John 18:38 – 19:11 Live each day impeccably with the end in mind
And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “ I find no guilt in Him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, saying, “ Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber. Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” John 18:38 – 19:11
Pilate found no guilt in Jesus, as the Jews could not provide evidences of any wrongdoing. As Pilate struggled to exonerate Jesus against the will of the Jews, Jesus told him that he was accountable to God for the judgment he was about to make. Every person in authority is subject to the authority of God. On the Day of Judgment, God will vindicate and reward the righteous and the wicked will be punished. One who endeavours to live an impeccable and honourable life will impact the world for good as compared to one who lives carelessly. The thief who confessed Jesus as Lord, no doubt is saved, but he had done little to impact the world for good. Therefore, believers must live each day with the end in mind. The fact that Jesus was proven innocent after being tried by Moses’ Law and Roman Law made His sacrifice acceptable to God as a perfect sin offering.
1. “… do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” By suggesting to the Jews to release Jesus at the Passover, He hoped to play down the influence of the Jews by appealing to the crowd’s sentiments. But having realized the crowd’s resolve to crucify Jesus, Pilate dressed up Jesus as king and scourged Him. By humiliating and mocking Jesus, Pilate hoped that might satisfy the Jews leading to Jesus’ release. We could see even at this point, Jesus refused to recant His position as King and as the Son of God.
2. Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” It is necessary that Jesus be tried in the Roman court of Law and be found innocent. If Jesus was found to be guilty on a single violation of the Roman Law, which is the Law of the Gentiles, then He would have disqualified Himself from being the perfect sacrifice on behalf of the Gentiles. And Jesus would also have disqualified Himself as the Son of God bearing the attributes of the Father.
3. “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” Pilate was reluctant to condemn a man who was innocent in the eyes of the Roman law. However, the Jews wanted to try Jesus under Moses’ Law, which regarded Jesus’ confession as blasphemous and punishable by death. The Moses’ Law stated that if anyone claimed himself to be a prophet and could not fulfill his word will be stoned. Jesus had fulfilled every prophecy in the Old Testament Law and had performed miracles that proved that He is indeed the Son of God. The Jews could provide no witnesses to substantiate their claims that Jesus was a liar. In fact, Nicodemus (being a Pharisee), who found Jesus innocent said to them, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from and knows what he is doing, does it?”
4. “Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.” Pilate finally saw in the Jews, their envy and true intent in wanting to crucify Jesus. He was afraid because his wife through a messenger warned him against condemning Jesus because He is a righteous Man. Pilate’s wife had a dream that made her suffer as a sign of divine retribution for anyone who condemn the Righteous without cause. Pilate again brought Jesus back in to ascertain the truth of Jesus’ origin. When Jesus refused to answer, Pilate made known to Jesus his authority that would determine His verdict. Jesus replied that the authority that Pilate had was given from God and he would be held accountable for the decisions that he would make. However, knowing that Pilate would eventually hand Him over to the Jews said, “… he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” implying the severe retribution that would come upon the Jews. According to Roman history, Pilate ruled for another 10 years after Jesus’ death. However, because of His cruelty that got too much even for the Romans, he was summoned to Rome to answer for his actions under Emperor Caligula. It was there that Pilate was forced to commit suicide.
1. Jesus’ life taught us that it is important to be impeccable in the things that we say and do. In today’s society, with social media, personal and surveillance cameras, people with ill intent could attack and catch us when we are unaware. The words spoken carelessly could one day be used against us. Hence, it is wise to speak fewer words. Proverbs 18:19 says,
The tongue can bring death or life. Those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Jesus spoke in parables, being wary of the Jews who would bear false witness against Him. Jesus pondered His every move and being careful to discern the hearts of those who want to be His friends. Hence, the Jews could not produce any credible witnesses to accuse Him of wrongdoing and neither could Pilate charge Him of any wrong doing.
2. Those who seek after honor and righteousness will be in a better position to bring salvation to the world. In Romans 5:19, Paul contrasted the impact of man in the world, “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” The sacrifice of Jesus who is perfectly obedient to the Father made Him a worthy sacrifice that made many righteous. At the same time, this verse contrasted the influence of a disobedient person with that of an obedient one. An person who is obedient to the ways of God will undoubtedly serve as a light to the world bringing salvation and truth to all.
3. God will promote the righteous and punish the evil in His time. And sin done to the righteous will attract a greater punishment. Psalm 37:9 says, “For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.” Hence, the righteous must rest their hearts in the justice and the faithfulness of God to vindicate. We do not know when God will vindicate the righteous, but we know that God will certainly do it in His perfect time. Those who are faithful and righteous will be honored and rewarded. Jesus said, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” (Revelations 22:12).
1. Never take sides in the games of office politics. The one who managed to stay neutral will be in the best position to speak the truth and to create unity. Always speak and defend the one who is absent. Conduct all conversations for the purpose of building up and not to gripe or to take pleasure over other’s failures.
2. Always speak positively of those who may be less deserving. Speaking negatively of another person even if it is true does not help. In fact it depresses the whole organization and cause it to be dragged down by the folly of one. Speaking negatively of another person amplifies the weakness of that person and affects the rest. The bible speaks about love, “Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:6-7).
3. When you face injustice, do not take matters into your own hands. Even as we enforce boundaries to protect ourselves from further attacks, we must not take revenge but release them to God. Romans 12:19 says,
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “ But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him A drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Dear Lord, help me to be quick to listen and be slow to speak. Help me to be wise with my words, so that I could build up and not tear down. Give me the ability to discern the hearts of people and the ways of truth. Use me to bring unity to my family, church and organization. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.