Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, March 14, 2016
No Fault Nonsense
At the insistence of the crowd and against the advice of both his wife and his conscience, Pontius Pilate pardoned Barabbas, the murderer, instead of pardoning the innocent Jesus Christ. Despite Christ’s lack of guilt, Pilate’s next step was to have Jesus flogged. At the conclusion of the flogging and abuse, Pilate attempted to hand Jesus over to the Jewish prosecutors in hope they would now be satisfied and drop the prosecution. To his dismay and anger, they refused to take Him. Pilate’s ensuing plea was both pathetic and contradictory (John 19:4-7).
Pilate first indicated he had found no fault with Jesus, the prisoner. This argument tried to paint a picture of Jesus being harmless to the Roman government. Pilate’s contention was nonsensical because Jesus had already admitted to Pilate how He was a King (John 18:36-37). How could a King be of no threat to the Romans? Surely Pilate’s superiors would command him to crush an upstart King whose Kingdom was both mysterious and ominous.
Even more absurd is the contradiction surrounding Pilate’s statement. By repeating the declaration he had made in John 18:38, Pilate exposed himself to condemnation for his actions. If there were no fault in Jesus, why did he scourge Him? Why did he allow Jesus to suffer the abuse of the soldiers? No one ought to suffer evil except those who do evil. If Pilate found no fault in Jesus, why did he bring Him back out to His prosecutors instead of releasing Him immediately?
Pilate’s actions and words apply as a metaphor for many religious persecutions. Many people deride religion openly, sometimes even to the point of persecution. In a moment of serious consideration and honesty, however, they typically admit they find no actual fault in it.
If Pilate had only consulted his conscience, he would neither have scourged Christ nor crucified Him. Instead, Pilate went for expediency, trying to trim the matter before it careened out of control. He sought to please the people by scourging Christ, thus appeasing his conscience by not crucifying Him. Instead, he did both. If he had first resolved to crucify Him, there was no need to scourge Him. Pilate fell into one of Satan’s most devious traps – it is common for those who think they can avoid larger sins by committing smaller sins to find themselves doing both.
Pilate’s second contention to the prosecutors told how he had done what was necessary to make Him less dangerous to them and their government (John 19:5). He paraded Jesus to the Jews. Jesus was wearing a crown of thorns and His head and face were all bloody. Crying out, “Behold the man of whom you are so jealous”, Pilate presented not only a tortured prisoner but a tortured argument.
Pilate intimated that, although Jesus’ popularity in the country might have given the Jews some cause to fear their influence would lessen, he had taken an effectual course to prevent it. By treating Jesus as a slave and exposing Him to contempt and shame, Pilate presumed the people would never again look upon Jesus with respect, nor could He ever retrieve His former reputation. Pilate never imagined what veneration these sufferings of Christ would accrue in the ages to come. Paradoxically, they would be commemorated by the best and greatest of men, who would glory in the Cross and the stripes, which he thought would have been to Him and His followers a perpetual and indelible reproach.
It is not normal to abuse the innocent, especially our LORD Jesus Christ. Despite His blamelessness, Pilate abused Christ, tried to justify his actions, and then proceeded to condemn an innocent man to crucifixion. Because there was no fault in Jesus, there was no reason for Pilate to scourge or crucify Him. Only God had a reason to crucify Jesus Christ – to save His people from their sins. Praise God today for His love and Jesus for His sacrifice.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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