Because Passover was near, the religious leaders passed Jesus on to Pilate. They did not want to contaminate their garments and be unable to celebrate. When asked His crime, their answer lacked substance, they merely labelled Him as an evildoer. When Pilate encouraged them to deal with Him themselves, they clung to their law. “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” Pilate however, struggled with Jesus’ crime, Jesus as truth, and where He was from.
Pilate desired to know what crime Jesus committed. The Jews’ vague answer of “evildoer” didn’t suffice. “Are You the King of the Jew?” he asked Jesus. What prompted this question? Jesus must have wondered for He asked him from where he got the idea. Pilate in defense, asked Jesus, “Am I a Jew?” He wanted to know why had His own turned Him in? What had He done? So, Jesus gave Pilate insight. “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, My servants would fight so that I would not be delivered to the Jews.”
Jesus as Truth
The insight brought Pilate back to the question. “Are you a King then?” Jesus proceeded to tell him He was, and the reason He was born. The reason He came into this world was to bear witness to the truth. “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate then deflected by asking Jesus the famous question, “What is truth?” If he had known Jesus, he would have known Him as truth for Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth.”
Where Jesus was From
Still, Pilate found no fault in Jesus, but labelled Him, “King of the Jews.” He was the King they rejected for a robber. Pilate handed Him over, still declaring Jesus as faultless as far as he was concerned.. The Jewish leaders declared, “He made Himself the Son of God.” John tells us that this news made Pilate even more afraid. Therefore he went to Jesus and asked where He was from. When Jesus didn’t reply, Pilate claimed his power over Jesus for life or for death. Jesus, however, quickly informed Pilate that the only power He had over Him was received from above. Those who delivered Him to Pilate had the greater sin. From then on, Pilate tried to have Jesus released. But, they told him, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” In the end the people cried out, “We have no king but Caesar.”
These Jews did not recognize Jesus as the Son of God. They showed who they were by not hearing His voice. They made Him out to be a liar and refused to know the truth. In the end they chose to crucify Him and submit to a Roman Caesar who made himself a god. Pilate struggled with Jesus’ crime, Jesus as truth, and where He was from.