My wife told me to have nothing to do with this man. She called this Jesus “a righteous Man” and said that earlier today that she “suffered much because of Him in a dream.”
I should have listened.
On the surface He didn’t look like much. He was brought to me (Pilate) by the Jewish leaders, and they were furious! I knew that there had to be more to this man because of their outrage. They called Him a blasphemer, saying that He claimed to be the Son of God and “the King of the Jews.”
So I asked Him point blank, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He just looked at the ground & said, “You have said so.”
Immediately the chief priests began hurling accusations at this Jesus, and I really asked Him to speak up for Himself because some of their accusations contradicted one another, so I said, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?”
They appeared to me to be jealous of Him, and I was trying to help Him out, but He wouldn’t say a word…
We political leaders are in a unique fraternity. I didn’t get to be governor of this region b/c I was meek. No, we politicians wheel & deal our way to the top. We know people in authority and sometimes ride on their coat tails so that we could eventually rise to levels of prominence ourselves. That’s just the way this world works…
Yet, here is this Man who really seemed innocent to me, that they had the audacity to refer to as a King, and rather than try to plead my favor, He stood there: “As a sheep before its shearers are silent, so He would not open His mouth.”
I was astonished at His level of self-control.
Finally, I entered into my headquarters alone & I called this Jesus to myself. I asked Him again:
“Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then I said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
“What is truth?”
I had to do something. The crowds were raging outside, and though I didn’t find anything wrong with this Man, I knew that I could not have an uprising on my hand. The crowds and the Jewish leaders were starting to get out of hand…
I had Jesus flogged.
I stood and watched as the guards stripped Him of his clothing and tied His arms above His head. They whipped him about the back, chest, stomach, head, & legs until He was literally unrecognizable. He lost a lot of blood, but aside from His shrieks of agony, He remained silent. (I have watched many people curse and scream at their tormentors, but not this Man)…
I had hoped that this would satisfy the crowds. I was actually astonished that He didn’t die in the flogging, but here he stood, trembling/an unrecognizable mass of humanity—and STILL they wanted Him dead.
I couldn’t handle it; I was afraid of what was happening. I took this Jesus back to my headquarters again & said:
“Where are you from?” But Jesus gave me no answer. So I said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”
I will never forget what happened next. Jesus looked me squarely in the eye and with supreme conviction said, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above…”
Who Is This Man???
I had no choice. The Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” I was NOT prepared to lose my job or my life for Him.
I think I now was beginning to understand what my wife was talking about when she said, “have nothing to do with this righteous man.”
What could I do? What would YOU have done if you were in my place????
I washed my hands of this whole thing & sent Him to die…
Even still, I sent my personal guard to follow the procession. I had to know exactly what happened.
He told me that the crowds were vicious—spitting on Him, shouting all sorts of obscenities at Him, ripping out His beard. Jesus fell from the weight of His cross and they kicked at him like He was a dog.
…And Jesus remained silent…
On the Cross, the guards drove spikes into His hands and feet and for the first time since this whole ordeal started, on the Cross Jesus began to speak.
He prayed to God, begging Him to forgive those who were killing Him.
One of the criminals who was crucified with him was obviously moved by the love of Jesus, and asked Him to save Him—AND JESUS AGREED…
After a period of time, Jesus screamed out, “My God, My God—why have you forsaken me?”
That to me is the ultimate picture of faith—still crying out to one who He can’t find. Still believing when there is no evidence for belief.
About the sixth hour my guard told me that Jesus cried out–“It Is Finished!” And He was gone. He died.
And it was over—just like that.
Surely, my wife was right. I should have had nothing to do with Him. He truly was a righteous man.
My guard that I sent to bring me word is a broken man. All he can say is “truly this Man was the Son of God…” I have no idea what I am going to do with him…
I can’t sleep; I too am suffering on account of the King of the Jews. I am troubled over what I have done to Jesus the Messiah.