HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
2. YOU CAN’T HELP BUT MARVEL AT HIM (Matthew 27:12-14).
We’re told that “while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing” (Matthew 27:12). The charges that were being made against Him were extremely serious. And yet—just as was the case when He was being accused before the high priest earlier, “Jesus kept silent” (Matthew 26:63).
What were those charges? Luke tells us in his Gospel that the chief priests and elders of the people were saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2); and that “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place” (Luke 23:5). Though it was true that He was a King, none of the other charges about Him was true; and Pilate knew it. Jesus had already confessed to Pilate that He was a King; but He also said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Jesus’ kingdom was spiritual in nature. He was not making the claim that He was—somehow—a rival to Caesar. He was not, in any way, guilty of acting in revolt against the Roman government.
But what astonished Pilate the most was Jesus’ response to these charges. As governor, he had sat in judgment over many trials. And he knew that whenever a man was being charged with capital crimes—even if he were guilty of them—he’d still plead his case and challenge the charges that were made against him. But this was no ordinary man standing before him. Pilate knew that the charges were false; and yet, Jesus answered nothing. “Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?’ But He answered him not one word so that the governor marvelled greatly” (Luke:13-14).
Now; I have to say that I’m glad Jesus said nothing. He had no intention of defending Himself and saving His life. His purpose in coming into this world was to die on the cross for you and me. As the Bible says elsewhere of Him, “He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
We too should marvel at Jesus’ silence; because it was out of love for us that He remained silent. But Pilate understood nothing of that love. He simply marvelled at Jesus’ silence—and at His seeming willingness to be put to death when He was clearly innocent.
Again; you and I can’t walk away from an encounter with Jesus without making some kind of a decision about Him. No one who truly looks at such a Person as Him can help but marvel at Him.
Another thing that Pilate’s encounter with Jesus illustrates for us is that you can’t avoid Him by replacing Him with someone else. Someone who only looks upon Him superficially may think so. But if you look at Him closely, and truly encounter Him as the Scriptures present Him, you find that . . . He is the same today as He was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.
TO CONTINUE TOMORROW …