Tag: trial before Pilate
Scripture reading for October 14th: Matthew 26-28
Those who have grown up in the church have heard the story of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and crucifixion many times. This story is a key to our redemption from the ravages of sin because it tells of a Savior who willingly took our sin and loved us so much that He gave His life for us. No one really took His life from Him; He offered it on our behalf as a part of God’s plan to bring us back to Himself. Today, as we look at this story, I want us to focus on Jesus and His sacrifice for us.
Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot for a mere thirty pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:14-15) Why Judas sold his Master, we are not actually told, except that he belonged to the evil one and was not one of the true disciples. He fulfilled Scripture in Zechariah 11:12-13 that was written about him several hundred years in advance. The Jews sent temple guards to follow Judas to the place where Jesus was praying with His disciples. Judas betrayed his master with a kiss. Jesus told Judas and his followers to do what they came for and offered no resistance.
He was taken to Caiaphas, the High Priest, and the Sanhedrin, who met early in the morning, to try to find a way to put Jesus to death. (Matthew 27:1) Caiaphas asked Jesus directly if He was the Christ, Son of the living God. Jesus answered “yes” and told him that in the future he would see Jesus seated at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:63-64) The council pronounced a death sentence, spit on Him, and struck Him with their fists. His trusted disciples deserted Him and Peter denied Him three times as Jesus had predicted.
Jesus then stood before Pilate, the Roman governor, the only one with authority to put Him to death. Pilate listened to the Jews’ charges and then asked Jesus if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus again answered “yes”. Jesus made no other defense against the charges, to Pilate’s amazement! Pilate had been warned by his wife not to have anything to do with Jesus because of a troubling dream that she had. He tried to get the crowd to release Jesus, but they insisted on having a criminal released and demanded Jesus be crucified.
Pilate symbolically washed his hands of the innocent Jesus’ blood and placed the responsibility on the people. They willingly stated: “Let His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:25) Ironically, it is the blood of Jesus alone that can cleanse us all from our sin. We all have done that which caused God to take this drastic measure to save us. It is a wonderful act of grace for Jesus to give His blood for the redemption of those who would crucify Him. We who are saved have willingly confessed our sins and asked that “Jesus blood cover us”. May it cover our children too!