Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then He was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. So Pilate – the governor – went out to them and asked – “What is your charge against this Man ?”
“We wouldn’t have handed Him over to you if He weren’t a criminal !” – they retorted.
“Then take Him away, and judge Him by your own law” – Pilate told them.
“Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone” – the Jewish leaders replied. (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way He would die.)
In Part 6 of my continuing sermon leading-up to Resurrection Sunday I continue from the Gospel of John – Chapter 18. In Verses 28 to 32 John writes about Jesus’ trial before the Roman Governor – Pontius Pilate. He was ruthless as a ruler – especially against the Jews – committing many atrocities against them. But in this particular case he wanted the Jewish leaders to handle Jesus Himself. He didn’t really want to have anything to do with this case against Jesus. But they wanted Jesus executed, and only Pilate could do that under Roman law. Pilate was nevertheless hesitant to take any action against Jesus.
As an aside the Apostle John wrote his Gospel as an Elder during the late-First Century – some 50 to 60 years after these events of Christ’s final days on earth. He mostly wrote on the Roman trial leading-up to His crucifixion. During the time of his writing the Jewish nation had been scattered by Rome, and Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Romans.
Then Pilate went back into his headquarters, and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are You the King of the Jews ?” – he asked Him.
Jesus replied – “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about Me ?”
“Am I a Jew ?” – Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought You to me for trial. Why ? What have you done ?”
Pilate began calmly questioning Jesus inside. He was looking out for the safety and security of the Roman Empire that was under his control, and he wanted to know if Jesus was a threat to it. Jesus would soon clarify His position as a King, but first He wanted to know what Pilate really meant when he asked Him if He was “King of the Jews”. Jesus would soon answer with a very specific response.
I’ll continue this journey through John Chapter 18 – next Sunday Scripture.
All rights reserved (c) 2021 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries