28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?” 30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die. 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
In this passage, Pilate concludes Jesus is innocent and tells the crowd that he finds no charges. When he asks if he should free Jesus, the crowd shout back a giant ‘NO!’ and request for Barabbas instead. If this were me, I would feel so let down knowing that the governor believes I am not guilty but has chosen to follow the crowd. However, this is no surprise to Jesus as he knows this is exactly would what happen. He knows he needs to go through this penalty, so all of humanity can be saved.
When reading the passage again, I am also reminded of the way that Jesus informs Pilate that he is from another kingdom that is ‘not of this world’. This encourages me to always stay kingdom focused and reveal God’s truth in whatever way I can, even in the worst of situations. It reminds me that while living on earth, my life should reveal his truth everywhere I go and I should speak his truth to all that I can.
God, I thank you that you sent Jesus as a sacrifice not only for me, but for all. I pray that you continue to reveal your truth to us, so that we may live our best lives that honour you.
Written by Rachel Tomc