Pontius Pilate was caught in a very difficult position. He could see no basis for a charge against Jesus and wanted to set Him free. On the other hand, he was afraid of the Jews and the reports they might feed back to Caesar concerning Pilate. He kept trying to have Jesus released - even going to the extent of giving the crowd the choice between the most notorious of men and Jesus for him to release to them. Yet at each point he was thwarted and in the end he washed his hands of the blood of Jesus and the Jews took it upon themselves and their children.

We look also at the attitude of Jesus in this situation. The only charge He admitted was the one the Jews intended to use to have Him put to death - that of claiming to be King of the Jews. To everything else He remained silent. We recognize that He could have defended Himself - in fact, Pilate gave Him every opportunity to do so - yet He refused. He was determined to submit to His Father’s will and quietly to lay down His life for His friends, out of His great love for them.

We see from 1 Peter that in this attitude, Christ stands as an example to all His people. We, too, should lay down our lives for Him and for His Gospel and also should love one another with the same love Jesus has shown to us.

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Shaun Bryant

Shaun has been Pastor at Grace Church in Modesto since late 1993. His journey to the fellowship took him through churches of various persuasions, during which time he became convinced of a call to the ministry and also of a Reformed view of the Scriptures. Shaun completed his studies for the ministry at Westminster Seminary in California. He is married with 3 children.

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