Sermon #122 — John’s Gospel

 

Title:                           Behold the Man!

 

Text:                            John 19:5

Subject:                     Christ the Man Ordained and Accepted

Reading:       Hebrews 2:1-18

Introduction:

 

Let’s go back to Pilate’s judgment hall today. Pilate, the cowardly, self-serving governor of Judea has had the Lord Jesus scourged, severely beaten with a whip, by his soldiers. Those soldiers stripped Him naked, platted a crown of thorns and shoved in into His holy head, put a purple rag on His immaculate shoulders, and stuck a reed for a mock scepter in His harmless hands. They mocked Him, beat Him with their fists, and spit all over Him. Then, Pilate brought the Lord Jesus out before the Jews, the chief priests, and the Pharisees. When he did, Pilate said, “Behold, I bring Him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in Him” (John 19:4). Now, I want you to read John 19:5 with me.

 

(John 19:5) “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And [Pilate] saith unto them, Behold the man!”

 

You have the title of my message in those last three words. — Behold the Man!

 

I call your attention to the fact that the name of Pilate was added by our translators, as indicated by the fact that they put his name in italicized letters. So read the text without the name of Pilate added, and you will get another sense of the text altogether.

 

(John 19:5) “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe and saith unto them, Behold the man!”

 

The One speaking here is not Pilate, but the Lord Jesus Himself. Pilate spoke in verse 4.

 

(John 19:4) “Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.”

 

But then, it is our blessed Savior who speaks. He who stood before Pilate in silence, He who spoke not a word to defend Himself before the Jews, the chief priests, the Pharisees, the Roman soldiers, or Pilate, when He stepped forth before that crowd of guilty sinners whose hands dripped with His blood, “wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe,” said —— “Behold the Man!” Here, standing before you, is the Man you said you have been looking for, the Man of God’s appointing, the Man of who all the Scriptures speak. —— “Behold the Man!

 

Standing before this God-hating, satanically inspired mob of blood-thirsty religious men, men who were about to execute the most violent, lawless deed of history, is the Man for whom the world was made. The Man stood before them, Who for three years had healed the sick and done deeds of mercy and kindness, Who had re­vealed His supernatural power as God in countless displays of mercy. These men cried “Give us the murderer Barabbas! Crucify the Man, crucify Him!” And here He stands. — His bleeding shoulders covered by the purple robe. — His head crowned with thorns. — His visage marred and smitten, perhaps beyond recognition. — “Behold the Man!” That is the message of this Book; and that is my message. — Behold the Man!

 

Proposition: The Lord Jesus Christ is the Man of whom all the Scriptures speak, the Man by whom the Triune God saves fallen men.

 

Bible’s Message

 

Behold the Man! That is the great message of the Bible. God’s revelation to man is all about one Man, the Mediator Man, the God-man, the Man Christ Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation God says, Behold the Man!

 

Throughout the Book of God, our Savior calls upon His chosen to behold Him, to look Him in faith, to trust Him, saying again and again, Behold the Man!

 

(Judges 13:10-11) “And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the [other] day. 11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, [Art] thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I [am].”

 

(Ezekiel 9:11) “And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which [had] the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.”

 

(Zechariah 6:12-13) “And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name [is] The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

 

Throughout the Old Testament, as in the New, the Triune Jehovah calls for us to behold this Man, who is God our Savior.

 

Š      God the Father says, “Behold the Man!

 

(Isaiah 42:1-4) “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”

 

(Matthew 12:18) “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.”

 

Š      God the Son says, “Behold the Man!

 

(Isaiah 65:1) “I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.”

 

(Isaiah 45:20-22) “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye [that are] escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god [that] cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring [them] near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? [who] hath told it from that time? [have] not I the LORD? and [there is] no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; [there is] none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.”

 

Š      God the Holy Ghost says, “Behold the Man!

 

(John 1:29) “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

 

(John 1:36) “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!”

 

When the Lord Jesus came forth before the high priests and rulers of Israel, having given His back to the scourging and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, as the Prophet said He would, the Man Christ Jesus calls upon these men to Behold the Man! Yet, as the Prophet Isaiah also prophesied, He was “despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3).

