via scourging and other forms of abuse? The only reasonable answer is that scourging wasn't considered to be that big of a deal (at least not compared to crucifixion). If Pilate had found Jesus to be guilty, he would have condemned Him at once. He would not have brought Him back out with the intention of turning Him over to the Sanhedrin.

"Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, 'Behold the Man!'" (John 19:5). Pilate had scourged Jesus and is now presenting Him to the Jews in a state of utter humiliation. Pilate feels that he has removed any suspicion of physical royalty from Jesus--He is not a threat to Rome. In fact, Pilate speaks of Jesus as a man here, not a king.

The Jewish religious leaders are not going to be satisfied with anything less than Jesus' death. They continue to clamor for Him to be crucified. Pilate's hope was not fulfilled and he has still not found a way out of this difficult situation.

"You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him" (John 19:6). Pilate here draws a contrast between himself and the Jewish religious leaders. He is not giving them permission to crucify Jesus but is rather taunting them. This must be the case or else the Jews would have gladly taken Jesus and crucified Him on their own. Basically Pilate is saying: "I the judge have found Him innocent, but you seem to lack the intelligence to see that the case is over. If you are so much superior to the judge that you can ignore his decision, proceed without him--crucify Him yourselves!"

"We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God" (John 19:7). The Jews know that Pilate is mocking them and accusing them of attempting to put an innocent man to death. They try to justify their course of action by telling Pilate that Jesus was a blasphemer. They had not mentioned this before because Pilate was not under any obligation to enforce Jewish law.

"Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid" (John 19:8). The words of Jesus (cf. John 18:37) and the message from his wife (cf. Matt. 27:19) had already filled Pilate with fear, and the mentioning of Jesus claiming to be the Son of God increased his terror. Pilate would have been familiar with the Roman and Greek mythologies which told of many incarnations, and Pilate considered the possibility that Jesus might have been an example of such (especially because of His calm presence).

After taking Jesus with him into the Praetorium again, he asked - "Where are You from?" (John 19:9). Pilate desires to know whether Jesus was from heaven or earth, but our Lord does not answer for the motive of the question was not right. Pilate wasn't asking this question so that he might give or withhold worship; he asked so that he might decide how fervently he should defend Jesus. Of course, Pilate should have known that innocent life should be defended, regardless of whether it is human or divine. Pilate knew enough to enable him to fulfill his duties faithfully, but he was too cowardly to do so.

"Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?" (John 19:10). Pilate implies that Jesus should treat his questions with more courtesy since his good will and favor as the judge were not to be despised. The corruptness of Pilate's heart is easily seen here. Judges must hear and sentence according to truth, and Pilate had already declared Jesus to be innocent. However, he seems to think that Jesus should court his favor, suggesting that such would be a basis for judgment!