Jesus is still before Pilate in our reading today. I wonder where “the other disciple” is at this point in time. Could he have been following along with Jesus? That would explain the increased amount of dialogue we have from John concerning Pilate’s questioning of Jesus. But the Holy Spirit could have just as easily have provided this information.
After questioning the religious leaders about why they brought Jesus to him, Pilate called Jesus into his headquarters for a private discussion. The religious leaders would not come in because they needed to remain clean to eat the Passover supper. They wanted Jesus dead but they weren’t willing to risk their own “holiness” in order to accomplish the task. Leave the dirty work to someone else. Did they really think they would escape their guilt this way?! They may not have carried the consequences of entering a gentile establishment with them to that meal but they certainly carried the guilt of innocent blood with them. Which also brings up another side point. Jesus and His disciples already ate the Passover supper while the religious leaders hadn’t, which lends even more credence to Jesus death coinciding with the death of the Passover lamb.
When Jesus and Pilate are away from the religious leaders Pilate gets down to looking for the truth. “Are Yu the King of the Jews?” (verse 33). At no point did the religious leaders tell Pilate that Jesus was claiming to be their King. So where did Pilate hear this information? I’m assuming that at some time Pilate had heard about Jesus and all He was doing in the region. What good leader would have missed such a monumental event as Jesus ministering to THOUSANDS of people over a three and a half year period? Pilate heard the people’s voices even when the religious leaders chose to ignore them. Jesus never claimed to be King but did speak of His and the Father’s Kingdom and His Kingdom on several occasions. Those claims must have made it back to Pilate. But before Pilate Jesus confirmed that He was indeed a King.
“My Kingdom is not of this world” (verse 36a). Even Pilate picked up on that answer; “So you are a King?” (verse 37a).
Jesus refocused Pilate’s attention onto the true reason He came in the first place. “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world- to bear witness to the truth. Spreading God’s truth was what Jesus had been doing to this point. Now it is time to fulfill the final part of God’s plan; purchasing the salvation of those who would inhabit God’s Kingdome later on. Without Jesus’ work there would be no one to inhabit God’s Kingdom.
Pilate had a VERY good question that many still ask today; “What is truth?” (verse 38). In our world they say “truth is relative.” In some ways this is true, but when it comes to God’s word there is only ONE truth. The truth that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, that He lived and died to purchase our salvation, and that there is NO other way to God but through Him. THIS is the truth Jesus presented to Pilate that morning.
Pilate came up with the only conclusion in the face of this truth. “I find no guild in Him” (verse 38b). In other words, He speaks the truth. That was the truth the Jews refused to accept, then and now. This truth divides the world forever. Accept this truth and live. Deny it and die. Jesus’ reason for being born. I wonder if Pilate ever accepted the truth. He “washed his hands” of Jesus’ blood that day but did he ever choose to apply it to his heart?
Thank You Jesus for the truth of Your love! Thank You for your willingness to even enter into this fallen world. I’m so sorry that some still refuse to accept the immutable truth of Your life. Please Lord help me to NEVER deny that truth, no matter what! Thank You for applying Your blood to my heart; to my whole life. Help me always measure all “truth” according to Your truth.