PILATE PASSES THE BUCK
(see Matthew 27:1-11, Mark 15:1-2,
Luke 23:1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
Susie: Jesus had been brought before the Sanhedrin (comparable to our Supreme Court). Follow this link for an in depth description of this ruling body: https://www.gotquestions.org/Sanhedrin.html
Susan: The High Priest pronounced Jesus guilty of blasphemy after He answered that He was, indeed, the Son of God. The Sanhedrin confirmed the guilty verdict.
Susie: Since Israel was under Roman rule at the time, the Sanhedrin could not carry out the sentence of death required by the Law given to Moses in the case of blasphemy. Therefore, as a body, they arose and took Jesus before the Roman governor, Pilate, to seek the death penalty.
Susan: The religious leaders had no choice but to pass the case on to the governor because they were under Roman law.
Luke 23:2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
Susie: All who lived in Roman colonies were required to pay taxes to Caesar. The first accusation they brought against Jesus (a false one) was that He told the people they should not pay taxes to the Romans. However, the exact opposite was true. Here’s what Jesus had taught when asked whether to pay taxes to Rome and shown the coin with Caesar’s image engraved on it:
Luke 20:25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.
Susan: Then they accused Jesus of claiming to be their king with the implication that He planned to lead a rebellion and overthrow Caesar.
Susie: In essence, they were accusing Jesus of treason, a capital offence worthy of the death penalty.
Luke 23:3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
Luke 23:3 (VOICE) Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews? Jesus: It’s as you say.
Susan: Pilate was most interested in whether Jesus truly claimed to be the King of the Jews because this would be a crime against the Roman ruler, Caesar. If he were to let the leader of a rebellion against Caesar go free, it would upset his own apple cart. He could lose his position as governor or even his head! He was not so much concerned with justice as to the impact any decision he made would have on his own easy street.
Susie: Jesus’s answer seems to be ambiguous in some translations implying that Pilate called Him a king rather than Himself. However, commentators agree that the phrasing of Jesus’s answer was an admission to the truth of the statement that He was king. Therefore, we included The Voice translation’s, “It’s as you say.”
Luke 23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
Susan: Even though Jesus admitted to having kingly authority, Pilate was reluctant to condemn Jesus to crucifixion.
Susie: Pilate told the Jewish leaders he could find nothing to prove Jesus worthy of death.
Luke 23:5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
Susan: Jesus’s accusers then brought out the magnitude of His influence throughout the nation of Israel from Galilee to Judah. They implied that everywhere He went, Jesus was creating an undercurrent of discord and encouraging rebellion against Rome. All of this was false testimony.
Susie: When Jesus spoke of the “Kingdom of God,” He was not, as some of His own people even thought, planning a rebellion against Roman rule. He was speaking of the rule of the Lord in men’s hearts no matter what earthly government was in authority. He explained that more clearly to Pilate as laid out in John’s gospel:
John 18:36-37 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Luke 23:6-7 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
Susie: Pilate’s ears perked up when he heard the word “Galilee.”
Susan: This is the moment that the bell went, “Ding, ding, ding” in his head and he thought, “I’m free! Thank goodness, I’m free!” He realized Jesus was no longer his responsibility. He could pass the buck to Herod!!!
Ponder this and Apply it: When everything seems to be going wrong, we often ask, “Where is God in all this?” It seems that Jesus is totally at the mercy of the Sanhedrin, Pilate, and now Herod. It’s a game of ping-pong and Jesus is the ball! However, God is sovereign and was using all these players to bring about His own desired end—that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin. We make our plans, we make choices (good or bad), but God is still in control of the ultimate outcomes.
Proverbs 16:1 (VOICE) People go about making their plans, but the Eternal has the final word.