"Ecce Homo" by Antonio Ciseri
Who was Pontius Pilate under whose authority Jesus was crucified? This Pilate was the same man who, when he went to build an aqueduct, misappropriated Jewish money in order to do it. When some of the Jews complained, Pilate had them executed in the Temple and had their blood mixed with the blood of the Temple sacrifice. Understandably, the Jews hated Pilate for this. Yet, when some of the Jewish leaders wanted to execute Jesus they had to appeal to Pilate so that the deed could be done, because under Roman law they could not carry out the execution without Pilate's permission as governor of Judea.
What did Jesus suffer under Pontius Pilate? We know from the Gospel accounts (such as Matthew 27:11-31) that Jesus suffered injustice, flogging, mocking, a crown of thorns, spitting, beating, insult, misunderstanding, rejection, and eventually, crucifixion.
Stuart Briscoe has written,
One of my most vivid recollections of childhood in wartime England was sitting around a crackling radio with bombs dropping around us, shells going off above us, searchlights piercing the night sky, listening as hard as we could to the radio as the crackly voice of Winston Churchill told us we would never surrender. I read somewhere that after he'd given that highly motivating speech, he had put his head down on the table and burst into tears and said, "I don't know what we'll fight them with on the shores and on the beaches and in the streets, for we've nothing but beer bottles." For such was the power, the dynamism, the courage, and such would be the oratory of that man, that he made a besieged nation stand tall until her neighbours across the ocean came and joined hands. A remarkable thing about the British people and Winston Churchill was that at the end of the war, there was an election. Churchill stood for re-election and was kicked out, a broken man. That is a picture in human terms of the sufferings of Christ. Knowing his commitment to righteousness, knowing his commitment to justice, and knowing his commitment to integrity, he doesn't get any justice, and nobody is interested in integrity. And therein lies his suffering.Jesus also suffered the feeling of abandonment on the cross. If Jesus really was God in the flesh then he could not really be separated from God the Father, but he was also fully human. And he would not have been fully human if he did not feel abandoned. Thus he said from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus was bearing the weight of the world. As Paul said, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
What significance does this have for us? It is Jesus' suffering that brings us eternal life. Through that grand exchange Paul talks about, Jesus takes on our sin so that we can take on his righteousness. Also, because Jesus suffered, he can understand our suffering and can help us through it.
Someone once said, "Only the wounded physician can truly heal." Jesus is that wounded physician who can heal us of all our ills.
And George MacDonald once wrote,"The Son of God suffered unto death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like his.”