Ecce Homo

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”” (John 19:5, ESV)

375px-CaravaggioEcceHomoThe words in bold: “Behold the man!” are Ecce Homo in Latin.  If you have been to any art galleries you have probably seen a painting with the title “Ecce Homo.”  The scene became a standard scene for any artist who was interested in the passion of Christ, which was pretty much everyone right up through the Renaissance.  There are literally dozens and dozens of paintings of “Ecce Homo.”  The one I have posted here is by Caravaggio.

While Pilate’s motives for parading Christ before his accusers and declaring “Ecce Homo,” must have been “loaded with sarcasm towards the Jews” [Borchert], there is also a sense in which no doubt John saw it as an ironic declaration that Jesus was indeed the Son of Man, and Pilate has unwittingly declared him so!

Don Carson points out: “But the Evangelist records the event with still deeper irony: here indeed is the Man, the Word made flesh (1:14). All the witnesses were too blind to see it at the time, but this Man was displaying his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, in the very disgrace, pain, weakness and brutalization that Pilate advanced as suitable evidence that he was a judicial irrelevance.”

Ecce Homo indeed.

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