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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 23 - Verse 16

Verse 16. I will therefore chastise him. The word chastise here means to scourge or to whip. This was usually done before capital punishment, to increase the sufferings of the man condemned. It is not easy to see the reason why, if Pilate supposed Jesus to be innocent, he should propose publicly to scourge him. It was as really unjust to do that as it was to crucify him. But probably he expected by this to conciliate the minds of his accusers; to show them that he was willing to gratify them if it could be done with propriety; and perhaps he expected that by seeing him whipped and disgraced, and condemned to ridicule, to contempt, and to suffering, they would be satisfied. It is farther remarked that among the Romans it was competent for a magistrate to inflict a slight punishment on a man when a charge of gross offence was not fully made out, or where there was not sufficient testimony to substantiate the precise charge alleged. All this shows,

1st. the palpable injustice of our Lord's condemnation;

2nd. the persevering malice and obstinacy of the Jews; and,

3rd. the want of firmness in Pilate. He should have released him at once; but the love of popularity led him to the murder of the Son of God. Man should do his duty in all situations; and he that, like Pilate, seeks only for public favour and popularity, will assuredly be led into crime.

{s} "chastise" Is 53:5

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