16.01.03 Jn. 19:4-6
PILATE PRESENTS JESUS
4 Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing Him outside to you to let you know I find no grounds for charging Him.”
5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6 When the chief priests and the temple police saw Him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
Pilate responded, “Take Him and crucify Him yourselves, for I find no grounds for charging Him.”
“Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.” The crown and robe together were symbols of kings, obviously used now in mockery. Kings and wealthy aristocrats wore fine linen and purple or scarlet garments to display power, wealth, and prestige.
Purple dye was made from the secretions of four seashells creatures that lived along the eastern Mediterranean coast. The dye masters of Tyre created variations of purple or scarlet by mixing the secretions. Since a large number of creatures were needed for the production of a small quantity of dye, the process was labor intensive and expensive. This not only was insulting to Jesus, but also to the Jewish people.
“When the chief priests and the temple police saw Him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” The passage clearly states those who called for the crucifixion were the chief priests (Sadducees) and their police assistants. Pilate again brought out Jesus and told the crowds that he found Him innocent, the fourth such announcement. By this time Jesus had been beaten severely and was exhausted from repeated punishments. When Pilate said, “Here is the man,” it was to strike a chord of compassion and pity among the Jews when they looked upon a Man who had already suffered so much. However, the Sadducees were void of any compassion or pity. Again, Pilate said, “I find no basis for a charge against him,” the fifth declaration of innocence. But they just wanted Him crucified.
. The four types of molluscs are known by the names of helix ianthina, murex brandaris, murex trunculus, and purpura lapillus.
. It has been estimated that 8,000 molluscs were needed to produce 1 gram of dye. See Irvin, “Purple.” 1057.
. Irvin, “Purple.” 1057. According to Josephus, large quantities of purple (or scarlet) fabric were required for the temple curtains which were replaced every few years (Wars 6.8.3 (390). Some scholars believe that the purple (or scarlet) robe placed on Jesus (Mt. 27:28) was a soldier’s cloak.