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BEHOLD THE MAN!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at Calvary Road Baptist Church, Monrovia, 
California, Saturday Evening, September 14, 2002


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


Jesus Christ is "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). Jesus is the eternal God who created the universe. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3).

Toward the end of the nineteenth century liberals, who denied the inerrancy of the Bible, became very strong in the churches. These liberals denied the deity of Christ. They taught and preached that Jesus was only a great man, a great teacher.

The early fundamentalists reacted by strongly asserting the deity of Christ. A series of twelve little books on basic Christian doctrine were mass-produced and sent to every pastor, evangelist, missionary and theological professor in the world. These twelve volumes were sent out between 1909 and 1912 by two wealthy Christian laymen, Lyman and Milton Stewart. These books were simply called The Fundamentals (Testimony Publishing Company, n.d., 808 LaSalle Ave., Chicago, Illinois). They had a far-reaching effect.

The first three articles in volume one of The Fundamentals were these:

1. "The Virgin Birth of Christ" by Dr. James Orr.

2. "The Deity of Christ" by Dr. B. B. Warfield.

3. "The Purpose of the Incarnation" by Dr. G. Campbell Morgan.

You can see right away, from these titles in the very first book, that the early fundamentalists were more concerned with the deity of Christ than any other doctrine.

That emphasis has gone on for close to 100 years now. Every Bible-believing pastor thumps and pounds and preaches and teaches the deity of Christ. The humanity of Christ is hardly mentioned - only an occasional remark.

Pastors do not realize that it is the humanity of Christ that is under attack today, 100 years later. Because only an exceedingly tiny number of pastors counsel the lost themselves, in extended sessions, in their own offices, the pastors have become isolated from the lost! They just don't know what lost people think! If pastors knew what lost people think, they would stop pounding the deity of Christ and strongly emphasize Christ's humanity!

The whole situation has changed in the last 100 years. Today nearly every lost person thinks Jesus is God. If you don't believe me, walk down Main Street and ask 50 people if Jesus was only a man, or if He is only God.  Forty five out of fifty will tell that He is only God.  So, the situation is exactly the reverse of what it was a hundred years ago.  In fact they think He is all of God! They do not believe in the Trinity. God the Father is Jesus. Jesus is all of God there is. Furthermore, Jesus does not have a flesh and bone body today. Jesus is just a spirit, a ghost-like spirit. They think he is a great spirit, and that He is all of God there is. They confound the Persons of the Trinity. They think Jesus is God the Father. That is why they don't think Jesus has a real flesh and bone body today. Like the unawakened Disciples, they think "that they had seen a spirit" when they believed (cf. Luke 24:37). But the risen Jesus says to them:

"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39).

The risen Christ, at the right hand of God in Heaven, has flesh and bones right now. The risen Christ is not a spirit!

"Behold the man!"

"Behold the man!"

"Behold the man!"
   (John 19:5).

I. So I say, first of all, that you must look to the man
Christ Jesus or you will not be saved!

The first attack by the Devil on Jesus was to make people doubt that He was human - flesh and bone. This was the Gnostic heresy of the Docetists. The Gnostic, Docetic Christ was only a spirit. Dr. J. Oliver Buswell says, "The tendency to deny the historical Jesus in the flesh…while affirming faith in 'Christ,' appeared at an early time in the Church" (J. Oliver Boswell, Ph.D., A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, Zondervan, 1971, volume 2, p. 47).

I contend that we have returned to the ancient Gnostic heresy of Docetism in our modern Baptist and evangelical churches. Millions upon millions, upon countless millions, of Baptists and evangelicals believed in a Christ who is a spirit. That was the Christ they believed in when they were supposedly "converted." Now, even if they learn the correct doctrine, they remain lost, for no man is saved by correct doctrine. They would have to go back, admit that their conversion "testimony" was false, and be truly converted to the flesh and bone Christ of Scripture, the Christ who is not God the Father, but is, rather, the Second Person of the Trinity. Without true conversion to the man Christ Jesus, millions upon countless millions of Baptists will go to the eternal realm of punishment when they die!

