Caiaphas reviewed the report of his father-in-law, Annas, and sent Jesus to Pilate.
By this time the sun was up. The Jewish leaders did not enter the Praetorium, the Governor’s Palace containing Pilates’s Judgmental Hall. To do so would have disqualified them for participation in the Passover. Pilate came out to a balcony to meet with them.
His usual headquarters were in Caesarea and He only came to Jerusalem when he had to. He hated the Jews, Jerusalem, and this assignment from Rome. He loved pleasure and power and found the Jews strict, joyless, unyielding, preoccupied by frivolous things and as hungry for power as any other people. In his view their vaunted piety was pretense. He was sure whatever was bothering these overdressed buffoons could be handled quickly. Looking down from his lofty balcony, Pilate saw their prisoner, Jesus, bound and bleeding from the mouth. He asked for a clarification from the Sanhedrin. Their complaints against this poor man seemed to Pilate to be religious in nature and no business of his. The indictment was His claim to be king, a thing surely deserving of death.
“It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death…”
They hated Pilate as much as he hated them, but they needed Roman authority to rid Israel of this menace. Pilate turned to Jesus,
“Are You the King of the Jews?”
Pilate almost laughed at the thought that anyone one think this pitiful man was anyone’s king. Jesus responded,
“Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
This angered Pilate and he demanded Jesus give a better answer. Jesus tried to explain that His Kingdom was of a different kind and waged a different kind of warfare. Pilate tried to understand as Jesus explained.
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
Guilty as Charged
Knowing he would have to make a judgment, Pilate asked if Jesus really considered Himself a king. Jesus confessed,
“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born,
and for this cause I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth.
Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” ”
At the word, “truth,” Pilate groaned, turned, and retreated into his residence. Did anyone speak the truth? Was there any such thing as “the truth?” Didn’t each man and each dilemma demand a different truth? Almost as if distracted by these questions, Pilate looked at the bleeding man before him. Who was this criminal to speak of truth? Did he have truth? If so, what good had it done him? Returning in anger to the balcony’s edge,
“What is truth? I find no fault him at all!”
The Pharisees, in no mood for philosophy, received this with riotous claims for justice. Pilate was ready to make a deal. According to custom, he offered Barabbas, a convicted murderer and rebel instead of Jesus. The angry crowd welcomed Barabbas and demanded death for Jesus.
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all. “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
Lord Jesus, You could have called for an army of angels to rescue You from this agony but You did not. You faced the judgment of men for the sins of the world when You had none. Your courage inspires me to follow You no matter how “charged with punishment the scroll” of my life. My life is in Your capable and merciful hands. As the Psalmist says, “You have hemmed me in behind and before and laid Your hand upon me.” Whatever this day may bring, You, who remained faithful in the courts of men, will give me strength to make it through all of my trials. Amen and Amen.
I Find No Fault in Him
Words and Music: Andrea Crouch
I find no fault in Him. I find no fault in Him.
Yet He was rejected, despised of me, but
I find no fault in Him.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.