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Humble Hero

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    Compromise Leads to Ruin

    When Pilate gave Jesus up to be scourged, he hoped the crowd would decide that this was enough punishment. But with keen perception, the Jews saw the weakness of punishing a Man who had been declared innocent. They were determined not to let Jesus be released.HH 339.1

    Pilate now sent for Barabbas to be brought into the court and presented the two prisoners side by side. Pointing to the Savior he said, “Behold the Man!” There stood the Son of God, stripped to the waist, His back showing the long stripes from which blood flowed freely. His face was bloodstained and bore the marks of pain, but never had it appeared more beautiful than now. Every feature expressed the tenderest pity for His cruel foes. In His manner there was the strength and dignity of long-suffering.HH 339.2

    In striking contrast was the prisoner at His side. Every line of Barabbas’s face proclaimed him a hardened criminal. The contrast spoke to every onlooker. As some gazed at Jesus they wept, their hearts full of sympathy. The priests and rulers were convicted that He was all that He claimed to be.HH 339.3

    The Roman soldiers that surrounded Christ were not all hardened. They looked at the divine Sufferer with feelings of pity, His silent submission stamped on their minds. They would never forget that scene until they either acknowledged Him as the Christ or decided their own destiny by rejecting Him.HH 339.4

    Pilate had no doubt that the sight of this Man in contrast with Barabbas would move the Jews to sympathy. But he did not understand the priests’ fanatical hatred. Again priests, rulers, and people raised that awful cry, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Finally, losing all patience with their unreasoning cruelty, Pilate cried out despairingly, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”HH 339.5

    The Roman governor, though familiar with cruel scenes, was moved with sympathy for the suffering Prisoner. But the priests declared, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”HH 339.6

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