Then Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered, ‘You say so.’

Luke 23: 3

In the

Reading: John 18: 28-40; Luke 23

According to the Gospel of Luke, after the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus, the Jewish elders asked Pontius Pilate to judge and condemn Jesus, saying he had claimed to be king of the Jews which would, of course, be construed as treason. 

Pilate realized that this was a tricky case in which he had to tread very carefully with the Jewish leaders, so he passed the buck by sending Jesus to Herod because, being a Galilean, Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction. Herod was excited because he hoped Jesus would do some party-trick miracles for him, but then, growing bored, Herod had Jesus returned to Pilate. 

During a 1961 dig in Caesarea Maritima, Italian archeologist Dr. Antonio Frova uncovered a piece of limestone inscribed with Pontius Pilate’s name in Latin, linking Pilate to Emperor Tiberius’s reign. And this is, in fact, one of the strongest archaeological evidences we have for Jesus's historicity too. 

Interestingly, neither Herod nor Pilate found anything in Jesus to condemn him, but Pilate eventually conceded to the pressure of the Jewish Sanhedrin and ordered Jesus to be crucified. 

So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves." (ESV)

Jesus, who had said nothing to Herod, was willing to engage in some conversation with Pilate. They spoke about truth. Pilate asked cynically, "What is truth?". Truth was standing right in front of him, but he chose to ignore it. 


Father, help me to be like Jesus, and not like Pilate.

For the family

Continue doing this 15-day devotional study about Easter that is suitable for children.