So John chapter 19, starting at verse 1. Then pilot took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and pushes on his head They closed him in a purple robe and went to him again and again saying hail king of the Jews, and they slapped him in the face. Once more, a pilot came out and said to the Jews gathered there, Look, I am bringing 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, Pilot said to them, here is the man.
As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, crucify, crucify, But pilot answered, you take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him. The Jewish leaders insisted we have a law and according to that law he must die because he claimed to be the son of god. When pilot heard this, he was even more afraid and he went back inside the palace Where do you come from? He asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.
Do you refuse to speak to me? Pilot said, don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you? Jesus answered, you would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the 1 who handed me over to you is guilty of the greatest in. From then on, pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar.
Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar. When pilot heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the stone pavement, which in our remake is Gabbana. It was the day of preparation of the Passover. It was about noon. Here is your king.
Pilot said to the Jews. But they shouted, take him away take him away crucify him. Shall I crucify your king? Pilot asked. We have no king, but Caesar achieved his answers.
Finally, pilots handed them over to them to be crucified. Yes, very, very excited to be here today. My name's Geraint. Geraint Geraint. Geraint, anything with confidence we'll do, And we do need God's help as we come to open his way here.
So let me pray. Now every father we we long now that you would teach us through your word. There there may be things in our in our minds, in life that are distract getting us that are pulling at us, help us to to shake them off, be it tiredness, distraction, pride, our own sin, all these things will help us to shake them off. We ask, so that we may look to your son and that we may behold him, behold the lord Jesus Christ. So we pray these things for your glory.
Oh man. Watching films. I don't know if you have an approach when it comes to watching films. I have an approach to watching films. And it started from when I got hurt as a 6 year old watching Toy Story 2.
My approach to watching films Now is I always try to assess out who the bad guy is. Who is and I try to do it for me. I'm often wrong. Who is the bad guy? You know, you've got in Monster's Inc.
I was hurt with that film as well, but you've got mister water noose at the end. Being the bad guy. But I I do remember this day quite vividly watching Toy Story 2 with my family, with my mom all tucked under a blanket 4 of us kids, none probably asleep. And turning on try straight to, I I I I had never had this feeling before, this feeling of, to be frank, betrayal. Okay?
Because what you've got in that film is you've got woody, and he's happy as Larry. And he's He's with slinkies, with buzz, he's with potato heads, he's with bo peep, and he gets kidnapped by Al, from Al's toy bond. And all hope looks lost. It was a bad day for 6 year old Garrett. But Woody meets the Roundup gang.
Doesn't he? Jesse, bull's eye. Stink a peek? Yeah. He meets the round of gang.
And with that, we see a sort of change in the film. He's left his whole life behind. He's got some new friends. He might never see this whole lot again. That's the subplot.
But he's got he's got some new friends. Things are looking a bit better. And Stinky Pete. I didn't choose the name, my promise. Stinky Pete convinces Woody to join them as they as they embark on a sort of journey to Tokyo to be a part of a museum.
So that they never get hurt again. So that they never get left to the park. They never get forgotten. They're in this museum and they never lost again. And they are the airports.
They are the airports and We see buzz. And buzz is coming towards them. And slinky too. And the right And and they're calling woody to come back and woody's got a way back to Andy's house, hasn't he? And we're thinking brilliant.
And what he turns to the random guy and says, come with me, come and join me. And Jesse says yes, and bullseye says nothing, but he says yes, and stinky Pete. It's revealed was the 1 earlier in the film to Scupper Woody's Escape Plan. He was the 1 who turned on turned on the TV, waking up Al, and skipping what is escape plan. And from that day, I have made it my mission.
Every film to try to figure out who the bad guy is. Also, sort of a a side thing from that film is never to trust anyone with the forename Stinky. Really. There's a bit of a clue there, isn't it? But unfortunately for us, here in John 19, we don't have a stinky pilot.
There's not a massive clue. There's not a massive clue that's shouting out to us. But that that question is the 1 that I want you to think about. Who is to blame? In this story, in in John 19 here, who is to blame?
We've got Jesus on trial, and we know ultimately that he goes to the cross. So who is to blame? We'll look at 3 suspects. We'll look at the soldiers. We'll look at pilots.
And we'll look at the Jewish leaders. And for these 3 suspects, we'll look at 2 pieces of evidence and 1 irony for each of these 3 suspects. I'm calling it 3 points. The mathematically minded of you will say it's 9 points. I'm not being greedy.
Their sub points. So firstly, the soldiers. The first piece of evidence Who is to blame? Could it be the soldiers first piece of evidence? They're cruel flogging.
Look with me at verse 1. Then pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers are ordered to flag Jesus, to have him whipped. Right. Now, famously sort of growing up for me, and it's it's funny because I I've married someone who's equally horrific with anything, medical, Rachel can't make it through Warhorse without sort of, gosh, I can't look at that.
But famously for me, When the theme tune to casualty would would ring in the house, I would tune purple because having watched it 1 day, some guy was trying to climb over 1 of those fences, you know, the spikes at the top. I don't need to go to the extent of explaining what happened. It in purple. That's the effect that I had read in some of the commentaries about what the flogging was like. I found myself I found myself reading the commentaries and and needing to needing to take a break, needing to to come away from it, needing to put the book down because of how heavy it was, because of how gruesome it was, I found myself almost reading through the crisscross of my fingers because of how cruel this flogging to Jesus was.
And I think for us, it's it's perhaps easy to to hear this story, a story that we may be quite familiar with of Jesus being flogged. And having that reaction of being a bit numb to it because we're familiar. But with Jesus, what what happened in these vloggings and is gruesome, is that a small wooden dowel, probably an inch and a half in diameter. And driven into the end of the dow were strips, leather strips, And on the end of the strips were attached pieces of metal, sharp pieces of metal and sharp bones of dead animals on the ends of these leather strips. And you've got the soldiers who on 1 side would whip him and the other soldier would whip him.
They would be whipping him in tandem. They would get relief, but Jesus wouldn't. The individual wouldn't. It wasn't unusual for the individual after flogging to not make it to the end. It wasn't unusual for the individual to die just as a result of the flogging alone.
This is a direct quote It's not a nice 1. It's a direct quote from 1 of the commentaries. The body was at times tone and lacerated to such an extent that deep seated veins and arteries, sometimes even inner organs, were exposed. You know, what we've got here isn't, you know, being sent to the headteacher's office, being kind. Jesus was flogged.
That's what we've got here. We shouldn't be numb to it. We shouldn't be familiar with this story. We should be looking at this story through the crisscross of our fingers, gutted for our our lord Jesus Christ. So the soldiers and they're flogging.
And what we have next is is mocking that the soldiers begin to mock Jesus. I'm a a primary school teacher I'm not too unfamiliar with being mocked by children. They tend to mock anything. You know, even thing that you think, I've had a haircut. I look sharp.
You got a haircut. Yes, I did. And I looked better than I did yesterday. Brilliant. You know, you get a we do this thing in maths where as promises deliberate.
We call it marvelous mistakes. It's to sort of challenge their misconceptions. And you put a mistake up on the board and they flippin love it. 2 plus 2 equals 5. And then, oh, you've made a mistake deliberately because you're all silly.
But they love to mock you. They love to sit there going, oh, mister Taylor is such an idiot, isn't he? And then I have the last laugh because I'd put them in detention. Take that. But mocking can be far more far more severe than that.
Can't it? That's pretty severe mocking. But some of you may experience mocking in your workplaces, mocking about being a Christian mocking from from bosses. But the mocking that we see here, founding versus 2 to 3. So look with me, The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head.
They closed him in a purple rope and went up to him again and again saying Haile, king of the Jews, and they slapped him in the face. We've got a mock coronation. Jesus is on trial because he's claimed to be king. That's why he's on trial. The soldiers have to flag in Jesus with his back bed have made a crown of thorns, a crown of thorns, thick thorns, that when placed on Christ's head, the blood would begin to pour down his brow.
