Campbell, Sacramental meditations: "They delivered him bound to Pontius Pilate"


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Chapter 3: Of Christ's Sufferings before his death. XIII. They delivered him bound to Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:2). And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the Governor. When first they apprehended him, the bound him, and (it seems) loosed him from his bounds, when he stood before the council; and again, when the council rose, they bound him (Pareus, Com. in Matt. 27). “To the end Pilate receiving him bound, might think him the greater malefactor. Jerome thinks it was the fashion with the Jews to deliver him bound to the judge, whom they thought worthy of death.”[1]

Thus they led the Lion of the Tribe of Judah like a malefactor [Rev. 5:5], bound with ropes and chains; he that binds all the devils in hell with chains of darkness, and restrains the malice of all wicked men in the world with his providence, for love to redeem our poor lost souls, humbled himself so low as to let sinful miscreants bind his hands with chains of iron. Behold his hands, which made heaven and earth, bound! His hands, which uphold the creation, fettered! His hands, who sets captive souls at liberty, tied! The liberal hands, which satisfy the desires of all living, chained![2] See with a believing heart and tearing eyes, the impartial judge of the quick and the dead[3] led like a malefactor by wicked and malicious men before a temporal and partial judge to be judged for our sins. O the justice of God! O the love of Christ! O the evil of sin! The hazard we were in! O the greatness of the ransom paid for us! O our ingratitude! to be so negligent to refuse to celebrate the memorial of his death at his own table, who suffered so great things for us.

[1] Paræus, In Matthaei Evangelium commentarius (1641), p. 1116. Jerome, Commentary on Matthew, trans. Thomas P. Scheck (CUA Press, 2008), p. 308.
[2] Colossians 1:16–17. Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1; Psalm 145:16.
[3] Cf. The Apostles’ Creed.
Daniel Campbell, Sacramental Meditations on the Sufferings and Death of Christ (1698; 1722), pp. 52 – 53.
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