“What is truth ?” – Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them – “He is not guilty of any crime. But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’ ?” (18:38-39)
But they shouted back – “No ! Not this man. We want Barabbas !” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.) (18:40)
Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put a purple robe on Him. “Hail ! King of the Jews !” – they mocked, as they slapped Him across the face. (19:1-3)
Pilate went outside again and said to the people – “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 – “Look – here is the Man !” (19:4-5)
When they saw Him – the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting – “Crucify Him ! Crucify Him !” (19:6a)
In Part 8 of my continuing sermon leading-up to Resurrection Sunday I continue from the Gospel of John – Chapter 18 into 19 – where John remembers when Jesus was sentenced to death.
The Roman Governor – Pontius Pilate – determined that Jesus was not guilty. He committed no crime, and He was no threat to the Roman Empire. Pilate offered to release this ‘King of the Jews’, but the mob rebelled. They wanted Barabbas released instead. (Barabbas was guilty of murder and insurrection !)
Jesus was mocked and beaten by Pilate’s Roman soldiers, and then He was paraded in front of the mob outside so that they could see that He was punished – even though He was not guilty of any crimes. The leading priests and Temple guards wanted far more punishment for Jesus. They wanted Him crucified. Pilate challenged the mob to crucify Him themselves.
Pilate had another conversation with Jesus inside, and he tried to release Him again. The mob threatened Pilate if he released Jesus claiming that he (Pilate) would be no friend of (Julius) Caesar – just as Jesus was a rebel against Caesar.
Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. (19:16)
I’ll continue this journey through John Chapter 19 – next Sunday Scripture.
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