He's crowned. He's king. The soldiers you know, you get to the point where the soldiers have beaten this guy sent senseless And they're happy to have fun with him, happy to push him around and and joke at him. And they say to 1 another, have you have you got that purple robe? Let's put a purple robe on him as well.
Let's put 1 from the the high ranking officials. And Matthew's gospel adds that Jesus was given a read as well. So here, we've got this mock coronation. Christ with the blood dripping from the crown of thorns, with the purple robes sticking to his back because it's exposed. After the flogging.
And with his arm barely able to hold up this scepter. That's what we've got going on here. And notice, it's translated really well in the NAV. Notice this This is 2 and 3. They went up to him again and again.
The tense there is that it happens again and again. Again and again. Again, and again, they kept on doing it, kept on slapping him, spitting at him kept kneeling before him pretending that he was the king mocking him. Did you ever to ever watch TV and think, why is it that Jesus is Jesus' name is a threewood. Why is it that Jesus' name mister Edward?
Why aren't why aren't we using Buddha? Why aren't we using Mohammed? Because they went up to him again and again. In a sense, Christ has been crucified again and again and again. Christ was mocked over and over again.
So to those of you who are in in top sick work environments. Remember that you have a great high priest who is able to sympathize with you. You know, when you're in school or in your workplaces and maybe you've invited someone to to a sheer life event or told someone about what you've been doing for media fast. And you've been of the jokes. You've been the 1 who's been the outcast for for the week.
You've been the 1 who doesn't fit in. You have a great high priest. Who is able to sympathize with you, who knows what is like to be mocked. So bring him your pain. Bring him your petitions.
He understands and he listens. So the soldiers having mocked, having flogged, is an irony with them as well. So you've got the blood pouring down crisis face. It's back sticking to the robe. What do they say to Jesus?
Verse 3, Hale, King of the Jews, The soldiers have no idea today. Absolutely no idea the truth of what they've said and the depth of that truth, Hale King of the Jews, they intended as an insult But it is profoundly true that Christ is to be hailed, is to be worshipped, and he is the king of his people. Before them lies at broken, beaten, bruised man. Before them lies, Jesus is the king of his people. Before them lies the 1 to whom belongs the crown of crowns, the 1 who sits on the throne, Before them lies the 1 who made all things.
Before them lies the 1 who made the branches, that the soldiers took to make a crown of thorns. Before them lies the 1 who sustained life in that tree, and he knew that tree would become his headpiece. He sustained life in that tree. Before them lies the king of the Jews. And went up to him again and again saying hell, King of the Jews and they slapped him in the face.
So who's to blame? Is it the soldiers? Are they cruel flogging, intense mockery of Christ, possibly soldiers. Next, we'll look at pilots. First, piece of evidence that we're looking at for pilot is his spineless convictions.
Spineless conviction. So let's let's look again at this 1, then pilot took Jesus and had him flogged. It was pilot who ordered this flogging. And that's quite an interesting thing in itself because look, just a moment earlier, look at this 38 of the previous chapter. This 38, what is truth, retorted pilot.
With this, he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, I find no basis for a charge against him. His strange treatment, isn't it? It's really strange treatment. I find no basis for a charge against him. And yet, pilot is the 1 who ordered the flogging.
His conviction is I find no basis for a charge against him and yet he is the 1 who ordered it. We see the same same conviction, the same refrain the same words on pilot slips again in verse 4. Look with me. Look, I am bringing him out to you. To let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.
This 6 You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him. I find no basis for a charge against him. I find no basis for a charge against him. I find no basis for a charge against him.
It's a pretty weak argument as a as a primary school teacher. If I'm charging a child with detention, And then the parent says, why is my child got the attention? And I say, I found no basis for a charge against him. I should try it really, shouldn't I? I should have tried it really, shouldn't I?
That would have been brilliant. I have tried it really. I I can't find anything he did. That's what Pilot says. I can't find anything he did.
