DELIVERED TO PONTIUS PILATE
Matthew 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
John 18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. 29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? 30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. 31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: 32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. 33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
The Lord Jesus Christ was no victim in this matter, he was not simply overcome by the forces of harlot religion and that of the state government! For no one could take the life of THE LIFE Himself! John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
This you can readily see from these words in John 19:11, which he spoke to Pilate – Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: and in Romans 13:1 …For there is no power (that is, no civil authority), but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
The Lord had previously, very clearly revealed to his disciples on their way up to Jerusalem that these things would happen! Matthew 20:17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. Therefore we see that this was the appointed time in which he fully intended to lay down his life, which no power in the universe could force him to do, or hinder him from doing!
And we can learn from the preaching of the apostles after the Holy Spirit came, concerning these purposes being carried out in the Lord’s sovereign use of all the characters whom he had raised up for such a time as this! For all men are God’s servants, whether Judas, or Peter, or Pilate. But all men are not his sons!
Here is what the Lord had to say concerning Cyrus, a heathen king: Isaiah 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; 5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Now consider some of the passages of the preaching of the apostles concerning the involvements of these individuals: Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Acts 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
And here is a portion of the Apostle Paul’s message at Antioch: Acts 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30 But God raised him from the dead:
The Lord Jesus, here in Pilate’s judgment hall was ‘acting out’ the gospel! For the gospel is just what He said and did! Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, And that “former treatise” was the Gospel of Luke!
And no one can come into the awareness of the presence of the Holy God and not be affected! Even this seasoned Roman politician, even at this time of Christ’s humbling himself to the cross, was caused to “marvel greatly” at his self control in keeping silent! Matthew 27:14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
But why did the Lord remain silent? He instructed his disciples concerning this. John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. The voice of God in the gospel has to be silenced for the encroachment of Satan.
And if the kingdom of Satan had known that God was going to give eternal life to his people, and destroy Satan’s kingdom, they would never have crucified the Lord! (See Hebrews 2:14,15). 1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Pilate not only marveled at the Lord’s silence, but he also marveled at his death! Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
These two things which caused this professional politician to marvel shall also be the cause of the human population to marvel. All those outside of redeeming grace shall be strongly effected by his silence to them! For they have assumed that, because ‘God hasn’t stepped out of heaven to correct me, I must be all right!’ They falsely assume that God’s silence regarding their sin is his approval! But consider these verses: Psalm 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
But those blessed with redeeming mercies and grace, shall bask in his peaceful silence in their souls! Their souls, hearts, and minds shall be at peace with God, abiding in the stillness and silence of his glorious peace! Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Their bodies, being his temple, shall be filled with the knowledge of his glory, and abiding peace and complete rest shall be theirs in Christ Jesus! John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. For his kingdom is a kingdom of peace and joy! Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Then the death of Jesus of Nazareth shall be the sole cause for the eternal placement of every soul ever born on planet Earth! John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
His death and resurrection provides the spiritual, eternal life for all believers! John 14:19 …because I live, ye shall live also. John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? For the resurrection is not just an event! It is a Person! The power of his resurrecting energies shall be that which raises all from the graves, both from sin in regeneration, and from the earth at the last day!
John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. That is regeneration – being borned again – spiritual resurrection! John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, But this is concerning the physical resurrection of dead bodies from the earth!
And how is the wrath of God described that shall break forth on all unbelievers, even though they have thought God to be ‘such a one as themselves?’ It is described as “the wrath of the Lamb!” Revelation 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
One would think that it should say, “The wrath of the Lion!” But the wisdom of God provides his just wrath along with the connection of why it is so issued! It is because they have not believed in the Lamb of God, his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. For their sin is exclusively defined by the Holy Spirit as their refusing to receive the Lord Jesus Christ in his marvelous atonement for sin! John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; For the sin of unbelief is unforgivable!
Let’s take a closer look at Pilate. He knew why the Jews had delivered the Lord to him for execution. Matthew 27:18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. He sought to release the Lord. John 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
Pilate was made afraid to have part in this matter of executing a just man! John 19:8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
And the Lord told him that the Jews who had delivered him unto Pilate had the greater sin. John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Mr. Pilate has long since left the stage of life, having committed suicide after a trial in Rome found him guilty. Both he and the Son of God died after a personal trial found them guilty. But it is your time of life now. And in which death do you wish to have the Lord God judge you? – In the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God to cleanse you of your sin? Or in the vain glorious life of some temporary honor that shall lead to your eternal ruin? May God have mercy!
Pastor Gene Breed
May 8, 2015