Unlikely Lenten preachers: Pontius Pilate
Pastor Mark Jeske
The Romans were justifiably proud of their legal system, elements of which form the backbone of Western law today. It didn’t take the Roman governor of Judea and Samaria, Pontius Pilate, very long to figure out that the bound rabbi before him had committed no crime: “Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him’” (John 19:4). Not only was there nothing upon which to convict him, there wasn’t even enough of a case to charge and hold him.
Pilate had absolutely no way of knowing that he was uttering a powerful statement about the manner in which the almighty God was about to bring about the salvation of the world. The innocence of Jesus Christ, about which Pilate was absolutely correct, meant that Jesus completely qualified as the innocent victim, the substitute, who was at the heart of God’s Old Testament system of reconciliation.
The death of Christ, which would soon take place, would have been meaningless, a terrible and bloody miscarriage of justice, but also the terrible squandering of the life of the Son of God, if he had not lived his 33 years in complete moral perfection. Jesus Christ was innocent of any sin or crime against the laws of God or Rome, and thus his death was acceptable to God the Judge as payment for the sins of the world.
He is the Lamb of God, pure and holy.
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