The chapter begins with the morning rising, the chief priest and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. They delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor who was supposed to decide who was innocent or guilty; the guilty to be put to death.
Judas was filled with remorse for he realized what he had done, he turned in an innocent man to be put to death. Filled with guilt he tried to give the money back, the 30 silver pieces, but the chief priests could not take it for it was money used to pay for murder, it was dirty money. They knew this was wrong, but their hate for Jesus clouded their judgment and caused them to act irrationally. Deep down they knew they were guilty because they wouldn’t take the thirty piece of silver back because they knew it was unclean. So they bought land with it from a potter to burry strangers in because they didnt know what else to do with it. That land is still called the Field of Blood and fulfills prophecy that Jeremiah had spoken. Judas then, consumed in guilt hung himself.
Pilate then begins to question Jesus, asking if He has heard of what the things are that He is being accused of. Jesus gave no response. At the feast of the passover pilate would set one of the prisoners free. At this time they had a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. Pilate asked who the crowd wanted to set free, a well known criminal, or Jesus. The crowd declared that they wanted Jesus to be crucified. Pilate knew deep down that Jesus was innocent, he knew that this would be wrong to crucify Him and it was his job to choose justice and save the innocent. Yet, despite knowing what his job liability was, he feared the crowd. Pilates wife told her husband that she was having nightmares about Jesus’ innocence and her husband needed to wash his hands of this. She was receiving a warning, and warned her husband in turn. To fully wash his hands he needed to declare that Jesus was innocent, but out of fear of a riot he washed his hands in water and declared that His blood is on the crowd, it is their decision. To which the crowd replied that His blood was on them and their children and to crucify Him.
Notice Pilates fear prevented him from doing the right thing.
These people were blinded by hate, they didn’t even know Jesus yet they judged of what the Pharisees said and chose to hate Him. How often do we allow gossip to determine what we think of someone? We have all been told a rumor about someone, and in that moment we have a choice; are we going to allow wrong and sinful gossip to allow us to predetermine who that person is, or are we going to disregard it and allow that person to show us who they truly are? Everyone has their own perception of someone, it doesn’t have to be yours. We need to stop believing false lies and rumors that are all started by the devil and see people the way God sees them. To the pharisees Jesus was a blasphemer and a criminal and they convinced the crowd that that’s who He was. God sees Him for who He is, as His beloved Son, with nothing but love and complete perfection. One perception is right, one is wrong, we need to see how God sees things, the right way. Next time someone tries to give you a predetermined idea point of who someone is, choose to try to see that person for who God sees them as, not what the town gossip has labeled them as. We need to realize that someones perception can always be off, just look at how wrongly they determined who Jesus was here. Jesus, the Son of God; to them they thought he was a criminal all because the Pharisees said so… we need to wise up.
The Pharisees envied Jesus, they were jealous of Him. All of this stirred up their hate for Him. Jealousy is a very dangerous thing that we should never entertain. Jealousy leads to dislike and hate and turns to strife.
Then, Pilates soldiers took Jesus, put a scarlet robe on Him (garment of dignity and office worn by roman officers of rank) and weaved a crown of thorns and put it on His head with a reed (staff) in His right hand. They then began to mock Him, making fun of Him and saying “Hail King of the Jews.”
They then spat on Him, struck Him in the head with the reed and ripped the robe off, placing His clothes back on Him and lead Him away to be crucified.
They spat on Him.
They struck His head with a stick and made fun of Him.
They mocked Him and treated Him awful. The things He endured for us. And this isn’t even close to as bad as it got.
Could you imagine your daughter or son being treated this way? How sorry and thankful we should feel. Sorry that our sinful flesh brought this on and how thankful that Jesus chose to take this on for us. Jesus didn’t have to go through this, He chose too, for us, for you.
I think we will stop here and meditate on this. Really meditate on the fact that He didn’t have to do any of this for us, Jesus chose too. Having understanding, full understanding and revelation will make the rest of the chapter really mean more to us. To fully appreciate Jesus we need to have deep understanding of all He overcame for us. Maybe even watch the movie Passion of the Christ this week. When it gets to the part that are so awful you just want to turn away and not watch, make yourself watch it, you need to understand what He went through for you.