15 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. 2 “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” 5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. 6 Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9 “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
There are two things that strike me in this passage.
Jesus is almost completely silent, and Pilate recognises Jesus’ innocence. Most innocent people cry out their innocence – yet not Jesus. Most people who recognise the innocence of another work to prove that innocence – yet not Pilate. This is altogether different. I have no real idea what I would have done if I were Pilate. The expedience of killing one man to keep the peace in a strife torn corner of the empire – that has its advantages. What takes a hold of you that while knowing the innocence of the one accused you condemn him to death – how tortured Pilate must have been. It is too easy to paint Pilate into the naughty corner as if I would not have done the same – and I hope I wouldn’t have – but where is my heart at. Am I hard hearted wanting to keep the peace, am I prepared to open my motives to the light of Christ and have Him search me.
I need to let God search me and find any offensive way within me so that I can be the bringing of life that Jesus calls me to be you to be.
Father, in the light of Pilate’s deception help me to have an open heart before You and fulfil Your plan in all things.
Written by Ps. Richard Botta