Matthew 27:22 “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They say unto him, Let him be crucified.”
This is a question each person will answer for themselves. What will you do with Jesus who is called the Christ?
Pilate was a common politician. He cared for nothing in Israel, except political gain for himself.
His headquarters were usually in a city by the Mediterranean Sea, but because of the Passover feast and the multitudes of people which could cause problems, he came up to Jerusalem.
This put him right in the middle of Christ’s trial.
(The chief priests only brought Him to Pilate, because by Roman law they could not put any prisoner to death. Only Rome had that power. (John 18:31)
Pilate knew that for envy the chief priests had brought Jesus to him. That there was nothing in their accusations.
Mark 15:10 “For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.”
And he tried three times to back out of a judgement against Jesus.
He knew Jesus was innocent of the charges brought against Him, but refused to stand with the truth; choosing rather to try and wiggle out of making a decision.
(And how many of us do the same….try and wiggle out of making a decision about Christ Jesus,….or His Word to us?)
1st. They brought Jesus to Pilate accusing Him of perverting the nation. They said He told them not to obey Caesar or pay taxes……and for being Christ, a king.
Luke 23:2 “And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king.”
Pilate asks Jesus if He is a king. Jesus reply’s, “Thou sayest it.” And tells Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36-38)
Pilate again asks, “Art thou a king then?”
Jesus answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, ad for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.”
Pilate’s classic answer: “What is truth?”
(Certainly Pilate was not usually acquainted with the truth. Deals, flattery, and deceit were what he knew. But he was standing in front of Truth.)
But he knew Jesus was innocent, so he went out, and tells the rulers he found no fault in Him. If they wanted to take Him and beat him, they could.
But His death was what they wanted.
2nd. When Pilate hears that Jesus was from Galilee, he thinks to get out of a judgement by sending Jesus to Herod.
But Jesus would not even speak to Herod, so Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate.
Luke 23:7, 11 “And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself was at Jerusalem at that time.
And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.”
Pilate can not get rid of Him.
Faced with a decision about Jesus, he again tries to release Him. (Even his wife tells him to “have nothing to do with that just man”. Matthew 27:19)
Luke 23:13-16 “And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people; and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him, and , lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
I will therefore chastise him, and release him.”
Jesus is then beaten, and brought again before Pilate. He thinks that if they see that Jesus was punished, they might think he had done enough.
3rd. When the chief priests see that Pilate might not put Jesus to death, they tell Pilate that Jesus made himself the Son of God. (John 19:7)
This frightens Pilate and he asks Jesus, “Whence art thou?”
Jesus refuses to speak, and Pilate speaks the words that will condemn him forever:
John 19:10 “Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?”
Yes, he had the power; but refused to use it as he knew he should.
John 19:12-13 “And from thencefore Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If you let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: Whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and set forth down in the judgement seat….”
That was the breaking point: they told him that he was not a friend of Caesar if he released Jesus,……for Jesus had made himself a king.
The politician’s heart in Pilate ruled that day.
(Did we let our position before men rule us? Or do we stand with Jesus, even when it means loss to us?)
Jesus was led out before the mob. He had been beaten and was wearing a crown of thorns and the purple robe.
Pilate cried: “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”
The chief priests had persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas, instead of Jesus. (Mark 15:11)
So Jesus was rejected one last time by a mob, crying, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.”
Three times Pilate tried to get out of the judgement of Jesus Christ, when all he had to to was do the right thing: Jesus was innocent, so release Him. This he knew, but refused to act upon….
….what will we do?
Pilate tried to persuade himself that he was innocent, and he washed his hands in front of the mob (Matthew 27:24), but Jesus’s blood will be required of him for eternity.
Mark 15:15 “And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”
We all make choices according to the ruling attitudes of our hearts and minds.
That is why it is so important for us to let Christ rule in our hearts as our King.
Then He can choose for us.
Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
What will we do with Jesus?
Will we acknowledge Him as our King? Even before others?