Bible Study – Wednesday June 14, 2023

When Jesus was brought before Governor Pilate beginning in Matthew 27:11, Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews … to which Jesus gave a qualified affirmative response. The chief priests and elders raised several charges against Jesus, but Jesus gave no answer in response to even a single one of them. His complete silence caused Pilate to marvel.

Pilate could see that these Jewish religious leaders were envious of Jesus, and so he put before them a choice. Which prisoner did they want released (as per his annual custom at Passover): [Jesus] Barabbas the murderer or Jesus who is called Christ? While he sat at the Judicial Bench, Pilate’s wife sent him an urgent message warning him to have nothing to do with Jesus, that “righteous man.”

Meanwhile, the chief priests and elders convinced the gathering crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be executed. Pilate asked them again which man should be released, and they answered, “Barabbas.” When the surprised Pilate, certain of Jesus’ innocence, then twice asked what should be done with Jesus, the crowd fomented with anger and demanded Jesus’ crucifixion, screaming their murderous demands louder and louder.

Pilate could see the crowd escalating into a riotous mob. He declared his so-called innocence of the bloodguilt of Jesus by washing his hands in front of the crowd. In response, the people willingly accepted Jesus’ bloodguilt upon themselves and their children, essentially proclaiming that they all would bear any guilt associated with the death of Jesus. Pilate cowered to the crowd’s demands, releasing Barabbas and sentencing the completely innocent Jesus to death by crucifixion. Pilate was certainly complicit in the death of Jesus, but Scripture assigns the primary guilt of Jesus’ murder upon the people of Israel.

Jesus was then scourged, a whipping so barbaric that it left many people dead before they could be crucified. Then Pilate’s battalion of soldiers gathered against Jesus, mocking, humiliating, and physically assaulting Him over and over. They degraded and tortured Jesus by arraying Him as a so-called king while they pretended to kneel in homage before Him, while they spit upon Him, and while they struck Him on the head. When they finally grew tired of abusing Jesus, they put His clothes back on Him and led Him away to be crucified. The chief priests and elders’ evil plan had come to fruition, or so they thought.

Listen to this teaching on Matthew 27:11-31 by clicking on the link below: