GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 3
GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 3 ~ ~ Matthew 27:24 ~ ~ “ When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that an uproar was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”
There are some people whom we love to hate. For people my generation, that would include Mr Berger on the Perry Mason show. Or that one actor on the westerns (usually John Wayne westerns) who always acted sarcastic and arrogant, and did it so well—-I know you all remember. They just give us satisfaction in hating them.
When Jesus was arrested, that guy would have been Pontius Pilot. He could have stopped this in a moment. But he was weak, probably had a self esteem problem that didn’t quit, which is why he wanted to impress people through the government. (thinking there are some of them in DC)
He wanted to be a big man, but Caesar dumped him among these religious peasant riff raff, so he had to make the most of it and climb the ladder any way he could.
He knew Jesus was innocent. He knew it deep down. Maybe his wife previously spoke to him about the traveling rabbi who was different from any other man. She maybe said that she believed He really is the Jewish Messiah. Maybe, just maybe, we could go so far as to say that secretly this woman of Roman high society followed Jesus.
We can only speculate about how far she went, but, the fact remains that she dreamt about Him, which tells us two things.
- She had a nature that could be used of God, and He knew that she would send the message to her husband that he needed to hear.
- God had His eye on Pilot himself, in a different way than merely giving the commands that Rome was paying him to give. Maybe He wanted him to really think about this and be haunted by it, which I believe he was.
After all, the crucifixion had to happen in God’s plan, but we see this extra drama with Pilot inserted into it. He could have merely rubber stamped it, gave the orders, and gone back to bed. But God had a story within a story going on that day. A very short story as far as the Word goes, but apparently a necessary one, and maybe one that lasted for Pilot’s lifetime.
So he nervously, but pompously did a ritualistic hand scrubbing, more to show himself that he didn’t want this, than to show the people that he didn’t.
I think it was more to wash his conscience than his hands.
It may have been also, to show his wife that he didn’t disregard her message, and he was making progress convincing the crowd that Jesus didn’t deserve crucifixion. It wasn’t a criminal offense, and the Jews knew it. He had to please them AND please Caesar.
But just when he was making a little progress, the Pharisees threw a left hook, and this coward was thrown back between the proverbial rock and hard place. He had to be loved by all—-or at least he wanted to be. But most of all, he had to please Caesar, and when the Jewish leaders slapped him with the choice between his conscience and Caesar, with their very vocal announcement that “we have no king but Caesar”, …well, now, his future was in the noose. He had to have some air before they tighten it completely and he finds himself on the political version of the cross—–or worse.
This was war. He hated the Jews with a passion, and the feeling was mutual. This could get ugly fast, so he did what any sleezy coward who loves his own neck would do, he washed his hands and went inside where it was safe. “I didn’t do it, but it’ll get done”
With that, he walks out of the story, and almost out of history.
He probably went to bed, tried to sleep while servants messaged his temples. After all, this was stressful for the poor little guy! But things went on outside without him, and nothing would ever be the same after those three days.
But what happened with Mr. and Mrs. Pilot? We’re told nothing in the Bible, and not much more in historical writings.
Some writings say that he only served four more years at that post, but no one seems to know why it ended for sure.
Other writings indicate that after that he fought depression and terrible anxiety, which eventually culminated in suicide. Again, unproven.
Whenever I hear of a suicide, I think of how difficult their lives must have been to force them to make such a decision.
How many nights did he wake up in a cold sweat before he made the decision?
How many days of fighting depression before he threw in the towel?
Did he take it out on his wife and others around him, and if so, how did she respond, being possibly a Christian herself?
Was he even able to fulfill his duties, or did he see Jesus’ face in every prisoner before whom he sat in judgment?
Perhaps Caesar heard of his weakness and mental illness that followed and pulled him from service—-or worse.
On the other hand, was it the plan of God that he, like the Centurion and the second thief, will spend eternity in paradise with Jesus? It could be. After all, only God knew his heart and his wife had been already used of God in the situation. We’ll never know in this life. We only know that God is in control, and that’s enough.
As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, So the hearts and minds of kings are unsearchable.
Just as we don’t know for any person, so we don’t know what God’s plans were for this man, nor what his reaction to it were.
We never know, because: John 3:8 says:
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
We each are in the position Pilot was. What to do with Jesus. That’s the life-question.
How about you? Is Jesus your Messiah? Your Savior?
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