Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. Luke 23:13-15.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus you find the Old Covenant revealed and fulfilled. You are watching the sacrifice of the unblemished Lamb in whom no sin, guilt, or fault was found by any of those who examined Him.
Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” Luke 23:4.
Even the priests, elders, scribes—the whole Sanhedrin could not find any fault to condemn Jesus for except that He testified when questioned under oath that He was the Messiah. Which was the truth, of course. They had to falsely accuse Him before Pilate, saying He was guilty of rebellion regarding the payment of taxes and making Himself the King.
At the first Passover, I had instructed Moses carefully on this point and he told the people the same: Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Exodus 12:5.
And I repeated the instructions regarding the unblemished, undefiled condition of the sacrifice when I gave Moses the plans for the Tabernacle and the way to cover the people’s sins. Thus, in the burnt offering and the sin offering, indeed in any of the five offerings, it was not the sinner being examined, it was the lamb, and once the priest examined your lamb, if the lamb was perfect, the sinner laid his hand on the head of the lamb and all his sins were transferred to the lamb and the lamb’s purity to him and then at his own hand the lamb was slain and took the judgment for his sin as the lamb was burnt to ashes or was roasted with fire and then the breast and thigh, first waived and heaved (the form of a cross) and eaten by the priests. The offering you brought to honor Me and to release you had to be perfect, without defect, undefiled.
“But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King,” says the LORD of hosts, “and My name is feared among the nations.” Malachi 1:14.
Jesus was found perfect and worthy to take all your sins and make them as if they had never been. All the sins committed from the beginning to the end time were transferred to Him and condemned to death and in turn all who will believe in Him received back the gift of His righteousness.
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
(In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.’” After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:1-10.
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:14.
For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. Hebrews 7:26-27.
As we continue the journey of remembrance that you travel with Jesus in the Spirit as partakers of His body and blood, as you recall, we left Jesus bound before Pilate, who now, according to Pilate, had the power to condemn Jesus or set him free. But Pilate was not so free as he bragged, he was controlled by fear of the chief priests, scribes, and elders that they would make it difficult for him before Caesar and cause him to lose his position or worse.
After examining Jesus, Pilate went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.” But they kept on insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place.”
Pilate picked up on that right away and asked whether the man was a Galilean. He himself had not really followed much about Jesus though he knew of Him, Jesus could not escape notice with all the many miracles and signs He was performing and the crowds who thronged him wherever He went. And when Pilate learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.
Pilate was hoping not to be involved for he was aware that it was out of envy the chief priests had handed Him over. Matthew 27:18. And even his wife had sent him a message while he was sitting judging Jesus saying, “Have nothing to do with this righteous man, for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” Matthew 27:19.
I was trying to warn Pilate to keep him from being guilty in this, but he did not take heed.
My Son now went before Herod, the very one who lived in adultery and murdered My herald John the Baptist, and many other sins. So here you have the sinner judging the sinless One who created him. But I would also like to bring to your attention that this was out of My mercy. I sent the best to Herod to bring him to repentance for he did, in his heart, have an attraction to godliness. He liked to listen to John the Baptist, even when he imprisoned him, and he did want to see Jesus. And I sent both to him, giving him an opportunity to repent and set it right with Me. But the opinion of others, his own pride, and his lust for power and glory kept him trapped in sin and Satan’s designs on his life. Some years later, I gave him more opportunities to repent, but instead he had John’s brother James put to death, and when he saw that pleased certain of the Jews, he had Peter imprisoned intending to kill him too, but the church prayed and I sent My angel to deliver Peter, but finally Herod went too far, killing and abusing those he was given the privilege and honor of governing, even calling himself a god, and he was cut down to hell.
Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king’s chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king’s country. On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. Acts 12:20-23.
Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. And he questioned Him at some length; but Jesus answered him nothing. There comes a point when I know that no amount of persuasion will bring a person back to Me, their sins have gone from the undeadly to the deadly. Once you cut off from Me as your source and declare yourself the power that will run your life there is no turning back. It is then I let you go your own way because you have given in entirely to the devil’s authority.
