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FROM THE PAVEMENT TO GOLGATHA



V. ECCE HOMO



They brought Jesus back to Pilate dressed in a purple robe, matching his purple bruising, and crowned with thorns. Pilate announces “Ecce Homo” (behold the man). This phrase was used at the coronation of an emperor – clothed in purple he is presented to the crowds -- “Ecce Homo” – here is your king!

 

Pilate was unwittingly presenting Jesus as the King of the Jews to the whole world. Pilate wants to release Jesus as was the custom at this time. However, incited by Jesus’s accusers, the crowd shouts for Barabbas to be released instead.

 

So, Pilate asks: “and what am I to do with the King of the Jews?” In one voice, the crowd shouted: “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!”


A further twist on their call for crucifixion is that they qualify it by “we have no king but Caesar”. Interestingly, it had been the proud boast of Israel that God was their sole king. Thus, they were unlike the other nations. But on that day, their rebellion against God was complete for they also shouted, “We have no king but Caesar!”

Shall I crucify your king?" Pilate asked. "We have no king but Caesar," the chief priests answered. John 19:15

 

Being a theocracy gave Israel its special character and made it stand out against all the other nations. Now the rebellion against God is complete. God is rejected for Caesar. Now they sided with the prince of tyranny, brutality, extortion… No longer will Israel be a light to nations as it has merged into all that goes against God.


When did you last experience rejection?

  

How did you feel?

  

Do you make it a point not to reject anyone within your circle?


Crucify him, crucify him


 John’s gospel is a great source for these events as he was an eyewitness, and he preserved many of the details that only someone who was there could have observed.

 

In the trial scene, John uses the exact same verb and the exact same tense for:

a.    Jesus cried out to Lazarus to come out of the tomb.

b.    The crowd cried out Crucify him, Crucify him!

 

John does this to illustrate that Jesus cries out for life, but the mob, whipped up by his accusers, cry out for death; “crucify him, crucify him”! Many theologians make the point that the passion readings of Holy Week are usually split into parts so that there are a number of voices presenting the Passion. But is it right to get the baptized congregation to voice “Crucify him, Crucify him”?


REFLECTION


Does God or the $ rule our nation? Who or what supplants God in my life?

 

We may profess our faith in God but how much more does economics influence my every day decisions?


Catalogue the ways in which money rules our society!

 

How much do I buy into these practices?

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