Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Edifier du Jour-John 19:6:16(NASB)
6 So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, "Crucify, crucify!" Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him." 7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God." 8 Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; 9 and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?" 11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." 12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, "If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar." 13 Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!" 15 So they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." 16 So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.
I'm not sure why, but I have a soft spot for Pilate here. He's in a no-win situation and makes a realpolitik decision to make Jesus a scapegoat; rather than make the idealistic choice and let Jesus go free and risk a riot which would not look good back in Rome; he lets Jesus be executed and get the Jews off his back. To Pilate, Jesus is a scarificial lamb, but a sacrifice on the altar of provincial realpolitik. What Pilate intended as a crass political gesture was used to atone for the sins of the world. The shortest path to God's will isn't always a straight line, for God will throw a few curve balls from time to time, using evil for a greater good.

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