""Ecce Rome* - Behold The Man"
Cape Coral, Florida
A. In the old city of Jerusalem there is a street called the "way of sorrow." Spanning this street is an arch known as the "Ecce Homo Arch." The immediate vicinity is believed to be the site of the Practorium, the section of the governor's palace where soldiers kept guard (Mk. 15:16). This would be the Hall of Judgment where Jesus was taken during His trial (Matt. 26:66).
1. Pilate found no fault with Jesus and tried to deliver Him out of the Jews hands. Out of fear he yielded to pressure and presented Jesus to the mob with the, expression, "Behold the man."
2. So it is that the arch (Ecce Homo) is the spot where Jesus, wearing the crown of thorns and purple robe, was presented to the multitudes.
3. Ecce homo is Latin for "behold the man!"
B. Regardless of whether Pilate uttered the words in pity, contempt, perplexity, disgust, or all combined, the world is called upon to behold the man! There is a sense of sorrow and spiritual beauty attached to the words. Let us behold Him. . .
I. God's Supreme Demonstration of Love In Sacrifice (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 Jn. 4:9-11).
A. "Christ and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:1-5). A horrible story of human suffering, a beautiful story in terms of the perfect sacrifice for forgiveness of sins.
B. No event is more basic to the gospel - does not mean the crucifixion is the only event or lesson to be taught. But it is the heart of all else! Remove it and all else (facts, commands, and promises of the gospel) collapse (1 Cor. 15).
C. This is a message that is offensive to the spirit of pride in worldly pomp and power (common to Jew seeking earthly kingdom) as to the spirit of intellectual pride (common to the Gentile seeking philosophical answers), but a message which is God's wisdom and power to save (1 Cor. 1:23-24).
II. God's Supreme Example Of Enmity Between Himself and Satan.
A. No two things are more opposed.- God and Satan, righteousness and sin, right and wrong, truth and error.
B. Love of sin and love of God cannot abide together (1 Jn. 2:15-17; Jas. 4:4; 2 Pet. 2:22).
C. There is no kinship between Jesus and the world of sin (Jn. 15:18-19).
1. Jesus disavowed sin!
2. World of sin disavowed Jesus by crucifying Him and even now rejects Him!
D. Man must be born again - die to the old and be "raised to walk in newness of life" which involves separation from sin, not by leaving the world, but by leaving sin behind (Jn. 3:3-5; Rom. 6:4; Col. 3; 2 Cor. 6:17-18).
E. The horror of my sins - Christ suffered on my account, in my place and because of my sins (Isa. 53:4-7; Phil. 2:5-8).
1. In the cross (as we look at Jesus) we see the reality of every horrible sin, so much so that none of us has yet conceived the magnitude of this tragedy.
2. In the cross we see the Son of God torn from the Father's bosom, abused, disgraced, and crucified for my sins.
III. God's Proof of Victory Following Suffering.
A. One reason the Jews rejected Jew is because they overlooked the important part of the prophet's message. the suffering Messiah! And that preceding victory (Psa. 2; 22; 1 Pet. 1:11).
B. Many today do the same in that they see Him as a great man and just leave Him in the grave as a great one, but dead (Phil. 2:8-11; Rev. 1: 17-18). They do not see the victory!
C. The victorious Savior can say to us "fear not" (Rev. 1: 17).
1. Nothing can cut us off. from Him but we ourselves (Rom. 8:35ff).
2. Compare the present suffering with the glory to follow (Rom. 8:17-18).
D. Security from the fear of death - cannot know our origin, nature, duty, happiness or destiny except from God (not known through natural powers, Eccl. 1:2-3, 12-13).
1. To know Jesus is to know God and thus find full meaning of life (Jn. 1: 18; 1 Cor. 15:58). Life and labor have meaning and hope!
2. Fear of death? Death a dark mystery? Separation from all life? The end? NO indeed (1 Cor. 15:35-45; Eccl. 12:7).
E. Security from the fear of the guilt of sin (2 Cor. 5: 10; Heb. 9:27-29; 1 Jn. 5:1-3).
IV. God's Provision of the Way Home.
A. The death of Christ removed the veil before the most holy place, opening the way into the very presence of God (Heb. 9:8; 10: 19-22).
B. "I am the way" (Jn. 14:1-6).
1. We are strangers looking for a place to live eternally (Heb. 11:8-16).
2. We must however, enter into the narrow way (Matt. 7:13-14).
1. Friends, we must study the cross instead of rushing by in the frenzy for there we see the man, Jesus!
2. No judgment too harsh if we look upon the man, Jesus and refuse His loving gift of salvation.
3. Jesus calls us o'er the tumult of our life's wild restless sea. Day by day His sweet voice soundeth, saying, "Christian, follow me."
4. Invitation: 275
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 6, pp. 178-179