As Pontius Pilate was finishing his breakfast an aide approached. “Sir, the Jewish leaders have an item they insist is of utmost importance. They seem to have a prisoner. They want to see you right away.”
Pilate crammed the last piece of bacon in his mouth. “Very well, send them in.”
The aide held his position. “But, Sir, it’s the Passover…”
Pilate chewed his food, then swallowed. “That’s right. I forgot. If they come into a Gentile’s house they’ll be defiled (he raised a hand) so they can’t eat their holy meal. These have got to be the most obstinate people on the planet. Tell them I’ll be there shortly.”
As Pilate approached the group he looked at Jesus, a very unimposing figure at best. “What accusations do you bring against this man?”
“If He wasn’t an evildoer we wouldn’t have brought Him to you.”
Pilate inspected the rope holding Jesus’s hands behind His back. “You have enough laws of your own why don’t you judge Him according to those?”
“We’re not allowed to put anyone to death.”
Pilate’s head snapped up. “What, exactly, has He done?”
“He’s subverting the masses. He insists that they not pay taxes to Caesar. If He continues the people will revolt and rise up against you. You need to put a stop to this while you can.”
Pilate came around and looked at Jesus’s face. “Don’t you hear what they’re saying?”
Jesus stared straight ahead.
Pilate looked at his guard. “Take Him inside at once.”
As the guard led Jesus away Pilate approached the group. “So far I have heard nothing that implicates this man of anything deserving of death. Perhaps a good Roman scourging would be enough to stop His nonsense.”
A chief priest stepped forward. “He insists that He is Christ, a king. We have no king but Caesar. If you let this man go free you are no friend of Caesar’s. Death is the only way you can stop Him.”
Pilate spun on his heals and went up to Jesus in the Praetorium. “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus looked at him. “Are you asking for your own reasons, or did someone else put that idea in your head?”
Pilate paced in front of Jesus. “Am I a Jew? You could say that you are god for all I care. I have many gods to choose from. You Jews are the ones who insist there is only one God. Your own leaders have delivered you to me, probably out of jealousy from more people following you instead of them. What , exactly, have you done?”
Jesus shook His head. “My kingdom isn’t here or now. If it were My disciples would have fought off those who brought Me to you.”
Pilate stopped in front of Jesus. “So, you are a king then.”
Jesus looked into his eyes. “Yes, I am a king. I was born into this world to declare the truth. All those who are of the truth hear My voice.”
“What is truth?!” Pilate stomped out to the waiting crowd. Jesus heard him say. “I have found nothing wrong in this man.”
“What is truth?” Does that sound like a question a politician would ask, or what? You see, the Roman Empire in Jesus’s day was at about the same place the American democracy is at now. The lines of what’s right and wrong have become so clouded that truth is the first casualty.
Jesus recognized this condition at the time of His crucifixion. That’s why He sent up a prayer in His agony. “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing.”
I think His petition was multi-directional. It was aimed at the Roman soldiers who were merely following orders; at Pilate who was following the whims of the crowd; at Peter who was following his own insecurities; at the Jewish leaders who were following the Satanic influence that had crept into their midst; and at all mankind as we merely followed our inherited sin nature to place Him there in the first place.
Truth–it seems so hard to pin down in this day and age, but it really isn’t. The Bible spells it out for us. It also spelled it out to the Jews who insisted Jesus be put to death 20 centuries ago. Power clouded their vision of the truth. That’s why they didn’t recognize God’s promised Messiah when He came to them.
Pilate was so busy trying to govern the Jews while appeasing Caesar the he couldn’t keep up with Jesus’s teachings. There’s no way Pilate would have known that Jesus made the claim of being the Truth. John 14:6 occurs after Jesus washed the disciple’s feet, Judas has left to complete his deed, Peter has been told he will deny Jesus soon, and before Jesus prays earnestly. In answering questions from the disciples Jesus makes the statement, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Perhaps Pilate would have rephrased his question to ask, “Who is Truth?” But, the fact that he didn’t wait around for Jesus’s reply tells us that He wasn’t of the truth, otherwise he would have heard Jesus’s voice and, therefore, would have found the truth right in front of him.
Satan has been twisting the truth since people were created. The ‘master manipulator’ used it to trick Adam and Eve in their garden, but he couldn’t achieve the same results with Jesus in the wilderness at His greatest point of weakness, the end of a 4o day fast. The Truth couldn’t be manipulated.
What about you? Have you found the truth in Jesus? Do you hear His voice, probably not audibly, but in your heart. Have you heard Him say, “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Please do. Before the truth is lost to you for all eternity.
I’ll see you later. Wade