Passion Week – Jesus Before Pilate
Day Five – Thursday
Scripture Passage: Luke 23:1-25
Parallel Passages in other Gospels for further reading: Matthew 27:11-26, Mark 15:1-15, John 18:28 – 19:16
Jesus Before Pilate
1 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.” 3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. 4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” 5 But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” 6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends–before this they had been enemies. 13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” 18 With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) 20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.” 23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
Thoughts from Aaron Bauer:
I grew up loving movies, and not just movies but the process behind which they are made. I like the elements of story and it’s always interesting when a story doesn’t meet an audience’s expectations. Take any number of franchise films like Star Wars, Harry Potter, or even the TV show LOST. When fans are displeased, you will usually find edited versions online of what someone thought it should have been. They like their version of it better than what the directors, actors, writers wrote as the truth of the series.
Here we see Jesus accused of being exactly who He said He was. Yet, He’s not the version of the Messiah they had hoped for. They wanted someone who would conform to their standard. He couldn’t. He came with a mission. What I love about this passage is that the last line kind of sums it up. In verse 25, we read, “and [Pilate] surrendered Jesus to their will.” Isn’t that the opposite of what we say we should do? We know that we should surrender to God’s will, and yet here, the Son of God is being handed over to this mob, who are angered, upset, and maybe disappointed that Jesus wasn’t all that they thought He should be.
Jesus encounters Pilate, and even though he knows in his heart and in his mind that Jesus is innocent, he makes the Christ a criminal, giving Him over to the executioners. Jesus then stands before Herod. Herod has his own idea of who Jesus should be. Jesus should be a miracle worker, a rainmaker of sorts, and when Jesus doesn’t deliver, he goes as far as to play dress up with the Son of God, mocking Him with royal robes.
And as Jesus looked at this mob of people, He had compassion for them. He loved them – so much He was willing to die for them. They didn’t understand. But soon, they would.
Some questions to think about:
What version of Jesus have I made for myself that maybe is different from the TRUE Jesus, the savior of my life? Have I played dress-up with Jesus, expecting Him to do what I want, rather than seeking to know Him? Do I get upset, frustrated, or angry when He doesn’t deliver what I am asking Him for? Am I surrendered to His will, or do I want Him to surrender to mine?
Suggested Direction for Prayer:
Jesus, you are the truth. When I question what truth is, You are the only answer. Forgive me for the times when I conform You to my standard instead of truly seeking to know Your heart. Father, help me to pray with Jesus, “not my will be done, but Yours.” Thank you for the love and compassion you show me, and for giving me new life in Jesus, so I can trust You completely.”