166. Jesus’ trial before Roman Governor Pontius Pilate- Matt. 27:1-2, 11-26, Mark 15:1-15, Luke 23:1-7, 11-25, John 18:28-40; 19:1-16
-Of all the gospels, John is the one who gives us the most interaction between Jesus and Pontius Pilate during the period when He was delivered over to this governor and prefect over Judea in the time of Caesar Tiberius (a marker was found in 1961 in Caesarea Maritima indicating this historical fact). Pilate and Herod both were in Jerusalem at this pivotal moment for the Passover of the Jews. Pilate, we can observe, is respectful of the Jewish customs and traditions. By this demonstration and some of the words of the Gospel writers, we see in many respects his fear of the people and his desire to please them in order to keep a spirit of expedient tranquility. His desire was to release Jesus with some punishment, but he certainly did not want to condemn Him to death based on the charges that were levied and his conversations with the Lord. He was seeking truth, but he never could fully realize that Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life, was standing right before him. What a sad description for this man of the world who found himself at the spiritual climax of history with a major decision. This trial had all the intrigue one could ever want with crucial choices and rushed deliberation that typified the chaos of the hour and the mob mentality of group think. In the midst of it all, we are to understand that Jesus had all authority of the situation, but yielded His authority to the Father’s will and went to His death sacrificially without a fight because His Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36; 19:11). The cries for crucifixion in the end prevailed as Barabbas was released and Jesus was punished and scoffed at.
-*Application* God always gives us choice in the matter of spiritual things. Although He is still sovereign and His will prevails, we have a major part in the drama of this world. Make your decisions carefully realizing the eternal impact of them. Let God use you in your generation as He wills for His glory (Acts 13:36). Follow His Word and submit to His authority just as our Savior did.
Verses to Memorize- Matthew 27:25, John 18:36
167. Jesus beaten and mocked by soldiers- Matt. 27:27-31, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:1-3
-Jesus was flogged in the back, beaten with a reed on His head, spit upon, crowned with thorns twisted together and crushed down on His head, and was arrayed in a purple robe to be mocked as a defeated king by the Roman soldiers. He suffered immense verbal and physical torture as He went to His sacrificial death for the sins of mankind. Satan filled these mockers and they acted out in brutality against the King of kings and Lord of lords. *Application* This scene makes most, if not all, of our persecution that we receive pale in comparison to the torment that Jesus endured on our behalf. We should notice His response to every insult and blow. He returned blessing and love for every evil thing done against Him (Luke 23:34). This is the Law of Christ that we love our enemies and bless those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35, Romans 12:14).
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 27:29