Message: In John 19 Pilate has Jesus flogged to
try to appease the Jewish leaders. He questioned Jesus but he brought him back
outside where the Jewish leaders were waiting and told them he found no legal
grounds or charging him. The Jews were not happy about it and they argued that
they had their own law that said he needed to die because “he made himself the
son of God”. Something I never noticed before was that Pilate was more afraid
than ever by this statement. His wife had previously warned him that she had a
dream and to have nothing to do with charging Jesus and now the Jews were
trying to get him to give the execution sentence. He told them to do it
themselves, but they pulled a political move on him. They made it about Jesus
being a king and threatened his allegiance to Caesar if he didn’t do something
about it. This is the move that pushed him over the edge and made him give in
to their manipulative plan.
Command: Don’t let anything have so much
priority that it threatens our faithfulness to God.
Promise: Everything that happened there was
prophesied and confirmed. We have the advantage of seeing it all in scripture.
Warning: Anything that we hold high in value
becomes a potential stumbling block to our faith.
Application: As I read this I saw that Pilate was
really uncomfortable with the whole situation. He wanted none of it and after
his wife had a dream and then he heard the words that Jesus spoke he was
actually afraid. But his fear of political consequences was bigger. He compromised
his better judgment to preserve his political position. We all have the danger
of doing that. Pilate didn’t have a relationship with Jesus like we do, but if
there are things in our lives that pull on us we will find ourselves tempted to
give in no matter how much we say Jesus is our priority. We have to check
ourselves that we don’t allow relationships, jobs, status or anything else to
have a stronger pull on us than Jesus, or we will cave under pressure and
compromise our faith.