Today’s passage: John 18:28-40
- Pilate rightly desired a charge against Jesus before proceeding. The Jewish leaders’ response could be summed up by saying, “We don’t really have anything according to your law, but he deserves to die according to ours.”
- Rome would not permit the Jews to put anyone to death on their own, without their approval.
- Pilate’s first instinct, thinking Jesus had probably only violated the Jewish law, was to send Him back to the Sanhedrin. Once he knew the offense was capital, he sought more information by asking the question, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
- A man calling himself the “King of the Jews” would make him an enemy of Caesar and guilty of treason. Once again, the trial was used to attempt to coax Jesus into committing a capital offense.
- Jesus does not deny, He is King! But, at that moment, He was no threat to Caesar. He had not come to conquer Rome.
- He had come to speak the truth, to be the Word (John 1:1-5, 14).
- Pilate declared Jesus, “not guilty.”
- He knew the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus dead, but he sought a way for the people to release Him. They chose a known sinner instead.
Questions to consider:
- What did the Jews believe that Jesus was doing that deserved death? What was the “evil” He had “done?” (Matthew 26:64-66) What was Jesus actually convicted for being guilty of by the Jews?
- What crime was Pilate trying to coax Jesus toward? What is the irony of both the Jewish and Roman (Gentile) crimes? Why shouldn’t Jesus Christ be executed for believing He is the Son of God and King of Kings?
- What picture does Barnabas paint for us, the readers of this passage? Between Barnabas and Jesus, who had truly sinned? Who died a sinner’s death? Who lived? How does this picture our salvation through Jesus’ death?