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Summary: We find, when Pilate called Jesus in for judgment, that it wasn't Jesus who was on trial, but Pilate! Imagine how it will be at the Great White Throne Judgment when Pilate stands before the King of Kings in blazing splendor! How terrible it will be!

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CHRIST BEFORE PILATE, PILATE BEFORE CHRIST

Mt. 27:11-26; Jn. 19:6-12

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: THE STATE DINNER

1. A New York Governor invited a group of clergy to the State House on a Friday for breakfast. However, as soon as they all were seated and the food was delivered to the table, he began to wonder whether he had made a faux pas by serving meat on a Friday.

2. "Please don’t worry, Governor," said the Catholic priest. "Since we instituted Vatican II, we can now eat meat on Fridays. So it’s no problem now!"

3. They all looked at the Jewish representative. He looked down at the large portion of bacon on his plate. Rabbi Levy said to the Governor, "I’m sorry, Governor, but I can't eat this - we are still operating under Sinai I."

B. TEXT

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 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.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

C. THESIS

1. No one took Jesus’ life; He gave it voluntarily. His death purchased our salvation.

2. It’s not automatic; we must personally accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

3. PILATE’S INFAMY. The Roman Empire had thousands of provincial officials over its 800 year reign, but only one of them is remembered.

4. Millions of Christians mention him when saying the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed – “crucified under Pontius Pilote.


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