The Apostles Creed reads: “I believe in God,the Father almighty,Creator of heaven and earth,and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,born of the Virgin Mary,suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, died and was buried;”
One thing we must keep in mind as we read through these accounts of Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion is what he went through. He suffered under Pontius Pilate. He suffered. It is something that we must be aware of.
Three stages in his trial before the Jewish leadership at the Sanhedrin, three stages in his trial before Pilate, and in each stage of those trials he suffered abuses, both verbal and physical. Through it all, Pilate proclaims at three different times that he found no wrong with Jesus. The indignity of it, that an innocent man was held not only for trials, but for torture and execution.
Let me ask you a question you may not have considered before: who was really on trial? Was it Jesus? Or was it first the Sanhedrin and then Pilate? Jesus was not under earthly authority, he makes that clear in his words to both the Sanhedrin and Pilate; in fact Jesus makes it clear that his authority was given from a higher place then that of either Pilate or the Jewish leader.
They key to all of this is that both Herod and Pilate “found no guilt in him.” They found no grounds to condemn him under Roman rule, because he had committed no crimes that threatened the Empire. Pilate recognized that the reason the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus dead because they were envious and afraid of him.
But Pilate was too weak to push the issue, too afraid of the crows and the Jewish leaders, and not nearly afraid enough of this man who claimed to be the Son of God.
Then again, even a weak willed man like Pilate can be used by God. “And having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.”
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Matthew 28, Mark 16