 

May the Lord God pour upon you and upon me the Spirit of grace and supplication, that we may Behold the Man” for sinners slain and live forever in the sweet awareness of His mercy, love, and grace!

 

(Zechariah 12:10) “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.”

 

(Zechariah 13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”

 

Behold the Man!— That’s the message of this Book. — That is all I have to say to you in this message. — Behold the Man!

 

1.    The Covenant Man

 

First, I want you to — Behold our Lord Jesus Christ, the Covenant Man. He stood forth from everlasting as our covenant Surety, in whose image the first man, Adam was made.

Š      Our Lord’s human nature was created in time. His human body and soul were not from everlasting.

Š      Yet, He stood forth as our Covenant Head and Surety before the world began, in whom we were from everlasting accepted and blessed.

 

(Ephesians 1:3-7) “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

 

2.    The Promised Man

 

Second, I want us to behold the Lord Jesus, our Divine Savior, as He is set before us as the promised Man of the Old Testament Scriptures. Turn to Genesis 3:15 and “Behold the Man!

 

(Genesis 3:15) “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

 

In the first chapter of Genesis, the earth was brought out of the deep waters of darkness, chaos, death, and judgment.

 

(Genesis 1:1-3) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

 

Then, at God’s command, the earth brought forth vegetation and an animal creation. All was garnished with beauty and glory. Finally on the sixth day of creation, the Lord God created man in the person of our father Adam, and placed him in the Garden of Eden. The Lord God brought forth, out of the dust of the earth and by the breath of His Spirit, by direct creation, a creature which is His offspring. “Let us make man in our image, and after our own likeness.”

 

All three persons in the eternal Godhead were involved in this creative act. And one of the three, God the Son, knew that at an appointed day, “in due time,” “when the fulness of time was come,” He take upon Himself the nature of that man He created. He is the image of God in whose image Adam was created.

 

Adam was not a cave-man. He was not a ferocious half-ape—half-man. Adam was not an unintelligent brute. Adam was created in the image of God, filled with wisdom and knowledge.

  • He possessed far greater knowledge than we have ever imagined.
  • He had names for every beast of the field and of the forest. — Without a moment’s hesitation he named them. — Tell me what 1000 men together could do so?

 

Not only was he brilliant and physically perfect, Adam lived every day in sweet fellowship with the triune God. He enjoyed God’s presence all the time and reigned as king over all the earth.

 

But soon the scene changed. Adam sinned. He abandoned God in an act of angry rebellion. And fallen man was cursed, cast out of the Garden, and sentenced to death. Doomed to live, generation after generation, under the curse of the fall, in sin, in the sweat of his brow, upon an earth cursed with briars, and thorns, and rocks, and pain, and sickness, and death! There is man: fallen, stripped, lost, ever running and hiding from God! Deeper and deeper he sinks. Sin drags him lower and lower. Darker becomes the night.

 

But will the Lord God leave him there? Just before He drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden, He promised them a Man, a Man to be born of a virgin, the Woman’s Seed, by whom He would redeem and save His people.

 

(Genesis 3:15) “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

 

Then the Lord God showed the fallen pair how He would save them by that Man, Christ Jesus, whom He would send into the world (Genesis 3:21).

 

(Genesis 3:21) “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

 

From that day on chosen men, called by grace, lived by faith in that Man who was to come, in and by whom redemption must be accomplished! Throughout the ages of Old Testament history and throughout the writings of Israel’s prophets, the Lord God, —— (The Lord Jesus Christ stood forth as He did at last in Pilate’s judgment hall) —— and aid “Behold the Man!

 

In prophetic promises and redemption prophecies, the Lord God pointed fallen man to the last Man, the Seed of the woman, and for four thousand years cried out to fallen, guilty sinners, “Behold the Man!” — “Behold My Servant!” — “Behold the Branch!” “Behold the King!” — “Behold Immanuel!

