We have noted the hypocrisy of the Jews in a recent ‘thought’ (18:28). Here is a further manifestation of it.
The Jews hated Rome. Understandably, they loathed being under the iron heel of the oppressor. Who would not want freedom in such circumstances. They were looking for the coming of a Messiah who would be a political deliverer, who would overthrow Roman rule. They had no love for Caesar; felt little loyalty towards him, if any at all. Yet in these moments they say, ”We have no King but Caesar” (15). We know they don’t mean it. But it is expedient for them to say it at this time.
What hypocrites we all can be! At times people will articulate things they really don’t believe, if it will help them to have their own way. A classic example is to be found in the realm of politics where candidates ”campaign in poetry but govern in prose.” So many election promises, bountifully scattered over cheering crowds, never come to fulfilment. There are always reasons ‘discovered’ later why what was promised could not be delivered.
Hypocrisy is just one manifestation of sin; one way this ugly weed buds and shows itself above ground; and sin is the chief malady of the human heart. There is no hope for we sinners to be forgiven; no possibility of hypocrites becoming people of integrity, apart from the saving work of Jesus on the cross. So today we must be deeply grateful for all we are reading in this nineteenth chapter of John.
We read this and we say their hypocrisy crucified Jesus.
But we also know that our hypocrisy crucified Him.
However, had He not been crucified there would be no hope for any of us.
So once again we ”survey the wondrous cross” and marvel.