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Summary: Tonight we look at Pontius Pilate. The phrase “suffered under Pontius Pilate” is used in many a churches creed and has possibly been translated into more languages around the world than even the Bible. Even though he stepped onto the stage of human hi

KEY PLAYERS IN THE CRUCIFIXION:

PONTIUS PILATE

TEXT: MATTHEW 27:1-2; 11-26

INTRODUCTION: Tonight we look at Pontius Pilate. The phrase “suffered under Pontius Pilate” is used in many a churches creed and has possibly been translated into more languages around the world than even the Bible.

Even though he stepped onto the stage of human history for only about four hours, his name is known to more people in the world than most of the great men in history.

What part did Pilate play in the crucifixion of Jesus that day? The answer is found in two statements made in our text. Pilate’s own million dollar political question. Vs. 22

And his wife’s message to him as he sat on the judgement seat. Vs. 19

Pilate tried to follow his wife’s advice about Jesus, but he, like everyone person who has tried since, found out that neutrality when it comes to Jesus, is impossible.

I. UNQUALIFIED FOR THE JOB

Pilate didn’t have a wealthy upbringing. He was of the middle class. He had served in the Roman army in Germany, and while in a long stay in Rome caught the affection of a Roman girl of very high social rank.

Her name was Claudia Procula, the illegitimate daughter of Claudia, who was the third wife of the Emperor Tiberius and, that made her the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus.

Because of this connection with the man at the top, Pilate was given a position that would never had been given to him any other way. In A. D. 26, on the recommendation of Sejanus, Tiberious’ right hand man, Pilate was appointed governor of Judea.

Luke 3:1 tells us that Pilate was governor when John the Baptist began his ministry;

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

So he would have been there for about four years when Jesus was brought to him.

When he began to be governor in Judea, he was allowed to take his wife with him. This was a very unusual privilege. The point being, Pilate’s appointment was what is called a nepotistic appointment. He had connections with the right family.

In Judea, being governor carried more responsibilities than in other places. He was responsible for law and order, for handing out justice and for collecting taxes.

Like many who get their jobs through nepotism, family favoritism, he wasn’t quite qualified for the job.

He was tactless and stubborn. He thought that because he had authority, that meant that he could enforce his will, rather than exercise responsibility and consideration for others.

I. UNQUALIFIED FOR THE JOB

II. AT ENMITY WITH THE PEOPLE

In Jerusalem the water supply was always a problem. Pilate constructed an aqueduct, a channel to bring water into the city. He thought that since he was doing this for the benefit of these Jews, I’ll use some of their money.

So he took some of the Temple tax to pay for the aqueduct. The people rebelled and rioted. Pilate sent his own people down in plain clothes with clubs and daggers into the crowd, and at a signal they turned on the people, clubbed them, and stabbed them. Many others were killed in the stampede.

We also see in;

Luke 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

Luke 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. I couldn’t find any details about what happened in this situation, but the point is, Pilate was not a kind governor.

III. ALWAYS BLAMING OTHERS

So Pilate was a man devoted to holding onto a job that he never would have had except for his connections with the right family, a job that he time and time again bungled.

He probably felt that he had done no wrong and in each case someone else was to blame. Isn’t that the way it is in America today? No one is to blame for their actions anymore. It’s always someone else’ fault.

Our courts are full of cases where criminals are suing their victims because they somehow got hurt while victimizing them. And some win!

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