I find no basis for a charge against him having flogged. Don't you wish pilots had the the courage to to go with his convictions? To have that I find no basis for a charge against him. So crowd off you go off you go This man is not guilty of what you've said. I find no basis for a charge against him.
He's free. Off you go. Don't you wish the pilot had snubbed the crowd and went with Christ? That he'd snub the crowd and went with Christ. Don't you wish that you would snub the world and go with Christ.
What are the world shouting? How are the world chapter to crucify crucify Christ over and over and over again? What are the world preaching at you to do? Are you going to have the courage of your convictions? Are you going to be like pilots?
Are you going to snub the crowd and go with Christ? I need to hear that. Snub the world and go with Christ. The crowd, the world is screaming loudly, crucify him, crucify him. Today, the world is screaming, have sex before marriage, snub the world.
Today, the world is screaming, fine, satis faction in your job, in your workplace. Work, work, work, work. If you pay build up this pool of money, this lot of money. You will find satisfaction, snub the world, snub the world's message and go with Christ. When the will of preaching that you should identify as they, them, snap the world.
Go with Christ. Find your satisfaction in Christ. Find your joy in Christ. So we've seen pilots' spinners conviction. Second piece of evidence.
Pilot seeks to induce pity, but only evokes fury. Second half of this for to this 5. I find no basis for a charge against him. When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns in the purple robe, Pilot said to them Here is the man. Here we have pilot presenting Jesus to the crowd.
His song is the same old song. I find no basis for a charge against him. The exact same is what he'd been saying before. It's interesting, why does pilate bring Jesus out? We've we've talked about how Jesus might look.
Yeah. I can't really go into detail because I'll turn purple here. But pilot decides, I'm going to bring Jesus out so that the crowd, that the Jewish leaders see Christ. Why does he do that? Why does Christ Why does Pilot bring Christ up to be paraded?
Pilot wants the crowd to see Jesus in this state. The charge against him, let's not forget, is that he's claimed to be a king. Pilot wants them to see Jesus and see that this charge is utterly pointless. This is no king. Kings don't look like this.
He's battered. He's bruised. Can this individual truly be responsible for the claims to kingship that he says So in essence, what pilots saying is, we've done enough we fogged him, we've mocked him, we've done enough. Let's get out of this while we can. And when Jesus came out, still wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe.
We've reached our second irony. Pilot says Hugh is the man. The ESV version, I don't come down hard on versions, but I do like the translation of the ESV here. The NAV has it here is the man. The ESV has it behold the man.
It's it's very possible that pilot had no idea. Just as with the soldiers, hail king of the Jews, But John, the gospel writer, as he took pen to paper, probably wasn't a pen to To paper. Wasn't paper? Was it wrote this down. As John wrote this down, It's very very likely that in John's head, he is thinking, yes, behold the man.
Jesus. Everything that humanity has ever promised to be is founding Christ behold Jesus, man without sin man who had coddled babies on his knee, man who slept in the towns of Galilee, man who walked the same roads that I've walked, John would have thought the man who healed the blind, man who spoke compassionately to the fatherless and to the widow, man who had a heart for little children, A man who preached in the synagogue, a man who studied his bible, a man who made the lame mork, a man who had spent time on his knees praying to his father, a man who wept. Wept when he heard of the news of his friend's death. A man who made the people to sing his praise. And as John writes these words, he must have been saying in essence, yes.
Behold the man. Here's the irony. He, who is all that humanity might be, Christ, is torn down by all that humanity in sin has become. He, who is all that humanity might be, is torn down by all the humanity in sin has become behold him there. I want you to take that scene from here tonight looking at Christ.
Cornerstone Church behold, the man. Behold Jesus Christ. Look to him. Take a step back from the stories that you might be used to, that you might have become numb to. And behold the man, behold Jesus Christ.
So who's to blame? Is it the soldiers, is it pilot, suspect number 3, the Jewish leaders, The sixth, as soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted crucify. Crucify. Pilots attempts at inducing pity have evoked fury. I know that some of us in the room here were part of the Mark drama, and I know that lots of us in the room here did happen to see the Mark drama.
