Jesusí Trials Before the Roman Government
Text: John 18:28-19:16
I. It was still early morning when Jesus was led to the Roman officials
A. John mentions that it was the day before the Passover (thirteenth day of the first month).
1. The Jews would not enter the Roman compound for fear of defiling themselves and preventing their eating of the Passover meal.
2. Pilate came out to meet them and asked them what charge was made against the man they brought.
B. Instead of answering, they only said it must be obvious that he was an evil doer since they brought him to Pilate.
1. Pilate was not so easily put off. He told them to try him under their system.
2. Luke records the specific charges - Luke 23:2
3. The Jews responded that Jesus was deserving of the death penalty and that the Roman government would not allow them to inflict this penalty.
C. Pilate then entered the Praetorium to judge the matter
1. Hearing that Jesus was a king, he asked him of this matter.
2. Jesus simply asks if Pilate was asking out of personal curiosity or was he looking for a reason to agree with Jesus’s accusers.
3. Pilate said he wasn’t interested in the Jews’ support. He did, however, wanted to know why they brought Jesus to him to be judged.
4. Jesus replied that his kingdom was not a physical kingdom in this world. If it was, then his servants would have prevented Jesus’ arrest.
5. Pilate realized that Jesus was a king.
6. Jesus confirms his conclusion. - John 18:37
7. Pilate doesn’t believe in absolute right and wrong.
a. He asks, “What is truth?”
b. It is a question that he expects no answer to, for he leaves Jesus before a reply is made.
D. Pilate tells the Jews that he finds nothing wrong with Jesus, but the Jews will not accept this answer - Luke 23:4-5
E. Hearing that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate thought he could get out of this mess by sending him to the official in charge of that region, who just happened to be in town. - Luke 23:6-7
II. Jesus before Herod - Luke 23:8-10
A. Herod was looking for entertainment. He heard about Jesus and hoped that Jesus would do a miracle for him.
B. He questioned Jesus for a long time, but Jesus would not respond.
C. The Jews had followed Jesus and stood by accusing him
D. When Herod could not get anywhere with Jesus and was not treated to a miracle, he had his soldier dress Jesus up in a kingly robe (in mockery of Jesus’ claim) and sent him back to Pilate.
E. Pilate enjoyed the joke at Jesus’ expense and we find that the two put aside their differences and became friends.
III. Once again, Pilate tries to get Jesus released.
A. He points out that both he and Herod have found the man to be innocent of the charges laid against him. - Luke 23:13-16
1. Despite his innocence, he offers to scourge Jesus and release him.
2. Even Pilate’s wife urged him to release Jesus - Matthew 27:19
B. One of the customs of this time was to release one prisoner during the Jewish holidays.
1. He offered to have Jesus be that man - John 18:39-40
2. Pilate knew that the Jews only envied Jesus - Matthew 27:18
3. The crowds wanted Barabbas instead, a thief, murderer, and insurrectionist - Luke 23:18-19
C. In an attempt to pacify the mob, Pilate has Jesus scourged - John 19:1-3
1. Jesus is brought out, bloody and beaten, in the kingly robe - John 19:4-5
2. Pilate was giving the crowds a chance to take their anger out on Jesus.
3. He continued to state that Jesus was innocent.
D. The mob continued to cry out for Jesus’ death by crucifixion.
1. Pilate refused and said for them to do it themselves. - John 19:6
2. This would have violated Roman law, but Pilate could use it against them later.
E. The Jews finally get to the crux of the matter. They wanted Jesus dead because he claimed to be the son of God. - John 19:7
1. This alarmed Pilate. He obviously believed in gods and given the warning his wife had delivered earlier, he began to be afraid that he might be dealing with a god.
2. After all, most of Israel had heard of the miracles that Jesus performed.
3. Pilate pulls Jesus back in to the Praetorium and demands to know from where Jesus came. - John 19:8-9
4. When Jesus refused to answer, Pilate warned him that his life was in his hands - John 19:10-11
5. Because of the wisdom of Jesus’ answer, Pilate again pressed for his release - John 19:12
F. When Pilate realized he was close to having a riot on his hands, he washed his hands of the matter - Matthew 27:20-26
1. It was now the sixth hour of the day (about noon) - John 19:14
2. All of these events took place in a single morning.
3. Despite his findings and his desire, Pilate gave order for Jesus to be crucified - John 19:15-16