<<Roman Governor>>

Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor responsible for Jerusalem and the surrounding regions of Judea. His consent was needed before anyone received a death sentence, hence the Jewish Sanhedrin referring Jesus to him (Mt 27:1,2).  He found no reason why Jesus should be condemned and his wife said, "Don't have anything to do with that

You cannot dissociate yourself from your own actions

innocent man" (Mt 27:19; Lk 23:14,22). Jesus, when He was in Pilate's presence said, "I came into the world, to testify to the truth" to which Pilate replied, "What is truth?" (Jn 18:37,38). This human judge and authority figure was confused about the truth and was about to condemn the Righteous Judge of the world. The crowd incited by the Jewish Supreme Court adamantly demanded “Crucify Him” – so Pilate reluctantly gave in to this pressure to satisfy them (Mt 27:20-23). Then he symbolically washed his hands of any responsibility, thinking this would remove the guilt and consequences of granting permission for what he knew was not right – condemning an innocent person to death (Mt 27:24). Pilate had a sign posted on the cross over Jesus head; it read "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews" (Mt 27:37). Later he granted the request for the body of Jesus to be taken from the cross and buried, then assigned soldiers to guard the tomb (Mt 27:64-66; Jn 19:38).

Pontius Pilate's brief mention in Scripture is full of tragedy, this ranged from ignoring his conscience to failing to recognise the truth even when the one who claimed to be the Truth was standing in front of him (Jn 14:6). What is my verdict when presented with the claims of Jesus? Will I accept His right to be King of my life, or will I yield to pressure and follow the crowd?

See also: accountability, Caesar, Herod, pressure.