Jesus before Pilate: Judgment Day

TEXT: MATTHEW 27:15-31

Jesus is spending his last few hours on the Earth, and will be dead by 3 p.m. (the ninth hour of this day, which started at 6 a.m.). REFERENCE: Matthew 27:46.

The crowds and religious leaders that show up for Jesus' trial have devolved into brainless rioters, bent on Jesus' destruction. There is no reasoning which they will accept - their sole intent is to see Jesus dead. It is pure blood lust.

After they assure themselves that Jesus is dead, and believing they have done God a service,  they will go back to the Temple to minister to, or to worship, the God whose Son they have had a direct hand in seeing killed. And, like Pilate, they will attempt to symbolically wash Jesus' blood from their hands.

CHRONOLOGIES

Matthew and Mark's account of the trial show that Pilate knew the Jews brought Jesus before him because they were envious of Jesus (REFERENCE: Matthew 27:18 and Mark 15:10).

In Matthew 27:19, before Pilate makes his decision, and is sitting on the Roman seat of judgment, Mrs. Pilate sends word that she has had a bad dream about this "just man," Jesus, and to have nothing to do with sentencing Him.

In Matthew 27:24-25, we see Pilate washing his hands before the people declaring his innocence of Jesus' blood, and then the Jews saying that Jesus' blood would be upon their heads and upon their children's heads.

In John 19:12, we see the Jews' political attempt at invoking Caesar's name to force Pilate to judge Jesus guilty of death, and in John 19:15, we see the Jews saying their only king is Caesar.

WHY PILATE AGREED TO JUDGE JESUS

It is interesting to see what triggered Pilate's decision to give in to the Jews and judge Jesus.

Matthew said it was to prevent a riot (REFERENCE: Matthew 27:24. Mark said it was to please the people (REFERENCE: Mark 15:15).

Luke said Pilate delivered Jesus to the "will" of the Jews (REFERENCE: Luke 23:24-25). John said the final straw was when the  Jews intimated that they would tell Caesar that Pilate wasn't loyal to that emperor if he didn't crucify Jesus (REFERENCE: John 19:12).

BEATEN, SENTENCED

We see Jesus beaten by Roman soldiers, stripped, clothed in a purple robe and mocked as a "King of the Jews," then He was clothed again in His  own "street clothes" and returned to Pilate, where He is sentenced to death.

But there was more to come - Jesus would soon hang on a cross, where He would pour out the flow of blood, which was first begun with this beating, for the sins of the entire world, both Jew and Gentile.

And it would be that same blood that Jesus Himself would present to God the Father as a one-time offering on God's altar to atone for the sins of the world. (REFERENCE: Hebrews 7:27)

The beating and sentencing of Jesus, foretold in Isaiah 53;5, and also referring to his piercing and death at His crucifixion, secured for all mankind everything from forgiveness to healing. All we need to do is believe in Him and accept what He has done, confess that we are sinners and ask Him into our hearts.

Jesus - as God made flesh (John 1:14) -  took our beating and the full force of God's wrath, sentencing and judgment upon our sins (REFERENCE: John 1:12).

NO PITY, NO COMFORTERS

Perhaps one of the saddest things that Jesus felt is not written in the Gospels at all. It is in Psalm 69:19-20:

(verse 19) "Thou hast known my reproach and my shame, and my dishonor: mine adversaries are all before thee.

(verse 20) "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for  comforters, but I found none."

Historically, the Jews had often cried out to God for pity and comfort, but now that God's Son (God in the flesh) needed those things, He couldn't find any of His own people to extend those things to Him.

JUST STAND

In this passage, we also see something else.

When we cry out to God in the midst of a trial so heavy that our spirit groans within us, we find that God still pities us and comforts us - because He doesn't change.

We may get beaten up by circumstances, our past or even the Evil One, but counting on God to see us through is a strategy that always pays off. Sometimes, after we have called on God, the only thing we can do is refuse to go down (REFERENCE: Ephesians 6:13).

And at other times, standing may require that we crucify our fleshly wants and desires for a higher, more eternal, purpose.