Wednesday, September 22, 2021
11 Jesus said, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That’s why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault.”
12 At this, Pilate tried his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: “If you pardon this Man, you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone setting himself up as ‘king’ defies Caesar.”
13-14 When Pilate heard those words, he led Jesus outside. He sat down at the judgment seat in Stone Court’s area (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for Passover. The hour was noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.”
15 They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!”
Pilate said, “I am to crucify your king?”
The high priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.”
-John 19:11-15 The Message
Verse 11: Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me unless it had been given you from above; for this reason, he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
Verse 11 study: The greater sin does not mean excusing Pilate for his political pressure. Pilate was responsible for the decision about Jesus. The fact is that Caiaphas and other religious leaders are just as guilty of greater sin because they all had a role in the premeditated murder of Jesus.
Verse 12: As a result of this, Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to a king opposes Caesar.”
Verse 13: Therefore, when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
Verses 12-13 studies: It doesn’t take much to figure out that Pilate was pressured to crucify Jesus. As the governor of Rome, he has to keep the peace. Rome couldn’t afford to keep a large number of troops in the outlying regions. They only maintained control by crushing rebellion immediately with force. If reports came out that an insurrection happened on Pilate’s watch, that could mean losing his job for Pilate and even his life. Tough decisions will always be in our lives. The choice is we can take the easy way out or stand up for what is right regardless of the cost. If you knew the good, do it. If you don’t do it, you will sin (James 4:17).
Verse 13 study: The pavement was part of the Tower of Antonia bordering the Northwest corner of the temple complex.
Verse 14: Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”
Verse 15: So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him. Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Verse 15 study: “We have no king but Cesar.” This is how desperate the Jewish leaders wanted to get rid of Jesus. Although Jews’ hatred for Romans, it’s ironic that they fabricated allegiance to Rome but rejected their own Messiah. They condemned themselves by using those words. God is the true King; they abandoned every trace of loyalty to him. As a result, priests lost their reason for existence; they never turned people to God. Instead, they claimed allegiance to Rome to kill the Messiah.
Father, let us poise under pressure when talking about you. Peer pressure is hard in teenagers. Be with us to gain wisdom and do the right thing when it comes down to stress. In Jesus’ name. Amen!