Experiencing Christ

Christ’s Death Exposed both Religion and Politics (1)

Luke 23:1  And the entire multitude of them rose up and led Him before Pilate. (2)  And they began to accuse Him, saying, We found this man perverting our nation and forbidding people to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.  (3)  And Pilate asked Him, saying, Are You the King of the Jews? And answering him, He said, It is as you say. 
(4)  And Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, I find no fault in this man.  (5)  But they were vehement, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching throughout the whole of Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place.  (6)  And when Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.  (7)  And when he realized that He was of Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him up to Herod, who also himself was in Jerusalem in those days.  (8)  And when Herod saw Jesus, he rejoiced greatly, for he had wanted to see Him for a considerable time, because he had heard about Him, and was
hoping to see some sign done by Him.  (9)  And he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.  (10)  And the chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing Him.  (11)  And Herod with his soldiers, having despised Him and mocked Him, threw around Him splendid clothing and sent Him back to Pilate.

(Part 1 of 2)
Realizing that according to Roman law they did not have the power to execute anyone, the religious leaders transferred the Man-Savior to Pilate. Pilate was a Roman procurator, an agent of Caesar Tiberius in Judea, A.D. 26-35. Not long after he unjustly delivered the Lord Jesus up to be crucified, his government ended abruptly. He was banished and later committed suicide. Under God’s sovereignty the Man-Savior was judged not only by the Jewish leaders as a sheep before the shearers (Isa. 53:7), but also by the Roman governor as a criminal before the accusers. He was judged in this way so that He might die to save sinners with His life as a ransom (Mark 10:45). not only for the Jews represented by the Jewish leaders, but also for the Gentiles, represented by the Roman governor.

Pilate was not able to find any fault in the Man-Savior. Pilate was a politician. As an officer working for the Roman Empire, he was afraid to offend the Jewish people among whom he was working. When Pilate realized that the Lord Jesus was of the jurisdiction of Herod, “he sent Him up to Herod, who also himself was in Jerusalem in those days” (v. 7). Pilate, therefore, transferred this problem to Herod. Herod questioned the Lord “with many words; but He answered him nothing” (v. 9). The Lord’s not answering Herod was a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7.

Herod may have been disappointed when the Man-Savior did not answer his questions. “Herod with his soldiers, despising Him and mocking, threw around Him splendid clothing and sent Him back to Pilate” (v. 11). We need to be impressed with the fact that the One who was despised and mocked, the One who was sent from Pilate to Herod and back again, was God Himself in a man. The Lord Jesus was not merely a man; He was the God-man, the complete God and a perfect man. Nevertheless, this One was mocked. Pilate, Herod, and the soldiers played with Him like children playing with a toy. (Continued tomorrow)

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