"Behold the man!"

II. Second, you must look to the man Christ Jesus or you have no mediator.

Please turn in your Bible to I Timothy, chapter two, verse five:

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).

Notice, first, that the Bible calls Him "the man Christ Jesus." That is why I make no apology for quoting Pilate, when he said,

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

You, too, must "see the man!" The Greek word is "ideh." It means "behold" or "see" (Strong's Concordance, #2396). You must "see" the man Christ Jesus! You must "Behold the man!" John the Baptist said that twice:

"Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:36).

See the Lamb of God! He calls Jesus "the Lamb of God." And he also says:

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

It is the same Greek word, "ideh." You must "behold" Him. You must "see" Him by faith. You must look to Him!

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

Then, you must look to the man Christ Jesus because,

"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).

The word "mediator" in Greek is "mesites." It means "an intercessor, a reconciler" (Strong's Concordance #3316), "a go-between" (ibid., #3319). Jesus is the "go-between!" He comes between you and God, who is angry with you for your sins. And Jesus "reconciles" an angry God to you.  You can only be reconciled to God by a Man - the Man Christ Jesus!

"There is one God, and one mediator (reconciler) between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).

Therefore,

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

You must look to the man Christ Jesus, for there is no one else who can reconcile an angry God to you, a sinner.

III. Third, look to the man Christ Jesus in His agony and Blood.

When Pilate said, "Behold the man!" (John 19:5), Jesus was already deep in agony and suffering. The night before, in the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus received your sins. Your sins were infused into His Body, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body" (I Peter 2:24). I believe that your sins were placed in His Body the night before, in the Garden. He became the Paschal Lamb. Your sins weighed so heavily on Him that His very blood vessels were strained beyond imagination, and He sweat as it were great drops of Blood.

"Behold the man" (John 19:5)

dripping with Blood in the Garden.

They arrest the bleeding Christ. They whip him until great gashes appear on His back, and Blood runs crimson down His legs. They beat Him in the face; they crown Him with thorns. And Pilate, the governor, brings Him out before the howling crowd, and says,

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

Ah, but look farther. They take him from Pilate's court, and place a cross on His torn, bleeding back. He stumbles and falls again and again, under the weight of the Cross, as He drags it toward the place of execution.

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

When they reach Golgotha, the place of execution, they drive huge spikes into His hands and feet. They raise the Cross. They watch Him suffer. They see Him die.

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

Jesus, the mediator between you and God, dies for your sins. The price of your sin is finished. There is but one thing left for you to do. Ah, sinner, what must you do now to receive this forgiveness? What must you do to be saved?

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

Little did Pontius Pilate realize that he was actually telling you how to be saved! He was a heathen, but what he said was true. The high priest was a lost man, but he was correct when he said that "one man should die for the people" (John 11:50). Therefore, let Pilate preach to you also! What Pilate said was true. In his ignorance Pilate was telling you how to be reconciled to an angry God! Pilate told you what you must do to have your sins washed clean. Yes, your sins! The sins you have committed. The sins you have been thinking about! The sins that have troubled you this week! Yes, Jesus can wash those sins away by His Blood!

But what must you do to be saved? You must

"Behold the man!" (John 19:5).

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).


(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. John S. Waldrip: John 19:1-6.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Man of Sorrows" (by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).

THE OUTLINE OF

BEHOLD THE MAN!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

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

(Colossians 1:15; John 1:3; Luke 24:37, 39)

I.   You must look to the man Christ Jesus or you will not be saved,
John 19:5.

II.  You must look to the man Christ Jesus or you have no mediator,
I Timothy 2:5; John 1:36, 29.

III. You must look to the man Christ Jesus in His agony and Blood,
I Peter 2:24; John 11:50; Acts 16:31.


You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."