 

Behold the Man! — God comes down to man as a Man, to suffer, to die, to take sin upon Himself, to be the Sin‑bearer and Sin Offering for His people! Behold He cometh, the Lamb of God, to take away sin and sorrow, the curse and the crying, the guilt and the shame, the ruin and the death that plagues fallen man! He comes, that Man, to undo all that the first man, Adam did, to restore that which He took not away! — “Behold the Man! That is the message of the Book. The Man comes, the One from above, the deathless One, the One who was, and is, and is to come, — “Behold the Man comes to suffer death and to conquer death by the sacrifice of Himself, to put away sin by being made sin, to remove the curse by being made a curse! — “Behold the Man!

 

3.    The God-man

 

Third, let’s look briefly at John 1:14 and behold the Man again. Here we behold him as the God-man.

 

(John 1:1-3) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

 

(John 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

 

If there is any verse in the Bible marked with the special emphasis by God the Holy Spirit, surely this is one. Every word is of immense importance. Here is the glorious person so highly spoken of in the preceding 13 verses of this chapter. The Word, is declared to be “made flesh.” The Son of God was “made flesh.”

 

The word translated “flesh” is very strong. It is same word is used in Romans 3:20, where we are told no flesh can be justified by the deeds of the law. In Romans 8:3 Christ is said to have been made “in the likeness of sinful flesh. The word here translated “flesh” has the same significance as the Hebrew words used Genesis 6:12 to speak corrupt” flesh. John could not have used a stronger, more emphatic word to speak of our Savior’s great condescension and humiliation in assuming of our nature. Had John merely said, “the Word was made man,” the meaning would not have been so emphatic a declaration of degradation. (Philippians 2:5-8).

 

(Philippians 2:5-8) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

 

The Word was made flesh!” — The Son of God was made what we are, made to be our full nature, body and soul, a complete man. He who is God became man. He did not cease to be God; but he took our human nature into union with His Divine nature, so that the Lord Jesus Christ is God and Man, the God-man, our Mediator. “The Word was made flesh,” as Augustine put it in the 4th century, “Not by changing what He was, but by taking what He was not.” This union of God and Man in one person is indissolvable and forever. Jesus Christ our Savior, our God-man Mediator is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

 

I have no idea what the length, breadth, height or depth of what I am about to say is; but I cannot help linking these words to those of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:30. — “The Word was made flesh;” and “we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones!” So is it now, so it has been in all ages of the Church, and so shall be forever.

 

(2 Corinthians 8:9) “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

 

4.    The Representative Man

 

Fourth, as we open the Word of God and behold the man Christ Jesus, we have understood nothing until we have been made to see that He is the Representative Man and trust Him as such. Oh, may God the Holy Spirit teach you this. — “Behold the Man,” the Representative Man, our Savior!

 

Behold the Man! Thus speaks the Holy Spirit of God in the Gospels. Look at Him in His sinless, in His perfect life, in His loveliness! Behold Him in His submission to the will of God! Behold Him in the display of His power! Listen to His words of eternal life!

 

But He came for something greater than to live on earth as the perfect man, and make the invisible One visible in His person. John the Baptist in his God‑given witness states the great truth, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.

  • “Behold the Man” in His life of obedience as our Representative, bringing in everlasting righteousness.
  • “Behold the Man” in His agony, sufferings, and death, as He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. —— “Behold the Man” our Substitute and Surety.

 

(Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

 

(Romans 5:18-19) “Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

 

(Romans 5:20-21) “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

(1 Corinthians 15:21-22) “For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

 

In Gethsemane — The first man was in a Garden of delight, the last Man also must go into a Garden of grief. It is Gethsemane, the Garden of sorrow and the bloody sweat. We hear the weeping and the wailing, the strong cries, and the tears (Hebrews 5), “Behold the Man” in agony, sweating blood! Now He is what He said in Psalm 22 — “I am a worm, and no a man!” The Man of Life and Glory becomes the willing captive cruel men.

 

At Gabbatha — And after all the dishonour done to Him, the cruel scourging, they look upon Him with hearts filled with satanic hatred.

