Cross-Examining The King
Topic: The Gospel Passage: John 18:28–18:38
The drama surrounding Jesus’ first appearance before Pontius Pilate unfolded in THREE PHASES all of which prove that Jesus was the innocent, sinless Son of God who died in the place of all those who repent and submit to Him as their Lord and King.
1. THE ACCUSATION (vv. 28-32)
The Sanhedrin reconvened for an early morning formal judgment because they were rushing to convict Jesus so that they could put Him to death before the Sabbath. Not able to accomplish this, Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate for civil judgment by the Romans. Ironically, during this quest, the Jews were overly concerned with remaining ceremonial clean for the Sabbath, while at the same time plotting to put God’s very Son to death. Although the Jews could have executed Jesus by stoning, it was not to be because this manner of death would not have fulfilled the prophesy that foretold how the Messiah was to die (Psalm 22).
2. THE AGGRAVATION (vv. 33-38a)
Pilate considered the request of the Jews to render judgment against Jesus as a major inconvenience. This meant leaving his seaside retreat to go to Jerusalem to conduct the trial. Pilate also did not consider the matter worthy of consideration, nor Jesus a threat to the Roman governance. Nevertheless, the Jews were insistent, and although Jesus was the one being questioned by Pilate, His concern was for Pilate’s salvation. This of course was a function of Pilate’s understanding and acceptance of truth, which is the truth of God as delivered by His Son (John 8:37).
3. THE ADJUDICATION (v. 38b)
Pilate found no guilt in Jesus. In fact, he was aware of the manner in which the Jews had sought to falsely accuse Jesus. However, he lacked the courage and justice to release Jesus from execution. However, as the sacrificial Lamb, it was HIs purpose to die a sinless death (Exodus 12). Indeed, it was Pilate that was on trial, just as we all are on trial because of the question that has been put to us by God. Just as for Pilate, we are asked: Who is your King?
Praise God for sending His Son to be the sinless, spotless Lamb who died to cover your sins. Thank Him for allowing you to hear and respond in repentance and faith to the truth about Jesus Christ. Ask Christ to continue to reign as the undisputed King and sovereign Lord in your life.