Life is a daily encounter. One day may be high while the next may be low. Into each day come the challenge of choice. Will we choose well? Will we choose wisely?
John 19:11-16 Pilate’s greatest test.
A. We touched verse 11 last week, Jesus answer to Pilate concerning what type of authority Pilate really had and where does authority come from. As Christians, we should have an easier understanding of authority. The Bible says we must submit to God and the authorities, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Romans 13:1 In Ephesians 5:21 Paul is urging the church in Ephesus to live in harmony with one another, describing ways to be at peace within the members of the body and he ends this general advice with, “submitting to one another in the fear of God.” This is the fellowship aspect of submission. Peter spoke to this as well, 1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’” Without submission to God’s authority the church can become just as dysfunctional as our secular culture, where everything is a battle for power.
The second portion of verse 11 requires some analysis. Jesus concluding words to Pilate are, “Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” Are there categories of sin. Big sins versus little sins? Major sins versus minor sins?
Sin – the word itself in Greek, hamartia, means missing the mark______________________________
Pilate – Pilate repeated over and over, “I find no fault in this Man”. ____________________________
“the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin”. Who might Jesus be describing?
1) The Jews and the religious leaders – ___________________________________________________
2) Caiaphas – the leader of the conspiracy who first recommended that Jesus die so the nation would be saved, John 11:49-50. Caiaphas represents those unfaithful shepherds mentioned by so many prophets:
“Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.” Isaiah 56:11
3) Judas – _________________________________________________________________________
Whichever group Jesus meant, or perhaps all of them, we can count ourselves among them for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I think the issue of greater might go toward the dynamic of our responsibilities. ____________________________________________________________________
Verse 12 speaks of Pilate’s last ditch attempt to release Jesus. The problem obviously, is his audience. The NKJV renders the text “Pilate sought to release Him” and the KIV renders the word tried. The Greek verb used here reflects the idea of multiple attempts. Jesus adversaries are crafty. They attack Pilate in his greatest vulnerability, “If you let this Man go you are not Caesar’s friend”. ____________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________
So Pilate takes the next step. He moves to the judgment seat. It is time for official business (13). ____
D. Verse 14 is difficult for scholars since John relates that it was preparation day for the Passover while the Synoptics relate that Jesus has already eaten the meal on preparation day. The difficulty is not in the series of events but in their placement within a week long Feast of Unleavened Bread.
E. If you have a heart of compassion then the action of the Jews in verse 15 is what troubles you the most: Pilate offers them their King and they tell Him what they desire. Crucify Him! Crucify Him!
F. So Pilate relents (verse 16). He turns Jesus over to be crucified, meaning his guards take Jesus away and their destination with be a hill called Golgotha.
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