His name was Pontius Pilate. And as you will hear in this PODCAST, he was not a nice man.
This is the man to whom Jesus was handed over to be crucified.
This is the man who will live long in infamy.
This is the man who caved to political pressure in order to preserve his position of power, even if it meant crucifying an innocent man who though He was God, held no position.
This is the man who metaphorically drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet, and a stake through the heart of Peter. Peter, whose faith would fail spectacularly in the face of Jesus’ trumped-up charges.
There is a lot going on here, every salient detail of which will enhance your Easter season enormously.
His name is Pilate, as in Pontius Pilate — P-i-l-a-t-e, not p-i-l-o-t — even though Pilate did manage to fly himself right into middle of a maelstrom of religious and political corruption and compromise with devastating consequences.
In this PODCAST, as we now approach Jesus’ impending crucifixion, the greatest irony of this entire sad saga is that the whole thing is motivated by one thing: self-interest.
As we learned in last week’s podcast, on the Jewish side of things, the entire motivation behind the High Priest Caiaphas and the 70-member Sanhedrin in wanting to kill Jesus was the realization that He posed an existential threat to their power, position, prestige, and possessions, all of them paid for with their obscene wealth and ill-gotten gains — the chief thieves, these religious leaders were, in a den of thieves. Which is what, on their watch, the Temple, The House, God’s House, “My Father’s House” (as Jesus called it), had become.
As we will learn this week, on Roman side of things, the spineless Pilate will collapse like the house of cards that he was because he feared losing his title and power as the Roman Governor of the province of Judea. All of this while killing a man who was utterly, totally, completely and absolutely selfless. Somoen who had not one strand of the DNA of self-interest woven anywhere in the fabric of His sizable soul.
We’re talking their willingness to murder a gentle, peaceable, innocent man — not to mention their Messiah — if that’s what it took to maintain their coveted positions.
Make no mistake about this — Pilate KNEW that Jesus was absolutely innocent, and yet sentenced Him to die anyway, in the most unimaginably barbaric, brazenly humiliating, excruciatingly torturous death ever devised by man.
You talk about Jesus looking out over a vast multitude of precious people with overwhelming compassion in His heart, while lamenting that they were like sheep without a shepherd? Well, these were their shepherds.
Shepherds both religious (Caiphas) and political (Pilate). Unprincipled men who unconscionably used and abused their helpless little lambs for their own personal gain.
Just like they do today. Religiously and Politically. It is today as it was then.
Well, last week we met their religious shepherds.
The time has now come for us to meet their political shepherds. Most specifically, Pontius Pilate, the man who has lived long in infamy as the man who caved to political pressure and who, against own convictions, sentenced Jesus to death.
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