|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-18 Little did Pilate think with what holy regard these sufferings of Christ would, in after-ages, be thought upon and spoken of by the best and greatest of men. Our Lord Jesus came forth, willing to be exposed to their scorn. It is good for every one with faith, to behold Christ Jesus in his sufferings. Behold him, and love him; be still looking unto Jesus. Did their hatred sharpen their endeavours against him? and shall not our love for him quicken our endeavours for him and his kingdom? Pilate seems to have thought that Jesus might be some person above the common order. Even natural conscience makes men afraid of being found fighting against God. As our Lord suffered for the sins both of Jews and Gentiles, it was a special part of the counsel of Divine Wisdom, that the Jews should first purpose his death, and the Gentiles carry that purpose into effect. Had not Christ been thus rejected of men, we had been for ever rejected of God. Now was the Son of man delivered into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. He was led forth for us, that we might escape. He was nailed to the cross, as a Sacrifice bound to the altar. The Scripture was fulfilled; he did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, but among criminals sacrificed to public justice. And now let us pause, and with faith look upon Jesus. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? See him bleeding, see him dying, see him and love him! love him, and live to him!
Verses 1-3. - (d) [Within the Praetorium.] The unjust scourging, and the crown of thorns. Verse 1. - Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. The force of the "therefore" may be seen in the foregoing observations (see especially Luke 23:23-25). He obviously fancied that the sight of their Victim's utter humiliation, his reduction to the lowest possible position, would sate their burning rage. Scourging was the ordinary preliminary of crucifixion, and it might be regarded as Pilate's verdict, or the conclusion of the whole matter. Roman and Greek historians confirm the custom (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 5:11.1; 'Bell. Jud.,' 2:14. 9; comp. Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:33) of scourging before crucifixion. It may have had a twofold motive - one to glut the desire of inflicting physical torment and ignominy, and another allied to the offer of anodyne, to hasten the final sufferings of the cross. But the governor clearly thought that he might, by first humoring the populace, in releasing Barabbas from his confinement, and then reducing to a political absurdity the charge of treason against Caesar, save the suffering Prisoner from further wrong. The morbid suggestion of a mind accustomed to gladiatorial shows, and to the sudden changes of feeling which ran through the amphitheatres at the sight of blood, not only reveals the incapacity of Pilate to understand the difference between right and wrong, but proves that he had not sounded the depth of Jewish fanaticism, nor understood the people he had been ordered to coerce. John uses the word ἐμαστίγωσεν, a purely Greek word. Matthew and Mark, who refer to the scourging which preceded Christ's being led to Calvary, use another official and technical word φραγελλώσας (identifiable with the Latin word flagellans). This does not require us to believe in two scourgings. Matthew and Mark simply refer to the scourging, which had been arbitrarily and informally inflicted, as John informs us, before the condemnation was pronounced. The Roman punishment flagellis inflicted hideous torture. "It was executed upon slaves with thin elm rods or straps having leaden balls or sharply pointed bones attached, and was delivered on the bent, bare, and tense back." The victim was fastened to a pillar for the-purpose, the like to which has actually been found by Sir C. Warren in a subterranean cavern, on the site of what Mr. Ferguson regards as the Tower of Antonia (Westcott). The flagellation usually brought blood with the first stroke, and reduced the back to a fearful state of raw and quivering flesh. Strong men often succumbed under it, while the indignity of such a proceeding in this case must have cut far deeper into the awful sanctuary of the Sufferer's soul.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Pilate therefore took Jesus,.... Finding that the Jews would not agree to his release, but that Barabbas was the person they chose, and being very desirous, if possible, to save his life, thought of this method: he ordered Jesus to be taken by the proper officers,
and scourged him; that is, commanded him to be scourged by them; which was done by having him to a certain place, where being stripped naked, and fastened to a pillar, he was severely whipped: and this he did, hoping the Jews would be satisfied therewith, and agree to his release; but though he did this with such a view, yet it was a very unjust action in him to scourge a man that he himself could find no fault in: however, it was what was foretold by Christ himself, and was an emblem of those strokes and scourges of divine justice he endured, as the surety of his people, in his soul, in their stead; and his being scourged, though innocent, shows, that it was not for his own, but the sins of others; and expresses the vile nature of sin, the strictness of justice, and the grace, condescension, and patience of Christ: and this may teach us not to think it strange that any of the saints should endure scourgings, in a literal sense; and to bear patiently the scourgings and chastisements of our heavenly Father, and not to fear the overflowing scourge or wrath of God, since Christ has bore this in our room.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Joh 19:1-16. Jesus before Pilate—Scourged—Treated with Other Severities and Insults—Delivered Up, and Led Away to Be Crucified.
1-3. Pilate took Jesus and scourged him—in hope of appeasing them. (See Mr 15:15). "And the soldiers led Him away into the palace, and they call the whole band" (Mr 15:16)—the body of the military cohort stationed there—to take part in the mock coronation now to be enacted.
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