13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” 17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).
18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.
20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”
23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
As we read this account of Christ before Pilate and Herod and the people, several thoughts come to mind. Jesus did not deserve any of this treatment, He had done nothing sinful. Neither Pilate, the magistrate nor Herod, the king could find any fault in Jesus and tried to dissuade the people from their blood thirst for Christ. When Pilate offered the release of Jesus as was customary on Passover, the people wanted a common criminal released, one who had stolen from them, and they wanted the sinless Jesus condemned.
Nothing is right about this picture! In any study of law everything done here was irregular at best and downright illegal at the worst. There was no reason for the government officials who were acting as the judges of this trial to give in to the crowd and kill an innocent man. Surely even this decision went against every part of their being. Even the wife of Pilate sent him a message to leave this man alone for she had suffered in a dream because of this situation.
Just five days earlier, many in this crowd laid palm branches and their own coats at the feet of the donkey that was carrying Jesus through Jerusalem. They proclaimed Him the blessed one who had come in the name of the Lord. They proclaimed, “Hosanna to the son of David, Hosanna in the highest.” And now they were following the religious leaders to cries of “crucify Him.” Nothing is right about this picture!
There is one important thing that is right here. Jesus, God in the flesh, was doing exactly what God the Father wanted done. Jesus was submitting to the altar of cross. The angry multitudes, thinking they were finally getting their way, were also accomplishing the express will of the Father. It was prophesied that they would mock the Messiah. Pilate and Herod, going against all that they knew was right, were also accomplishing the exact will of the Father who had prophesied that Jesus would be beaten for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. It had been prophesied that nails would pierce His hands and His feet. Jesus was called the Lamb of God and a lamb had to be slaughtered.
What was right about this event? God was doing His will through everything that men were doing wrong. They thought they were getting what they wanted, when in reality, they were doing exactly what God wanted. This Good Friday, thank God for His perfect plan for our salvation from our sin; thank Jesus for submitting to the perfect will of the Father so that His sacrifice would take our eternal penalty.
If you are in Jakarta, join us tonight as we focus on the seven sayings of Christ from the cross. It will be a somber evening as we look at the broken Savior. We will end our time together observing the Lord’s Table remembering Him in the broken bread and juice. This begins at 6:00 at JIBC.
Take time Sunday to enjoy the resurrection of Christ with your church family. Resurrection Sunday is greater than Christmas Day because it reminds us of the completed life of Christ. We rejoice in His birth but if Christ had not gone to the cross and the grave we would still be lost in our sins. Rejoice in the justifying resurrection this Lord’s Day.
Have a great day in the Lord,