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Humble Hero

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    Jesus’ Kindness to Pilate

    Pilate was startled—it might be a divine Being that stood before him! Again he said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave no answer. The Savior had spoken freely to Pilate, explaining His mission. Pilate had disregarded the light. He had abused the high office of judge by yielding to the demands of the mob. Jesus had no further light for him. Irritated by His silence, Pilate said haughtily, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”HH 339.7

    Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” Christ meant Caiaphas, who represented the Jewish nation. They had light in the prophecies that testified of Christ and unmistakable evidence of the divinity of the One they condemned to death. The heaviest responsibility belonged to those who stood in the highest places in the nation. Pilate, Herod, and the Roman soldiers were comparatively ignorant of Jesus. They had not had the light that the Jewish nation had received so abundantly. If the light had been given to the soldiers, they would not have treated Christ as they did.HH 340.1

    Again Pilate proposed to release the Savior. “But the Jews cried out, saying, ‘If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend.’” Of all the opponents of Roman rule, the Jews were most bitter. But to accomplish Christ’s destruction, they would profess loyalty to the foreign rule that they hated.HH 340.2

    “Whoever makes himself a king,” they continued, “speaks against Caesar.” Pilate was under suspicion by the Roman government and knew that such a report would ruin him. He knew the Jews would leave nothing undone to get their revenge.HH 340.3

    Pilate again presented Jesus to the people, saying, “Behold your King!” Again the mad cry arose, “Away with Him! Crucify Him!” In a voice heard far and near, Pilate asked, “Shall I crucify your King?” But from profane, blasphemous lips came the words, “We have no king but Caesar!”HH 340.4

    By choosing a heathen ruler, the Jewish nation rejected God as their king. From then on they had no king but Caesar. The priests and teachers had led the people to this. They were responsible for this, with all the fearful results that followed. A nation’s sin and a nation’s ruin were due to the religious leaders.HH 340.5

    “When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ “ Pilate looked at the Savior and said in his heart, “He is a God.” Turning to the multitude he declared, “I am clear of His blood. Crucify Him, but I pronounce Him a just Man. May the One whom He claims as His Father judge you and not me for this day’s work.” Then to Jesus he said, “Forgive me for this act; I cannot save You.” And when he had scourged Jesus again, He delivered Him to be crucified.HH 340.6

    Pilate longed to deliver Jesus, but he saw that he could not do this and still keep his own position. Rather than lose his worldly power, he chose to sacrifice an innocent life. How many similarly sacrifice principle! Conscience and duty point one way and self-interest another. The current goes in the wrong direction, and anyone who compromises with evil is swept away into the thick darkness of guilt.HH 340.7

    But in spite of his precautions, the very thing Pilate dreaded happened to him. He was deposed from his high office and, stung by remorse and wounded pride, not long after the Crucifixion he ended his own life.HH 340.8

    When Pilate declared himself innocent of the blood of Christ, Caiaphas answered defiantly, “His blood be on us and on our children.” The mob echoed the awful words in an inhuman roar of voices. The whole crowd said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”HH 341.1

    The people of Israel had made their choice—Barabbas, the robber and murderer, the representative of Satan. Christ, the representative of God, they rejected. In making this choice they accepted the one who from the beginning was a liar and a murderer. Satan was their leader. His rule they must endure.HH 341.2

    The Jews had shouted, “His blood be on us and on our children.” That prayer was heard. The blood of the Son of God was on their children and their children’s children. Terribly was the prayer fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and in the condition of the Jewish nation for nearly two thousand years—a branch severed from the Vine, dead. From land to land throughout the world, from century to century, dead in trespasses and sins!HH 341.3

    That prayer will be terribly fulfilled in the great Judgment Day. Christ will come in glory. Thousands and thousands of angels, the beautiful and triumphant sons of God, will escort Him on His way. All nations will be gathered before Him. In the place of thorns, He will wear a crown of glory. On His robe and on His thigh a name will be written, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:16.HH 341.4

    The priests and rulers will again see the scene in the judgment hall. Every incident there will appear as if written in letters of fire. Then those who prayed, “His blood be on us and on our children,” will receive the answer to their prayer. In awful agony and horror they will cry to the rocks and mountains, “Fall on us.” See Revelation 6:16, 17.HH 341.5

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