- Pilate, the Roman governor with the might of an Empire behind him.
- Jesus, a Nazarene carpenter whose followers scattered when He was arrested.
- “My kingdom is from another place”
- “I came into the world to testify to the truth”
- “Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me”
Pilate went back to the Jews and asked them why Jesus had been brought to him to be sentenced to death. It just didn’t add up, and their response did not help.
“This man claimed to be the Son of God” they told Pilate.
Oh that’s just great.
Pilate questioned Jesus further and instead of retreating, the Man seemed determined to be crucified, as if it were necessary! Nobody wanted to be crucified!
Pilate finally cracked.
- “Don’t you realise that I have the power to free you or crucify you?”
But Jesus’ answer really pushed Pilate over the edge.
- “You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above.”
Pilate was trapped, ensnared by his own weakness because of his desire for power, and peace within his jurisdiction of Jerusalem, to further his ambition in Rome.
So Jesus was condemned to be crucified on the Roman cross.
- Pilate was weakened by his enslavement to fallen humanity.
- Jesus was empowered by His Heavenly Father.
Jesus was led to Golgotha through the streets of Jerusalem, jeered by the Jews and Romans, grieved by His family and His followers.
He was lifted up on the cross.
As He exhaled His final breath, He declared “It is finished”.
The curse of sin from Eve’s first bite of the forbidden fruit, to the last heartbeat before Christ’s return, was atoned for by Jesus, the lamb who was slain.
It was a hell of a cost, to Jesus, to God.
- The heavens went dark.
- The Most Holy Place in Herold’s Temple was exposed.
- The earth quaked.
- Death itself was shaken.
It was an unequal encounter. And as we well know, it is not the end of the story. Jesus of Nazareth, God the Son, prevailed…