The trial of Jesus before Pilate was a farce. It shows how badly an event can go when the rulers give sway to the desires of liars rather than listening to the truth of a matter. And there is no doubt that Pilate saw the truth of this matter as it is clear from his response. But as Jesus said when He was arrested in the garden at Gethsemane, “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Luke 22:53)
Lies and Half Truths
The chief priests and those who brought Jesus to Pilate were looking for something to accuse Him with. So they came along with some trumped up charges, lies and half truths. And this is the way of those whose path is to deceive and destroy as these men did.
They told Pilate, “We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king.” (Verse 2) The purpose of these lies and half truths was to sway Pilate to give them what they wanted.
By telling Pilate that Jesus was a king, they were saying that Jesus was opposing Caesar who was Emperor of Rome and all the lands that the Romans controlled, including Jerusalem. Pilate as the governor would be wary of anyone claiming to be a ruler and would be naturally concerned about an uprising against the Roman Empire. But on examining Jesus he found no such threat.
Then there was the blatant lie they told saying that Jesus was forbidding the people giving tribute to Caesar. And yet Jesus had taught that the people should, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17) Clearly Pilate saw through that ruse also.
Passing the Buck
In the end Pilate spoke to the chief priests and the multitudes saying, “I find no crime in this man.” (Verse 4) But the chief priests were not happy with that response and continued to put pressure on Pilate to achieve their evil desires.
They then told Pilate, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.” Now there is no question that Jesus was teaching throughout the whole region, and his teachings were indeed stirring things up, but it was not an affront to the Roman rulers nor to the people. The only people being offended by Jesus teaching were the religious rulers of the day. It is they who felt threatened for the teachings of Jesus would undermine their power base. Furthermore Jesus was showing their hypocrisy for they were not dealing rightly with the word of God.
But when Pilate heard that Jesus had been teaching throughout Galilee he recognised an opportunity to pass the buck. So he sent Jesus off to Herod to be interviewed by him and to get rid of the problem that was before him.
The Ways of Evil Men
These matters that were evident in Jesus day are no different to today. Still there are those who would do anything to pervert the course of justice. But those who stand in the right and stand on the side of God will have the victory in the end.
We know that eventually this farce led to the death of Jesus. But we must also remember that this had been pre-ordained by God. It was necessary for the Christ to suffer and die to bring the New Covenant into effect so that we today would have hope.
But these evil men will never learn. They think they will gain from their evil, not realising their path leads to their own ruin. King David described them and their folly well in Psalm 35, saying in verse 6, “Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.” And further on in Psalm 73:18-19 it is written of the evil and the wicked, “Truly thou dost set them in slippery places;thou dost make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!”
But when we stand on the right and on the side of God, we do not suffer these things. And even if we do suffer, we have a reward when we suffer for the sake of what is right. As Peter wrote, “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right? But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.” (1 Peter 3:13-14)
(Picture sourced from oChristian.com)