Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

Humble Hero, Page 334

Before this, Pilate had hastily condemned to death men who did not deserve to die. In his opinion, whether a prisoner was innocent or guilty was of no special importance. The priests hoped that Pilate would inflict the death penalty this time on Jesus without giving Him a hearing.

But something about the Prisoner held Pilate back. He did not dare do it. He remembered how Jesus had raised Lazarus, a man who had been dead four days, and he made up his mind to know the charges against Him and whether they could be proved.

“If your judgment is sufficient,” he said, “why bring the Prisoner to me?” “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” The priests said they had already passed sentence on Him, but they must have Pilate’s sentence to make their condemnation valid. “What is your sentence?” Pilate asked. “Death,” they answered. They asked Pilate to enforce their sentence; they would take the responsibility of the result. Weak though he was in moral power, Pilate refused to condemn Jesus until they had brought a charge against Him.

The priests were in a dilemma. They must not allow it to appear that they had arrested Christ on religious grounds, because this would have no weight with Pilate. They must make it appear that Jesus was a political offender. The Romans were constantly on the watch to repress everything that could lead to an outbreak.

In their desperation, the priests called false witnesses. “And they began to accuse Him, saying, ‘We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.’ “ Three charges, each without foundation. The priests knew this but were willing to commit perjury.

Pilate Convinced of a Plot

Pilate did not believe that the Prisoner had plotted against the government. He was convinced that a deep plot had been laid to destroy an innocent Man. Turning to Jesus, he asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?” The Savior answered, “It is as you say.” And as He spoke, His face lighted up as if a sunbeam were shining on it.

When they heard His answer, Caiaphas called Pilate to witness that Jesus had admitted the crime with which He was charged. Pilate said, “‘Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!’ But Jesus still answered nothing.”

Standing behind Pilate, in view of all in the court, Christ heard the abuse, but to all the false charges He answered not a word. He stood unmoved by the fury of the waves that beat around Him. It was as if the heavy surges of anger, rising like the waves of the ocean, broke around Him but did not touch Him. His silence was like a light shining from the inner to the outer Man.

Pilate was astonished. Does this Man not care to save His life? As he looked at Jesus, he felt that He could not be as unrighteous as the priests, who were shouting angrily. To escape the turmoil of the crowd, Pilate took Jesus aside and again asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

Jesus did not answer directly. The

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»