Sentenced To Death
March 23, 2016, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags: , , , ,

jesus or barabbas
We all know the story. Jesus and Barabbas stand before the crowd as Pilate offers to release a prisoner. Knowing Jesus was innocent, Pilate had picked a criminal who led a rebellion and was a murderer as the option. In a sense, Barabbas was a terrorist and his freedom posed a threat to the security of the people of Jerusalem. In contrast, Jesus was a peaceful man who spoke of love for enemies and had shown that love in the many miracles as well as in his speeches. He was no threat to anyone but the hypocritical Pharisees. They manipulated Pilate and placed him in an uncomfortable position and allowing the people a choice between a murder and miracle worker seemed to be an excellent way to avoid doing something he knew was wrong. Yet the Jewish religious leaders stirred the mob against Jesus and they yelled for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be killed. Faced with the potential of an embarrassing revolt, Pilate yielded to the mob’s demands, released Barabbas and ordered Jesus to be executed. His heart told him that Jesus was a good man, innocent of any wrong, but his bureaucratic mind told him to do what was politically correct. Washing his hands in front of the crowd was his symbolic attempt at removing the guilt from him and placing on others. We know the rest of Jesus’ story but what about Pilate?
We read nothing else about Pontius Pilate in the Bible but Jewish historian Josephus tells us that Pilate’s desire to protect his position by staying out of controversy didn’t save him from a tragic end. A rebellion in Samaria was violently quenched by Pilate but the Samaritans voiced their complaints about Pilate to the governor of Syria and he ordered Pilate to appear before Caesar to address their accusations. Not long after this, according to Eusebius, Pilate, “wearied with misfortunes”, killed himself. The details of his death are uncertain but one of the more popular views tell that Pilate sought to hide his sorrows on a mountain, now called Mt. Pilatus. After spending time in despair and sorrow, Pilate sought to wash his guilt away by plunging his body into the Lake of Lucerne, drowning and going out to eternity, separated from God after being so near. The man who asked Jesus “what is truth?” now knows the truth! Jesus Christ is God and offers salvation. The God of all came to restore the relationship He had with man by dying on the cross. We can be freed from our prisons built by our sin and guilt and liberated by the cross and resurrection of our Redeemer and Lord. What is the truth? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Rejoice! Done and Won by the True ONE!


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