Jesus’ meeting with Pilate is a powerful reminder of the clash between truth and power. As Pilate struggles to weigh the political costs and benefits of “Handling Jesus”, Jesus stands free in the center of His Father’s will and His mission.
Oddly enough, Jesus calls attention to the fact that Pilate was not the guiltiest one in the room. The religious elite that handed Jesus over and demanded His death were the guilty ones. John 19:11
Jesus remained in control and in the position of power the entire time He stood before Pilate. Meanwhile, this Roman Governor was confused, defeated, and powerless because he had fallen prey to the need to please those around him and to “keep the peace.”
It it wasn’t so tragic, it would be comical to see Pilate bow to the Jewish leaders and for those same leaders to bow to Ceasar in the name of expediency. It had to turn their stomachs to announce that they had no king other than Ceasar. John 19:15
Pilate, representing the power of Rome, stood powerless in the face of the truth. He knew Jesus was innocent and he said so several times. Sadly, Pilate’s love of power and civil peace so greatly outweighed his need to lead with honor and integrity that he catered to the whims of his most loathsome subjects – the Jewish theocracy.
The great news is in the end the truth won! They crucified Jesus, but the truth of who He was and what He was doing by His sacrifice would be evident in a mere three days. As Jesus was led away, He remained large and in charge.
As Christians, we need to stand up to power and opposition with love and truth. We need not fall prey to the need to please others or keep the peace. Instead, we must lead with love, honor, and with the knowledge that the world will never understand this and will always swap truth for power and popularity. We need to stay inspired by Jesus’ example and trust in the power of truth and the triumph of His perfect love.
God Bless You
Jesus Before Pilate
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.