Jesus met Pilate
Reading: John 18:33-40
Additional Reading: Mark 9:31
k-hymns: 490, 488
Blanks: idea, kingdom, king, truth
(2) Who was Pilate?
How did Pilate got here?
(2) In the time of Jesus, the map of Israel was like this.
One time, Herod was a king over these areas for Roman Government.
Then after his death, his three sons ruled over these areas.
But Archelaus the tetrarch was not doing his job well.
So the emperor fired him.
Then the emperor needed to find someone else.
Then his friend, Sejanus mentioned about Pilate.
Sejanus was a friend of Pilate.
So the emperor gave this new job to Pilate.
In this way, Pilate became a governor over Judea.
(3) But then Pilate didn’t know much about Jewish religious customs.
He didn’t respect Jewish religious culture.
For example, because the Bible said this:
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:4)
The Jewish people didn’t want to have any graven image in Jerusalem.
But Pilate continually tried to bring roman graven images into Jerusalem.
So Jewish people protested.
For many Jews, this was an important matter.
They were like:
“God commanded this.
So we must do this.”
But Pilate didn’t care.
So Pilate violated their religious customs.
Sometimes, Pilate threatened to kill them.
But those Jewish people were willing to die for this.
Then, Pilate decided to give what they wanted.
In another time, the Jewish leaders reported to the emperor.
Then the emperor ordered Pilate to remove those graven image.
But still Pilate violated again and again their religious custom and upset Jewish people.
(2) Then the Jewish religious leaders hated another person for violating Jewish religious custom.
His name was Jesus.
Jesus was a Jew.
So he knew very well about the Jewish religious custom.
But he liked to change some of those.
He thought that some of them were wrong.
So he didn’t follow when he believed that it was wrong.
Instead, Jesus was trying to teach them.
For example, according to Jewish religious custom healing a person on the Sabbath was a violation of the Sabbath.
Therefore it was a sin for them.
But Jesus didn’t think so.
(3) He healed many people on the Sabbath.
Then the Jewish religious leaders asked him to stop.
But Jesus was like:
“I am healing people, because God wants to heal these people through me on the Sabbath.”
Another example is that:
Some Jewish religious leaders thought that eating with sinners was no, no.
(3) But Jesus was a friend of sinners and ate with them.
You see, Jesus was violating their customs to teach them so that they could understand the way of God.
But because Jesus lived like this and challenged Jewish religious customs, Jewish religious leaders hated him.
They thought that Jesus was not respecting them like other Jews.
They were also afraid of Jesus’ way of life.
Jesus’ way of life could shake everything what they taught.
(3) Then one day the Jewish religious leaders captured Jesus at night.
Then they were like:
“Jesus, you have blasphemed God, when you say that you are the Son of God.
So according to our Jewish custom, we should kill you.”
But then a few years ago, the Roman Government said:
“The Jewish people could not kill anyone.
Only the Roman Government had that power.”
So in order to kill Jesus, now they needed Pilate the governor.
(3) So they decided to accuse Jesus before Pilate, saying:
“Jesus is saying that he is a king.
He is conspiring against Rome.
Pilate, if you are loyal to the emperor, you need to get rid of him.
He is trying to fight against Romans.”
They hated Jesus and what Jesus had done.
So they worked hard to make Pilate to crucify Jesus.
They were pressing on.
So Pilate asked Jesus:
(3) "Are you claiming to be a king?”
Jesus was like:
"Are you saying that I am a king?
Do you think I am a king?”
Pilate was like:
"No, do I look like a Jew?
I don’t know what you guys are talking about.
Your religious leaders turned you over to me.
What did you do?"
But Jesus was like:
"Well, I am different.
If I was trying to build my kingdom here, my followers would have fought with religious leaders.
If I want to build my kingdom here, my followers might have fought with your soldiers.
But that is not what I am here for.
Well, you cannot see my kingdom.
My kingdom is from another place.”
Jesus knew that he is the King of the Universe.
And he was not interested in overthrowing this Roman government now.
But Pilate was not understanding.
Pilate was like:
"So, you are a king.”
Then Jesus was like:
"Yes, I am a king.
In fact, that is why I was born.
But right now, I came into the world to tell people about the truth.
And everyone who loves the truth listens to me.”
Pilate could not understand.
So Pilate was like:
“So what is truth?”
(3) Then he went outside to talk to the Jewish leaders.
Pilate was like:
“He is innocent according to Roman laws.
Now it is Passover.
It is our custom to release you one prisoner.
Do you want me to release this king of the Jews?”
In the Passover season many Jews were in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.
So Pilate released one prisoner just to help them enjoy this season and be quiet.
Pilate didn’t want Jewish people to be upset or uprising.
(3) But the religious leaders were shouting:
“No, no, no, not him!
Give us Barabbas!”
Barabbas was a criminal.
The religious leaders were shouting for him, because they wanted to get rid of Jesus.
Pilate might have thought that he could put Jesus in jail awhile until things got quiet.
Pilate might have wanted to release Jesus after that.
But these Jewish religious leaders determined to kill Jesus.
They were so motivated to kill him.
Pilate was scared of them acting strange.
And Pilate realized that he could not talk them out of this.
So he gave in.
He gave up doing what was right, even though he knew Jesus was innocent.
Maybe he thought that one Jewish life was not that important.
(3) Also at this time, Pilate was not political safe either.
His good friend, Sejanus was killed because people thought he conspired against the emperor Tiberius.
So Pilate needed to be very careful.
So he might have thought that he didn’t have power to do what was right here.
So he ordered his soldiers to crucify Jesus.
Pilate didn’t do what was right.
(3) So Jesus died on the cross.
But Jesus died to take away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
And Jesus was dying to take away the sins of Pilate.
Soon after this, Pilate was recalled to Rome for his harsh treatment against the Samaritans.
And his political career was over.
And we don’t know what happened to Pilate.
But then Jesus rose from the death and went to heaven and sat on his throne as the King of the Universe to judge the world one day.
(3) And if Pilate learned enough to have faith in Jesus, he could have eternal life through Jesus the Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Hopefully, Pilate eventually believed that Jesus rose from the death.
Hopefully Pilate studied about the story of Jesus.
Hopefully Pilate understood enough and believed in Jesus and had eternal life.
Jesus, help us to listen to your voice and understand.
Help us to understand what you are saying to us.
Then help us to do what is right as you encourage us to do what is right.
Help us to understand your way and follow your way.
In Jesus name, we pray.