I’m fascinated by the gospel recounts of Christ’s conversations with Pilate. Is Pilate a coward? Is Jesus antagonizing Roman authority? Is Pilate curious about Christ or political self-preservation? Why wasn’t Christ more direct with him?
I could go on… but mostly, I’m struck by the reality that Jesus allowed Pilate to believe whatever he wanted about who Christ was. “Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”” (Luke 23:3 ESV). He didn’t rail into his testimony. Held back from every wonderful detail of his earthly ministry. Didn’t combust, turn into the ultimate high wattage bulb, disappear, call fire from heaven, or ask his dad for a sign… Effectively, the Son of God seems to say, ‘I’m whatever you think I am.’
And that is staggering. Here on Good Friday, Jesus Christ is whoever you think he is. He is a culturally irrelevant figure or a dividing rod between tradition & progression. He’s why some people hate others or judge them. He’s a made up superhuman. He was a prophet in the highest regard. Or He is the son of God, & the embodiment of divinity, wrapped in the same skin that you & I have on.
He’s whoever you say he is, until it’s all over. And for those who call him Savior, he’s the perfect sacrifice that died for the atonement of all mankind’s sin. And in belief, we are saved from the conesquence of individual sin – eternal separation from God.
So faith is up to me. Hope in Christ is on us. Jesus did his part. Believe & be saved. Or ignore it. Assume that salvation, if necessary, is something we accomplish ourselves. Sounds impossible to me, but go for it.
Pilate’s decision or indecision is not really that important in light of Christ’s sacrifice that original “Good Friday”. And the real question that merits an answer is this: Who is Jesus to you?
For me, he’s the Savior of world. He’s the blessing that atones for the sameness of humanity’s sin, & the oneness we can all have through belief in him. I hate what my sin did to my Savior. But I’m so grateful that the Christ that saved me & my wife, stands at the ready to redeem my sons, & can save any person who would believe.
Praise God. Happy Easter.