The Trial - Hypocrisy of Politics - John 18:38-40
March 25, 2022, 10:00 AM

38 "What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?"   40 They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!" Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion.”  

Politicking is the cooperation of various people to achieve what each want. Often it involves negotiation, compromise, and alternative ways to get an idea approved for some action.  Pilate understood the politics to get in power. He had influential connections through marriage to get this appointment. However, Pilate did things that infuriated the Jews. First, he moved the center of Roman providence from Caesarea to Jerusalem and he brought in these banners with the emperor’s face on them.

Second, Pilate declared to them this was no longer Jewish territory; they were under the jurisdiction of Rome. These Jewish leaders protested to Tiberius Caesar who allowed that exception to overrule Pilate, who was humiliated and his power and position seemed threatened.    

Third, when Pilate needed a better aqueduct system and ran out of taxes to pay for it, he took money from the temple treasury which incensed the Jews. The people were ready to expose Pilate’s disregard for their religious beliefs so there was pressure to have him lose his job.  

Why in the world would Jews say their king was a Roman, Caesar? They did not recognize Caesar’s rule over them, but if saying Jesus claimed to be a king was what it took to get Pilate’s attention, they could say Jesus was a political threat to Rome and to the civil authorities as well.    

After Pilate’s investigation, he found nothing guilty in Jesus. Even so, Pilate had Him beaten, hoping that would take care of these complainers. It did not. When he offered to release the traditional Pentecost prisoner - they cried for Barabbas instead.    

Pilate’s hypocrisy of justice was in taking the bowl and saying, “I am not responsible.” He was responsible. He knew the law. He knew he was breaking the law, but instead of doing what was right and fair, he ordered the execution. For personal political compromise, the law was ignored, and injustice prevails.  

There will be a day when those who sit in judgment will be standing before the judge of the world. There will be true justice. There will be things made right. That too is the hope of the Christians who are victimized and abused and killed.  

God, who knows the hearts of each person, will reveal their works and the treachery for those actions. There will be no plea bargaining or manipulative lawyers to get them off. Truth will prevail.     

We all will stand before our Divine judge and be found guilty of sin against our Lord. There awaits a trial for all of us. The only way to be found innocent is when we repent and call on Jesus to save us, based on His death on our behalf.   

Application:    There is no room for pretense. What will you do with Jesus Christ?     Go and tell.....

Prayer:  My God, My Savior, how I thank you for saving me.  Thank you that through your Word I can know that I will stand before you innocent, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, robed in His righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.  This is truth, open pathways in my life to share this truth with others.   

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