Monday, June 1, 2009

John, chapter 19 part 1

Pilate is an interesting character in Scripture. It is clear that he showed much regret in his role in Jesus’ crucifixion, yet he did not use his authority to stop the event from happening. It wasn’t like he was powerless, either. As a member of the Roman government in charge of Israel at the time, he could have ended the whole mess with a word. Instead, he served a role that was foretold in Scripture.

7The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."

8When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10"Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"

11Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

12From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar." – John 19:7-12

I have long been confused by Pilate’s fate after this. Someone had to give the order it crucify Jesus. Unlike Judas, Pilate was a person that, as I read this, looks more like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He comes off as a reluctant villain if there eve was one. He even tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews wouldn’t have it. Their thirst for blood was up, and they would have it.

So how should we look on Pilate? I even wonder how Jesus viewed Pilate after these events. I think Jesus had a more sympathetic view of him because He knew that He still had to face His death regardless of what the local authorities said. As Jesus says, Pilate did not have any real power over Him except from above. Since God had decided the sacrifice was necessary, Pilate had to play that role.

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