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was pleased to be silent in our stead, and praise him for this instance of his love. Let us, out of rever ence to his silence before Pilate, henceforth cease to justify our faults, and excuse our misdoings. Let us say with holy Job, I have uttered that I understood not, therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,' (chap. xliii. 3, 6.) Oh, that we may thus judge ourselves! and then we shall not be judged, and condemned of the Lord.
WE praise thee, O faithful and ever-living Saviour, for all the several species of sufferings which thou didst patiently endure, in order to procure for us the forgiveness of our manifold sins and impieties before the Divine tribunal. Bless, O Lord, to our souls the consideration of this part of thy sufferings. May every insult, every indignity and unjust treatment, to which thou hast submitted in our stead, be for our eternal advantage! When we acknowledge our guilt, and confess our sins, clothe us with the spotless robe of thy innocence. When the consciousness of our numberless misdeeds alarm and terrify us, so as to render us incapable of pleading for ourselves, do thou speak for us, as our Patron and Intercessor. Make us sensible that thou art the only refuge of terrified consciences; so that flying to thee we may find life, safety, and rest, and be acquitted from all accusations brought against us at the tribunal of thy heavenly Father. Grant this for the sake of thy name.
SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST BEFORE HEROD.
'AND the chief Priests were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout
all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked, whether the man were a Galilean? And as soon as he knew that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself was also at Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but Jesus answered him nothing. And the chief Priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod and his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him; and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together; for before they were at enmity between themselves.' (Luke xxiii. 5-12.)
These words exhibit to us the sufferings of the Lord Jesus before King Herod: And here we may observe,
First, The occasion of this part of our blessed Saviour's sufferings.
Secondly, The indignities he suffered before Herod.
I. This part of Christ's sufferings was occasioned partly by our blessed Lord's accusers, and partly by Pilate.
The accusers of Christ gave occasion to it, by mentioning the province of Galilee in their accusation of our blessed Saviour. When the chief Priests observed that Pilate fluctuated in his opinion, and not only seemed to be convinced of our Lord's innocence, but had made a public declaration of it, they were so exasperated that they assailed the blessed Jesus with a violent tempest of fresh accusations. But when our blessed Lord, to Pilate's great astonishment, would not make any answer, they grew the more clamorous and importunate, and represented
the prudent silence of the Lamb of God as proceeding from a consciousness, that he had nothing to say in answer to the charge brought against him, or to urge by way of excuse or justification. Accordingly, 'they were the more fierce ;' (verse 5.) and arming themselves with fresh effrontery, they began to urge Pilate with new calumnies and slanders. To these, however the dignity of their rank and sanctity of their office gave the necessary weight and importance; and as they were destitute of legal proofs, they endeavoured to prevail on him to put Jesus to death by tumultuous clamours and repeated vociferations.
As the Jews had nothing new to urge that had any appearance of truth, so as to induce Pilate to comply with their desires, they repeated their former charge of rebellion, but they clothed it in other words, with the addition of a new circumstance which could not fail of having some weight with Pilate. They had before alleged, We found this fellow perverting the people.' But now their plea is, He stirreth up the people.' As Pilate had not been able to find the least trace of his having occasioned a public insurrection, they seem to insist, that if he had not entirely alienated the minds of the people, so as to make them withdraw their allegiance from the Roman government; yet he stirred them up, and occasioned among them many dangerous movements, which might at last terminate in an open revolt. They here, in the present tense, say He stirreth up the people,' to shew that Jesus made it his chief business to that very time to excite the people to rebel, and that but a few days before, he had entered Jerusalem in a public manner, which put the whole city in a ferment, (Matth. xxi. 10.)
As for the manner in which Jesus is said to have stirred up the people, they add that it was by 'teaching;' and consequently they accuse him, that he had conveyed seditious principles with his doctrine, and so artfully mingled that pernicious venom with the religious errors which he taught, that his hearers had
greedily imbibed them both. They further observe, that he taught not only in one place, but throughout all Judea; so that the whole country, which hitherto had been the only seat of pure religion, was over-run with his seditious and erroneous doctrines.
Lastly, By adding these words, 'beginning from Galilee to this place,' they give a specimen both of their craft, and their malice. Their craft appears by their endeavouring to discharge themselves of the obligation of bringing proofs of the charge against Christ. Hence they appeal to Galilee, which lay at a distance on the confines of Judea, from whence witnesses could not so soon be produced. They likewise shewed their malice by these words: For they intended to give Pilate a worse opinion of Jesus, because he was of that province; the Galileans at that time being looked upon as a seditious, turbulent, and dissatisfied set of people. Some years.before, a Galilean, whose name was Judas, (see Josephus's Jewish Antiquities, B. xviii. C. 1, 2.) had excited a revolt, on account of some new tax imposed upon that country, (Acts v. 37.) Even Pilate himself, not long before, had been put to some trouble by the Galileans; and when some of the revolters came to Jerusalem to sacrifice according to custom, he massacred them in the temple; so that their blood was mingled with that of their sacrifices, (Luke xiii. 1.)
By alleging before Pilate that Jesus had begun to teach in Galilee, which should rather have reminded them of the accomplishment of the prophecy of Isaiah, (chap. ix. 1, 2. compare Matth. iv. 13-16.) the chief Priests intended to intimate, that Jesus was a native of Galilee, and by this means to raise a prejudice against him, as being one of the seditious Galileans. For, as they observed to Pilate, if he was not afraid to cause such a commotion at his public entry into Jerusalem, which was the residence of the Roman governor, what may he not be supposed to
have attempted in the remote northern parts of Judea. These inferences were drawn from probabilities and conjectures; and such false conclusions are generally influenced by the prince of darkness, who knows how to take advantage of them, for the enlargement of his kingdom, and the oppression of Christ and his cause. By this hint, however, the accusers of the blessed Jesus were the occasion of sending him to Herod, because Galilee was under his jurisdiction.
Pilate the more readily embraced this opportunity, as he had a strong desire of getting clear of this troublesome affair in a handsome manner. Therefore, on hearing that Christ had begun to teach in Galilee, and had spent a great part of his time in that country, he concluded that he was a native of Galilee, and immediately asked our Saviour's accusers, Whether the man were a Galilean ?? The Jews made no difficulty to answer in the affirmative, in hopes of rendering Jesus more odious to Pilate; who possibly night now suspect him of being one of the followers of Judas the Galilean, who but a little time before, had committed so many disorders in that country. Pilate supposing, by this answer of the Jews, that Jesus was a Galilean, and consequently a subject of King Herod, sent him to that Prince, who being a Jew, probably was then at Jerusalem on account of the Passover. This Herod, who was surnamed Antipas, was the son of Herod, (By Malthace,) who massacred the innocent children at Bethlehem and its territories. He was the same Herod, who had caused John the Baptist to be beheaded, (Matth.xiv. 10.) who had likewise before endeavoured to destroy Jesus, (Luke xiii. 31, 32.) probably, from an absurd notion that the soul of John the Baptist was transmigrated into him. Now Herod's jurisdiction particularly extended over that part of Judea which was called Galilee, (hence he is stiled Tetrarch of Galilee, Luke iii. 1.) and on this account frequent