Summary: The Scripture teaches that persecution comes from every side to those who live like Jesus. Living for Jesus is radical. It is intrinsically counter-cultural. To walk like Jesus we walk against the flow of our culture.
Jesus before Pilate
1 Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate.
2 Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “It is as you say.”
3 The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly.
4 Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, “Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring against You!”
5 But Jesus made no further answer; so Pilate was amazed.
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested.
7 The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection.
8 The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them.
9 Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”
10 For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead.
12 Answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”
13 They shouted back, “Crucify Him!”
14 But Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!”
15 Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.
Jesus Is Mocked
16 The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort.
17 They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him;
18 and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
19 They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.
20 After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.
The Scripture teaches that persecution comes from every side to those who live like Jesus. Living for Jesus is radical. It is intrinsically counter-cultural. To walk like Jesus we walk against the flow of our culture. Someone said that if we are not experiencing opposition, we are probably traveling in the same direction as the culture. In other words, if we would live like Jesus, we will be persecuted, just like Jesus.
Sometimes we are tempted to think that if Jesus were to return today, He would be hailed as a glorious King. But why should we believe Jesus would be received today any differently than He was when He first came? We must remember that the reason we are persecuted when we live godly in Christ Jesus is because the world rejected Jesus. The same emotions still beat in the hearts of men which cause them to turn their back on the Lord of glory. The same heart trouble which caused the people to crucify the Savior of the world still exists in the human heart. No, if Jesus were to come today as He came two thousand years ago, He would be rejected. But He is not coming again like that; for the next time He comes, He will come in power and glory to conquer and to rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.