For those of you who didn't, the Mark drama is the drama of the book of Mark. And towards the end of the Mark drama, You have the characters, the actors shouting these words. All of the actors, all of the actors are Christians. And all of the actors, all of the actors were able to say how hard they found this. And it was an intense scene The the director asked for the scene to go on for an uncomfortable amount of time.
That was his phrase. He was very good at making uncomfortable moments. An uncomfortable amount of time, crucify him, crucify him, crucify him, crucify him. I tried to teach for the week after that, I couldn't teach because I'd lost my voice shot and crucify him. And that's exactly what my heart was That's exactly what my heart was before Christ came into my heart.
I lived a life of crucify him over and over and over again. So I praise Christ for having come into my life that now I might be part of the Mark Drummer and I might be hurt by the fact that I'm shouting it. Don't crucify my lord. But the Jewish leaders are shouting it relentlessly intensely over and over again. No amount of mocking, no amount of bloodshed, will quench their thirst.
They've made their minds up, they want Christ dead, and they want him crucified If Christ is found guilty, which in their eyes is he already is, then he is to be crucified. Pilot upon seeing that his attempts to induce pity if failed to respond this 6. You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him. The Jewish leaders insisted we have a law and according to that law he must die because he claimed to be the son of God.
When piloted here this, He was even more afraid and he went back inside the palace. Where did you come from? He asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. Do you refuse to speak to me? Palette said don't you realize I have power to I power either to free you or to crucify you.
Verse 11, Jesus answered, you would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the 1 who handed me over to you is guilty of a greatest sin. Second piece of evidence for the Jewish leaders there. They're guilty of a greatest sin. Jesus speaking to Pilot says that the Jewish leaders are guilty of a greatest sin.
He's been flogged. He's been mocked. He's been ridiculed. He's seen pilots lack of conviction. Fail attempts to quench the crowd, and he says, the 1 who's handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.
I think there's really amazing comfort actually in verse 11. Let's read it again, verse 11. Jesus answered, you have would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Jesus is fully secure that this is his father's plan. Jesus is fully sure that his father's hand is working behind the scene.
For his good. I'm she used to come I'm a primary still teacher, so yeah. Right. The 1 lesson I hate teaching above the others is d t. Right?
Why do we why Jillian Keegan? Why do we make 7 and 8 year olds make a toothpaste box as a part of a DTE project. It's ridiculous. That's not even the worst. Why are we making a mini chair?
That's That one's horrific. But whenever we're doing DT, what ends up happening is you've got 1 kid who's better than you and that's annoying in itself. But you've got 1 kid who you think which what lesson have you been a part of? And you say to them, oh, can you just go and help so and so over there. And what ends up happening is they go over there and what they can see is this mess.
What is before them is a mess. It's a travesty. I don't Can you help me, mister Dave? I come over yeah. Just just go over there so I can get lost.
And I'll I'll come do this. So from their human perspective, all hope is lost. Yeah? But then the teacher comes in And I go and ask someone else for help. See you.
Can you come over here and help me? And you put you put the pieces back together. Behind the scenes, that hand is working. This child cannot see. There may be there may be moments in your life Maybe right now where all hope seems lost.
You know, you think of the the Christians in in Turkey, Daniel. You think of the the Christians in in Ukraine, God's hand is moving providentially. God's hand is making sure that his plan is seen through. We see Christ dying a desperate and needy position from a human perspective, but the father is working all things for his good, and the same is true for us. And then we move on to the irony.
First 12, From then on, pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept chatting. If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar. The Jewish leaders are relentless, aren't they? They're shouting shouting, searching for Christ's death.
It's the only thing that will satisfy them, they think. They can sense that pilot is toying with the idea of letting Christ go So they turn up the heat. If you do this, you will make yourself an enemy of Caesar If you do this, if you let him go, you will have a very very powerful enemy. This tactic works, doesn't it? This tactic works.
