Summary: Pilate was almost changed by his face to face encounter with Jesus. What should he have done?
Series: “face to Face”
Sunday sermon / July 8th 2007
Intro: Not every person who came face to Face with Jesus was beautifully transformed. Some of their stories are tragedies rather than “Happily-ever-afters.” The man we will look at today did come face to Face with Jesus and the best we can say about him is that “He was almost transformed.”
This morning we will be studying Pilate.
My new favorite show: Bear Gryll’s show “Man Vs. Wild.” Bear is constantly dropping himself into life and death scenarios in order to show you how to survive in the harshest environments. He strands himself in popular wilderness destinations where tourists often find themselves lost or in danger and he tells the number of people who died in previous years in the same predicament he is about to enter. In every episode he will do something that will make you shutter. (Like, scraping maggots from a rotten carcass and eating them) But his actions are necessary if he is to survive the experience. The first thing: realize the severity of the situation and how to survive.
Pilate’s appearance in Scripture is there to teach us how to survive.
But, unlike the other people we are studying in “face to Face” Pilate is a study of what NOT to do.
Each of the Gospels contains the story of Jesus before Pilate (Or should we say, Pilate before Jesus.) We’ll use the John as the main text and we’ll pull bits and pieces from each of the others.
John 18:28-19:22 (English Standard Version)
28Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29So Pilate went outside to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?" 30They answered him, "If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you." 31Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." The Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death." 32This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
33So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" 34Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" 35Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?" 36Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." 37Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." 38Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him. 39But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" 40They cried out again, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.
John 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3They came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands. 4Pilate went out again and said to them, "See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him." 5So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Behold the man!" 6When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him." 7The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God." 8When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?" 11Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin."