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In spite of the unwavering push to have Jesus crucified, the Roman governor Pilate was proving as unwavering in his desire to set Him free.  For at least the third time, clearly establishing their guilt in Heaven’s court, the Jews pressed Pilate to put Jesus to death, even though they were violating their own law, and Pilate himself had found Jesus not guilty of the crimes of which He was accused, and even punished Jesus severely in hopes it would appease them.  In the words of Luke, “they were insistent, with loud voices asking that he be crucified”; see Luk 23:23.  What does Luke also record in this verse about the effect their incessant demands were having upon Pilate?  Notice especially the NAS translation that gets at the sense of the imperfect tense used that their voices began to prevail—they were wearing him down.  What does this again remind us about the power and influence that those who are ruled are able to exert over their rulers?  Although for an evil end here by a corrupted crowd, might not that same power and influence be used for a good end by a more virtuous people?  How is the effect that the incessant cries to crucify Jesus was having upon Pilate illustrated by his response to the Jews in Joh 19:6, which at the same time communicated that he did not want to be responsible for Jesus’ death?  Cf. Mat 27:24.

What does John record that the Jews answered Pilate in regard to his unwillingness to put Jesus to death?  See Joh 19:7.  Whereas they had earlier charged Jesus with claiming to be the Christ—a king who would threaten the Roman rule—how was this charge meant to bolster that one, while also expressing their own grievance against Jesus for which they sought satisfaction from Pilate?  What law did they suppose Jesus had violated by making Himself out to be the Son of God?  See Lev 24:16; cf. Joh 5:18, 10:33.  But whereas they supposed this charge would incriminate Him further, what opposite effect did it have on Pilate?  See Joh 19:8.  What does Pilate’s fear at hearing their statement indicate about his humility that at least allowed for the possibility that there was more to Jesus than His outward appearance might indicate, and how does that contrast with the Jewish leaders?  Whereas the Jewish leaders were so completely deceived by their religious pride that they had no fear of stretching out their hand against one who might arguably be the Lord’s Anointed (cf. Joh 7:40-43, 9:16), what does Pilate’s reaction indicate about his much greater fear of God—although perhaps based only on superstition—in spite of him being a pagan Gentile who didn’t have the light of the Law to guide him?  Contrast also Mat 27:42-43 and Mar 15:39, and cf. Rom 2:13-15.

What did Pilate do after hearing of Jesus’ claims to be the Son of God?  See Joh 19:9.  What question did his fear prompt him to ask Jesus, and what answer can we surmise he was hoping to obtain to help him better understand and judge the claim?  What does his question indicate about his understanding that those who have the marks of nobility don’t come from just anywhere, but are of noble birth?  Do our lives reflect that same nobility, having been born of His Spirit?  What does his question also indicate about his understanding that there was more to Jesus than just the run-of-the-mill Jews he was used to dealing with, for whom it didn’t matter where they were from?  How would Jesus’ silence have added to Pilate’s angst in the quandary he was facing?  What does this remind us about the great power that saying nothing can have as opposed to supposing that we must always give an answer?

What did Pilate do to compel Jesus to answer his question?  See Joh 19:10, and notice the emphasis of the Greek: “To me do you not speak?”  What word, repeated twice, did he wish to impress upon Jesus, that would compel Him to answer him?  In what way did his question express both arrogance and condescension, as if Jesus could not be aware of his authority?  How did Jesus answer Pilate, and how did His few words communicate that He understood far more about authority than Pilate could have imagined?  See Joh 19:11, and consider that as the Romans were all about authority (recall the Roman centurion in Mat 8:5-13, who, as a man under authority, understood the authority that Jesus had) Jesus’ point would not have been lost on Pilate, that he too was under authority, and that the authority he had over Jesus came with the responsibility to exercise that authority justly, for which he would be held accountable.  In what way then did Jesus’ answer turn Pilate’s threat back upon himself?  What two words in His answer also pointed Pilate towards the answer to his question about where Jesus was from?  What do we also learn from Jesus’ answer to Pilate about how God delegates authority in this world, the latitude He gives those to whom it is delegated to exercise that authority according to their free will without Him interfering (even to the crucifying of His Son!), as well as the sin incurred for abusing one’s authority, for which he will eventually be held accountable?  Cf. Rom 13:1-5, 2Co 10:8, 13:10.

To whom does Jesus refer in Joh 19:11 as the one who delivered Him up to Pilate?  See Mat 26:65-66, 27:1-2; cf. Luk 20:19-20 and consider that while Judas delivered Jesus up to the Jewish leaders, it was they who delivered Jesus up to Pilate.  Why was the sin of the Jewish leaders greater for delivering Jesus up to Pilate, than for Pilate who actually ordered Jesus’ execution?  Think: in what ways did the Jewish leaders’ delivering up Jesus under false pretenses and their use of political pressure to force Pilate to put Him to death disrupt the proper use of his authority to administer justice?  What does this teach us about there being mitigating factors in the courts of heaven for righteous leaders in the lawful use of their authority regarding decisions that may prove to be unjust?  Although the Jewish leaders had greater sin, knowing what he knew, was Pilate without sin in eventually giving in to them?  Cf. Jam 4:17, Luk 12:47-48.

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