The Truth On Trial.
Matthew 27:2-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-38
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” – John 18:37 NIV
Jesus had been brought before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Now the Jewish religious leaders would have to convince Pilate that Jesus was a threat to his government and worthy of death. I find it fascinating that these men were more than willing to use the Roman governor to carry out their plan to put Jesus to death, but refused to set foot in his house because of fear that it would defile them. What a clear contrast between their religion and what Jesus came to offer. He had spent His time with tax collectors and sinners. He had ministered to Roman centurions and Samaritans. He would have had no problem walking into Pilate’s home, because Pilate was just the sort of person Jesus came to save. But on this occasion, the high council of the Jews stood outside Pilate’s headquarters shouting accusations against Jesus. The charge of blasphemy, while more than enough cause for death as far as the Jews were concerned, would have meant nothing to Pilate. So they accused Jesus of a litany of trumped up charges, including telling the people not to pay their taxes to Rome. But Jesus would not respond to any of these false accusations. The only time He spoke was in reference to the truth regarding Him being the King of the Jews. Jesus explained, “My kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36 NLT). The truth was, Jesus was a King. He was the King of kings and the Lord of lords. But His kingdom was of a completely different class and kind than that to which Pilate was familiar. Jesus had a throne, but it awaited Him in heaven. His kingdom was much greater and grander than anything the Romans or Caesar himself could ever imagine. For the time being, Satan would remain king of the world. He would maintain his authority and rule over the lives of men for a little while longer, but even that was going to change.
Jesus was not just a king, He was THE King. And it was for that reason He was born and why He came into the world. He was born to be King and He would die because He was King. But few, including Pilate, would recognize the truth of His claim. In fact, Pilate asked Jesus the age-old question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38 NLT). Which is ironic, because the one who referred to Himself as the way, the truth and the life was standing right in front of him. But Pilate didn’t acknowledge the truth of who Jesus was, even though he referred to Jesus as, “this King of the Jews” when asking the Jews what they wanted him to do with Him. He found Jesus guilty of nothing more than claiming to be the King of the Jews, and it would be for this reason that Jesus would ultimately die. No other charge was ever proven against Him except that one. He acknowledged no other accusation against Himself, except that one. The truth was that Jesus was the King of the Jews. The truth was that Jesus was going to sacrifice His life for that of His own people. He was the King who would give up His life for the citizens of His own Kingdom.
Father, the more I study the last days of Your Son’s life on this planet, the more I am blown away by the sheer magnitude of what He did for me. All of the events surrounding His final days are packed with meaning and overflowing with significance. Here was the King of kings standing before a lowly Roman governor, placing Himself at the mercy of a mere man and allowing him to decide His fate. Here was the King of the Jews allowing the so-called religious leaders of the Jewish people to falsely accuse Him and demand His execution. Here was the creator of the world allowing His own creation to treat Him like a common criminal. All so that the truth could be made known. His death was part of the truth. His selfless sacrifice was part of the truth. His substitionary death was part of the truth. His resurrection would be part of the truth. And His eventual return will fulfill all truth. He was exactly who He claimed to be. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men