Encounters at the Cross: Pilate

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(John 18:28) Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

  1. Religion can blind us to the truth of Christ.

(Isaiah 29:13) The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

–> God longs to connect with us through our hearts.

(John 18:33-34) Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

(John 18:36-38a) Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

2. To know Jesus, one must know who he is.

(Jeremiah 29:13) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

(John 19:12-16) From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. Finally, Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

–> God reveals himself to those who seek him.

3. Sometimes we can focus on the wrong things and miss Jesus completely.

(Psalm 23:6) Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…

–> God pursues us even when we have run away from him.

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