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The biblical accounts from Luke 23 and Matthew 27:

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had wanted to see him; in fact, he was hoping to see him perform some sort of miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing our Lord in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends--before this, they had been enemies.

While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him."

Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and release him."

            Today we will consider trial no. 5 of our Lord Jesus Christ, as he is brought before Herod, and then returned to stand again before Pontius Pilate—both of whom were in town to watch over the throngs of Jewish Passover observants.

On this morning, while Herod was irritated by the interruption of Caiaphas, Annas, and the rest, he was curious about Jesus, and wanted to see this "king of the Jews", and maybe even get him to work some magic for his entertainment.  I ask you---how could he possibly have any right to judge Jesus?  It was all so tragic, really--Jesus, standing before this ruler known for his debauchery—this ruler who could find Jesus guilty and have him executed . . . ‘all so tragic IF God hadn't already accounted for it.  Jesus would not serve as entertainment for Herod--in fact, he kept silent, as he stood before him.  And Herod could find no fault in Jesus, so after mocking him and having fun at his expense, he had his men take him back to Pilate.  

Just who was Pilate?  Pontius Pilate is remembered in history either very negatively, as a cruel man who hated the Jews, or more sympathetically as a governor who had a very difficult job ruling a province with a very unruly population, which easily took offense to his actions. He ordinarily resided in Caesarea, but was in town to keep Jewish Passover fervor in check.  When the Sanhedrin brought Jesus to him, Pilate heard their charges against him, but declared Jesus innocent three times.  It is possible to see a progression in Pilate’s attitude toward Jesus, moving from contempt at the beginning, cynicism when he asked “What is truth?” to awe, when Jesus spoke his greater authority.*  Pilate could not find Jesus guilty of the charges against him, and so told the people that he would punish and then release him.

'Punish Jesus??  Yes, it would mean a flogging, because Pilate hoped that would placate the Jews, and there would be no further talk of execution.  Indeed, the flogging 'took place, it would appear, on the platform where the trial had been held, and in the eyes of all.  Jesus was stripped and stretched against a pillar, or bent over a low post, his hands tied, so that he had no means of defending himself. The instrument of torture was a sort of cat-o'-nine-tails, with bits of iron and bone attached to the ends of the thongs.  Not only did the blows cut the skin and draw blood, but in these sort of floggings, the victim frequently died in the midst of the operation.  Out of consideration for Jesus,  Pilate may have moderated either the number or the severity of the strokes; but, on the other hand, his plan of releasing him depended on his being able to show the Jews that Jesus had suffered severely.'**

So Jesus was mercilessly flogged and the crowd watched?  What?!  I can't help but wonder what faces could be found in that crowd . . . was the blind man who had sat by the gate of Jericho, given sight by Jesus just days before?  And, where was Zacchaeus, whose life had been irrevocably changed by Jesus of Nazareth?  And, oh yeah, how about his main men . . . where were the disciples? Lazarus-who he had raised from the dead?  And going back to the start of his ministry--where was the wedding host, whose feast was rescued by Jesus' first miracle, rendering water to fine wine?  Did they ALMOST speak up Did they ALMOST step forward?  I wonder if I would have yelled, 'Stop!'--of course, at the risk of my life.    Would you have spoken out for Jesus?  Do you now?

They all cried out together, "Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas"--a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection and murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!"  A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death.  I will therefore punish and release him."  But they were urgent, demanding that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed.  Pilate released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom the people asked-- 'he delivered Jesus over to their will.’  Luke 23.18-25

Would you have spoken up?  Then look for an opportunity to speak up today for your Lord.


**"Pontius Pilate" Julian Spriggs, **The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, Pentecost


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Comment by Dena Elwood on April 1, 2012 at 8:40pm


Comment by Christina Marie on April 1, 2012 at 8:20pm
The End of This was Great!
The Way that they treated Our Lord
was cruel!
There is No One Like Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ Is The True Messiah!!!
Comment by Dena Elwood on March 31, 2012 at 7:30pm


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