Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the Lord’s wrath.
The entire company was kneeling, hailing Christ as King in an eerie prophecy of what will one day be fulfilled at the end of time.
I am completely without fault and guiltless from this one’s blood. Take heed, all of you!
Pilate stood and shouted over the fray, Which of the two do you all want me to pardon and set free to you? Bar Abbas? Pilate bit out his name with a look of contempt, or Jesus who is called Christ? The comparison was obvious: Did they still want to free a villainous murderer, or would they take the nobler option of freeing this gentle holy man who had been falsely accused?
Though John did not write about the interlude in Herod's court, I am convinced he would have been there. Of course, the story could also have come from Joanna and her husband, Herod's steward Chuza . . .
They hear the Lord’s voice speaking softly, yet with such power. And as they dream, and gaze, and talk, these two young idealists are poised to change their world in a radical upheaval that would stay God’s judgement for an entire generation.
Caiaphas waited expectantly. He had been forceful in his insistence that Jesus was an agitator, inciting trouble all over Judea, having started his insurgency in the northernmost reaches of Jewish territory and bringing subversion all the way down to Jerusalem.
Jesus’s spiritual kingdom of truth apparently had borders that extended far beyond Judea and even Rome. His kingdom had no borders, because every person who wanted to know the truth would listen to Jesus and become a citizen in his kingdom.
God had prepared a day of reckoning that Pilate had no idea was coming. For him it was just another Friday. But he was instead going to experience the greatest crisis of his life, coerced into making a life-or-death decision of incalculable proportion and consequence.
If God did not judge sin it would mean that God was indifferent to the existence of right and wrong, good and evil. But the Lord is not indifferent. God's wrath, grief, and intense pain over sin is the necessary and only right response.