biblestudy: John (Part Twenty-Seven)
John 18:29 - 19:24 Pilate's Futile Attempts to Acquit an Innocent Man
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 02-Jun-87; Sermon #BS-JO27; 85 minutes
Jesus Christ remained totally in control of the events of His trial, including His own prediction that He would be crucified under Roman law. The hate-obsessed Jewish leaders had to pull a bait-and-switch trick as they maneuvered the trial from the high priest, Caiaphas, to Pontius Pilate, surreptitiously changing the spurious charge from blasphemy to insurrection. Pilate, who realized that Jesus was innocent, caved in to the Jewish leaders' demands because of political expediency and fear of mob insurrection. Pilate's attempts at appeasement led to the scourging of an innocent Man and the release of a hardened criminal. Jesus had compassion upon Pilate, realizing that the well-meaning, frustrated, and intimidated procurator was only a victim of predestined circumstances. Ironically, these hypocritical Jewish religious leaders, while meticulously keeping themselves ceremonially clean for their Passover, contemplated the vilest murder imaginable. Sadly, all of us have a part in this murder. The sacrifice (the hideous crucifixion) that Jesus purposed Himself to undergo justifies all of us of sins we have committed in the past, reconciling us with the Father. As we continue to confess our sins to our High Priest and follow the life of Christ, we are saved from the second death. The soldiers who callously gambled for Christ's garments (while their Messiah died) constitute a microcosm of humanity. Persistence in refusing to pay homage to our Savior constitutes the unpardonable sin.
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