Luke 23:1-16


Jesus stood before Pilate. The last moments of His life were being determined…they thought. Accusations and lies spewed from the mouths of the mob. Proof did not accompany their charges. Shouts did.

“Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.’ So Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘You have said so,’ Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no basis for a charge against this man.’ But they insisted, ‘He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.’ On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies. Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.’” Luke 23:1-16

It is often true that the bigger the lie, the louder it is proclaimed. It has to have the biggest voice around because, once given a chance, even a whisper of truth could quiet it. The chief priests and the crowds wanted Jesus exterminated. It didn’t matter to them that Pilate could find no fault in Jesus. It didn’t matter to them that, as they looked back over the three-and-a-half-year ministry of Jesus, they saw healings, teachings, rescues, and salvation.

They didn’t care.

They weren’t looking for Truth.

There He was standing right in front of them, and the only thing that mattered was screaming the lie that He deserved to be crucified. They were urgent. They wanted Him dead and they were not about to take “No!” for an answer.

Jesus stood silent. He was as silent as a lamb. But His silence broke through the walls of their screams. His silence still breaks through walls today. His silence has an eternal voice.

Pilate wanted the matter out of his sight. He would just send Him on. He could wash his hands of the whole mess and go home for the day. He could go back to the way things were. He sent Jesus to Herod.

But once you have come face to face with Jesus you can never just go back to the way things were. Coming face to face with Jesus is a life or death moment. Yes, you can choose to follow Him, or you can choose to walk away.

Actually, it is even bigger than a simple life or death decision. It is an eternal life or death decision.

Pilate made his.

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