28 Before the sun had risen, Jesus was taken from Caiaphas to the governor’s palace. The Jewish leaders would not enter the palace because their presence in a Roman office would defile them and cause them to miss the Passover feast. Pilate, the governor, met them outside.
Now Caiaphas is high priest at this time. The sacred office he occupies has been corrupted for more than a century by Jewish collaboration with Greeks and Romans. Reformers are few, and they have been unable to cleanse the high office from its pollutants. Because of this, many Jews have stopped coming to the temple. How can God’s holy habitation on earth be pure if its primary representative is coddling the enemies of Israel? Caiaphas knows he needs friends in high places to put an end to Jesus, so he turns to Pilate, the Roman governor. It is Pilate’s job to look out for Roman interests in Judea. He is an irritable man, unnecessarily cruel and intentionally provocative. Many Jews will die on his watch. For Pilate, Jesus is just one more.
Pilate:29 What charges do you bring against this man?
Priests and Officials:30 If He weren’t a lawbreaker, we wouldn’t have brought Him to you.
Pilate:31 Then judge Him yourselves, by your own law.
Jews: Our authority does not allow us to give Him the death penalty.
32 All these things were a fulfillment of the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way that He would die. 33 So Pilate reentered the governor’s palace and called for Jesus to follow him.
Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews?
Jesus:34 Are you asking Me because you believe this is true, or have others said this about Me?
Pilate:35 I’m not a Jew, am I? Your people, including the chief priests, have arrested You and placed You in my custody. What have You done?
Jesus:36 My kingdom is not recognized in this world. If this were My kingdom, My servants would be fighting for My freedom. But My kingdom is not in this physical realm.
Pilate:37 So You are a king?
Jesus: You say that I am king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the cosmos: to demonstrate the power of truth. Everyone who seeks truth hears My voice.
Pilate(to Jesus):38 What is truth?
Pilate left Jesus to go and speak to the Jewish people.
Pilate(to the Jews): I have not found any cause for charges to be brought against this man. 39 Your custom is that I should release a prisoner to you each year in honor of the Passover celebration; shall I release the King of the Jews to you?
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