 

On Golgotha — The Man is nailed to the cursed tree. Where was it done? Not as a hymn says, “There is a green hill far away, without the city wall,” but Scripture says, “Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden” (John 19:41). The crown of thorns is still upon His blessed head, the head which rested in all eternity upon the Father’s bosom. He bears the curse, He bears the shame, bearing our sin in His own body. He makes atonement and satisfies God’s infinite justice. — “He who knew no sin was made sin for us.” He bows His thorn‑crowned head, and His lips give the great shout of victory, “It is finished!” “Behold the Man,” our Substitute!

  • Sovereign!
  • Successful!
  • Satisfied!

 

Behold the Man!” — “Behold the Lamb of God!” — He has finished the work; peace has been made by the blood of the cross! “Behold the Man!” He is the One, the only One who saves. He has made the new and living way into God’s glorious presence. “Behold the Man!” Trust Him!

 

5.    The Risen Man

 

Fifth, “Behold the Man,” the risen man, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.

 

(Isaiah 53:9-12) “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.”

 

“10 ¶ Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

 

(Romans 4:25-5:11) “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

 

“5:1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

 

“6 ¶ For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

 

Behold the Man!” — The grave is empty. There He stands, that Man who had died, Victor over death, hell, and the grave. He has conquered them forever. He is not a spirit, nor a phantom. “Behold the Man,” the Head of the new creation, the Firstborn among many brethren!

 

6.    The Ascended Man

 

Sixth, “Behold the Man,” the ascended Man, our Lord Jesus Christ. We look up. He has ascended upon high. He passed through the Heavens. The power of God lifted up the Man, and carried Him into the third Heaven, into the highest height of all the Heavens. We look up and see “Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and with honour.” He sits there at the right hand of God. Far above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named. Yonder He sits, the Man, the Man who lived, who died, who was buried, and who rose again. Oh! glorious vision for faith to see Him in that highest glory, the Divine assurance that we, redeemed by Him, one with Him, shall possess with Him the glories above. “Behold the Man!” Your great High Priest, your loving Advocate with the Father. “Behold the Man!” The Head of the Body, the coming Bridegroom.

  • Behold the Man” with all power to give eternal life to chosen, redeemed, helpless sinners!
  • Behold the Man!” — “He must reign!
  • Behold the Man” interceding as your Advocate on High!

 

7.    The Coming Man

 

Seventh, turn to Revelation 1:7 and “Behold the Man,” the coming man.

 

(Revelation 1:7) “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

 

(2 Thessalonians 1:7-10) “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”

 

(1 Corinthians 15:49-58) “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

 

“51 ¶ Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? 56 The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. 57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

 

Soon everything is going to be far different. I see the Man, my Redeemer, Him leaving the Father’s side. He arises from His glorious place. He leaves the mediatorial place. He descends once more. He comes to the air, and gives the commanding shout, the shout which opens the graves of His own, the shout which will gather all His saints together to meet Him face to face, to receive the travail of His soul. “Behold the Man!” We shall “see Him as He is, and shall be like Him.” Imagine that! What vision it will be! We shall not see Him as the mob saw Him, at Gabbatha and Golgotha, but we shall see Him in all the fulness of all His glory.

 

With the enthroned Christ we shall reign as kings forever! The crown rights over the earth are His. The last Man will restore a ruined creation. There will be a great regeneration. His mighty power will banish the curse. His heel has crushed the serpent’s head; and He shall bruise Satan under our feet shortly! “Behold the Man! “ He is upon the throne to rule and reign in righteousness. — “Behold the Man!

  • The Resurrection
  • The Great White Throne Judgment
  • The New Creation
  • Eternal Glory — “The Glorious Liberty of the Sons of God!

 

Behold the Man”…

  1. The Covenant Man
  2. The Promised Man
  3. The God-man
  4. The Representative Man
  5. The Risen Man
  6. The Ascended Man
  7. The Coming Man

 

Behold the Man” and live forever! — “Behold the Man!” I see the Lord Jesus standing there in the judgment hall, stretching forth His slashed, bruised, bleeding arms, and hear Him saying “Behold the Man!” Those words are spoken as…

  • A Call to Faith.
  • A Call to Utter Devotion.
  • A Call to Holy Communion.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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