And I think the irony here, as they say to to pilot If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. The irony here is claiming to be friends of God the Jewish leaders claiming to be friends of god. They beg for a conviction for the son of god. And what do they say? Do they say Hale, King of the Jews?
Those claiming to be friends of God, the Jewish leaders, what do they say? We have no king but Caesar. What what do you claim to be? They're claiming to be friends of God, don't they? Are you claiming to be a friend of God?
They claiming to be friends of God whilst shouting, screaming for the son of God to be crucified. Do you claim to be a friend of God? While simultaneously in your hearts, worshiping idols, seeking after idols, making time for idols, Do you claim to be a friend of Christ whilst never spending any time with him? Do you strive and strive at work only to neglect the meeting with your brothers and sisters? You know, where in your life?
And this is a question for all of us. Where in your life do you need to repent of claiming to be a friend of Christ? While simultaneously crucifying him again and again. So Who's the bad guy? It's not stinky Pete.
Is it the soldiers? Their cruel flogging and their intense marking. Is it is it pilot, you know, with his spinners convictions, with his attempts at inducing pity? Is that they're Jewish leaders and they're crying out to crucify him and the fact that they're guilty of a greater sin. I'm not here to give you an answer to that question really.
But I'm here to say, let's not read these stories as numb by standards, as dispassionate by standards, as people who may know the story over and over again. But we need to see our faces in the crowd as if you were putting yourself in that marked drama shouting, crucify him, crucify him over and over again. That's where our faces are. Can you see yourself? Look at the verses.
Can you see your heart in those verses shouting for Christ to be crucified? Crucify him, crucify him. That is what your heart was before Christ came into your life. Some of you in this room may that may still be your condition that you are shouting crucify him crucify him. He's not the king.
Some of you in this room, you know that your heart's worth that. You know that you were shouting crucify him over and over again. So is our duty to to praise Christ for that work that he's done in our hearts, for that miracle? And to to quote, 1 of 1 of my favorite themes and we're singing this this later. Behold.
What is the words? I don't know. Behold the man with sin upon his shoulders. Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers Let's just start with that. Behold the man.
I'd say that. Yeah. Oh, behold the man upon across my guilt upon his shoulders, ashamed I hear my mocking voice looking out into that crowd. There I am. Call out among the scoffers.
He was wounded for me wounded for me. There on the cross, he was wounded for me. Gone my transgressions, but now I am free. All because Jesus was wounded for me. Ultimately, this is not a theology to be observed and to be learned and to be theory.
But it is a theology to be embraced in our hearts. It is a theology to look and to behold the man. It is a theology to look and to behold Jesus Christ. I'm going to give us a couple of minutes now in in our in our own hearts, to pray, to have our own response to God, and then Rory's gonna come up and and close in prayer. Farther we do.
Thank you. For the things that we have heard tonight. We thank you for lifting our eyes and and showing us the man, the king, the lord Jesus Christ. And we pray father that you will forgive us for those times when we grow none to what you went through. Father, we pray that we will see fresh.
Just the the lengths and the physical pain and the the verbal pain that you went through before you even got to the cross. Father, we thank you that the lord Jesus was willing to have these things done to him because he knew that although these horrible things were happening, you are working for good. Father, we pray that you forgive us for those times where we have willingly rejected you when we have willingly said that you are not the king, you are not the Messiah, and that you deserve to be cruise to fight. We we pray that you forgive us for having the voice in the crowd that says crucify crucify. The 1, the sinless 1, who was not guilty of any sin.
But we thank you that this was all for your purpose. We thank you that this was all so that you may set us free. And so we pray that you will give us lips that don't say crucial by, but we have that lips that say praise him that in our hearts, we don't just say hail in a mocking way but we hail him as our king now. So father, we need your help with this. Help us to see our glorious Savior.
How was to see the glorious Messiah? How was the Revel in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we pray that we will go after him. We will snub the world and we will go with Christ. And so we pray that you help us with this. In Jesus' name, amen.