In His Footsteps

John 18:39-19:16 (also in Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25)

“But you have a custom of asking me to release someone from prison each year at Passover. So if you want me to, I’ll release the ‘King of the Jews.'”

But they screamed back. “No! Not this man, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a robber.

Then Pilate laid open Jesus’ back with a leaded whip, and the soldiers made a crown of thorns and placed it on his head and robed him in royal purple. “Hail, ‘King of the Jews!'” they mocked, and struck him with their fists.

Pilate went outside again and said to the Jews, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.

Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Behold the man!”

At sight of him the chief priests and Jewish officials began yelling, “Crucify! Crucify!”

“You crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.

They replied, “By our laws he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the palace again and asked him, “Where are you from?” but Jesus gave no answer.

“You won’t talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or to crucify you?”

Then Jesus said, “You would have no power at all over me unless it were given to you from above. So those who brought me to you have the greater sin.”

Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders told him, “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”

At these words Pilate brought Jesus out to them again and sat down at the judgment bench on the stone-paved platform. It was now about noon of the day before Passover.

And Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king!”

“Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him—crucify him!”

“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests shouted back.

Then Pilate gave Jesus to them to be crucified.

Scourging could have killed Jesus. The usual procedure was to bare the upper half of the victim’s body and tie his hands to a pillar before whipping him with a three-pronged whip. The number of lashes was determined by the severity of the crime; up to forty were permitted under Jewish law (Deuteronomy 25:3).

Who’s in Control?

Throughout the trial we see that Jesus was in control, not Pilate or the religious leaders. Pilate vacillated, the Jewish leaders reacted out of hatred and anger, but Jesus remained composed. He knew the truth, he knew God’s plan, and he knew the reason for his trial. Despite the pressure and persecution, Jesus remained unmoved. It was really Pilate and the religious leaders who were on trial, not Jesus.

When you are questioned or ridiculed because of your faith, remember that while you may be on trial before your accusers, they are on trial before God.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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