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Behold The Man

February 2008

     Can you see Him standing there, a calmness and confidence in His manner quite uncommon to one facing condemnation in a hall of judgment? Note that look of tenderness and compassion in His demeanour, and the hallowed radiance which stirred men's hearts with a sense of the Divine - that is, if men's hearts were not too hardened to be stirred. Gaze into His eyes and see the purity of His expression which caused sinful men to feel condemned though not a word of rebuke had been spoken. Consider also the strength of character in that Man who refused to be swayed from the truth though all the forces of hell rose up against Him.
     Pilate examined Him and pronounced the verdict, "I find no fault in Him." That life was guiltless with not a blot on it. As Jesus came forth wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate was brought face to face with the reality that this was no ordinary man before him. A startling exclamation sprang from his lips, "Behold the Man!"
     Behold the Man! Picture Him as He stood on the summit of that exceedingly high mountain and saw before Him the earth in all its glory and grandeur. Think of the desire that most people would have had to grab at that offer to become prince of all that was beneath Him. He turned it all down and chose instead to be sold as a slave
     Behold the Man! As He trudged about on the dusty roads under a burning sun or was drenched by a sudden downpour. See Him at night without a home or even a place to lay His head. Think back to the time when He was sitting at the Father's right hand, clothed with majesty and honour; and marvel!
     Behold the Man! See Him as He beckoned the little children, placed His arms about them, and blessed them with a tenderness they felt. Weep with Him as He stood and wept over Jerusalem. Allow yourself to be touched by the love and compassion He showed as He healed the leper, raised the sleeping maid to life, or wept as He approached the grave of Lazarus. Can we comprehend the pain and suffering He endured as He stood in Pilate's judgment hall, blood streaming from His face, black and blue from head to foot from the terrible beating He had received, mocked, spit upon, laughed at by the very people He had done so much to help?
     Words fail to describe the loneliness and privation He must have felt: betrayed by a friend; deserted by those He loved; praying alone when the test was the most severe; labouring wearily up Calvary's hill, a heavy cross upon His back; hanging there on that very cross; mocked and reviled by the onlookers; the clothing sold from off His back; dying between two thieves.
     Behold the Man! Stand in awe and wonder. Stop and ponder the significance of that death. Why did the Son of God need to endure all that suffering and rejection? Do I really comprehend that He tread the Calvary way for me? Have I fully grasped the fact that it was my sins that caused that cruel death?
     "What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people."

- Robert McDowell
  The Ontario Informer, 1979