March 11, 2018
READ: Luke 23:1-25
For the third time [Pilate] demanded, “Why? What crime has [Jesus] committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death” (v.22).
The Netflix documentary David and Me tells the story of David McCallum, who in 1986, at only sixteen years old, was convicted of murder. But McCallum claimed he was pressured to confess to the crime. And in 2014, DNA tests and forensic analysis on the stolen car revealed that McCallum was innocent. David had spent nearly thirty years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
Roman governor Pilate was pressured by the Jewish religious leaders to wrongly sentence Jesus to death (Acts 13:28). The leaders argued Jesus had “been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king” (Luke 23:2). But Jesus had taught, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar” (20:25).
If Jesus had claimed to be an earthly king, Pilate would’ve had to consider this charge carefully. But Jesus’ teaching was a matter of public record (22:52-53). If Jesus was seen as a dangerous revolutionary, surely the Romans would have neutralised the threat much sooner. But the Romans didn’t see Him as a threat. That’s why at the start of the trial, Pilate could say, “I find nothing wrong with this man!” (23:4).
Consequently, Pilate once more pronounced the verdict: “I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent” (v.14).
Yet eventually Pilate caved in to the pressure (v.23). Flogged and ultimately crucified on the cross (vv.22-24), Jesus brought justice to earth through the injustice He endured. When we suffer and face injustice in this life, may we remember His example. And may we also rest in the truth that He is righting all wrongs and one day all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5).
365-day plan: Judges 14:1-20
Read Romans 3:21-28to see how God’s justice was revealed even in Jesus’ unjust death.
Do you react strongly to injustice? Why? How can you seek to bring justice to your corner of the world?