Satan at first only put the thought of betraying My Son into the heart of Judas, but once Judas took offense at Jesus when He seemed to reprimand him about the alabaster jar of costly perfume broken to anoint Him, it was then that thought the devil kept repeating because it had gone unchecked by Judas (you must resist the devil immediately on the first thought, that is, like in the game of chess, check every move the enemy makes to take your pieces off the board) took root and grew until he had to do what he did because he allowed Satan to enter his heart and he became an instrument of evil, which resulted in his self-destruction.
And even in His audience with Herod, the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. So public opinion was again involved. Herod had a somewhat amenable relationship with the Jewish Sanhedrin, especially since he had John the Baptist put to death.
And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Jesus with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. They saw Jesus as weak and vulnerable, as in their power, but they could not see into the spirit realm all that was going on or they would have fallen to their knees in gratitude and awe that He was taking their sins, ills, and pains off them them and bearing them in His own sinless body as their sacrifice before Me. He was redeeming them and they had no interest in receiving so great a salvation.
Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other. After that Herod even would have Pilate visit his palace in Caesarea. Bad company corrupts.
When Herod refused to take responsibility in judging Jesus, he sent Him back to Pilate. It now rested on Pilate’s shoulders to do what was right. But Pilate was weak and very much of the flesh.
Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” Luke 23:14-16.
Pilate concluded that all would be satisfied with some corporal punishment and release. But even this was unjust if there was no guilt in Jesus. He was trying to straddle the fence and it was not working. He had to commit one way or the other. You are either for Me or against Me.
So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:16.
Now at the time of Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted. Pilate saw this as a way to release Jesus, for at that time the other prisoner they were holding, called Barabbas, had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder. So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” The chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas, and following their lead the crowd cried out all together saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” Be careful you do not just go with the crowd. Many of the people there had heard Jesus teach and preach, some had been healed, but they were easily persuaded that Jesus was not whom they had believed Him to be when they saw Him there being dragged about by the authorities as a criminal. No cowards are overcomers and they will not make it to My Kingdom. The first setback or appearance that causes doubt they are no longer committed. They are not good and faithful servants that I can count on to stand with Me through trials.
In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. Mark 4:16-17.
Answering, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” But Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, the third time, saying, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore, I will punish Him and release Him.” But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas for them, the one who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder,
Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. John 19:1.
Pilate washed his hands but that did cleanse his heart. Jesus will yet tell him that the ones who premeditated His murder and handed Him over to Pilate were guilty of the greater sin, but Pilate was still responsible for being true to the light he had. And he knew Jesus was not guilty.
And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a scourging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. Luke 12:47-48.
Pilate next sent Jesus to have Him scourged in one last attempt to set Him free. Jesus took the scourging in your place. Even in Pilate’s, if he had but repented.
There is so much to talk about here before we go up the hill of Calvary with Jesus, like Abraham walking with Isaac carrying the wood up Mt. Moriah, but Abraham believed I would raise up Isaac from the dead even if he sacrificed him. He knew Me.
But pause here a moment for I want you to see another facet of the many parts moving together here in the history of your redemption. And that is the role of Barabbas. Barabbas was an insurrectionist and a murderer. He was up for treason. His sentence was death. Think back to Adam. That is what he was as well. He rebelled against My Word, overthrew My government and reign over his life, gave his dominion authority to another master and brought in a new world government and order. And he murdered the eternal life I had given him that was to descend to all his seed. And the sentence I pronounced justly on him was death, and not just physical but eternal death in the spirit. But in his creation in the beginning he was My son.
The name “Barabbas” means “Son of the Father,” that is, “Son of Abba.” He was guilty and deserved death. But My Son, the second and last Adam, born of My Word who never sinned and had none of Adam’s corruptible seed and blood in Him, stepped forward and took all the sins of mankind on Himself and was put to death by giving His eternal life to pay for the eternal life you lost, while Barabbas was released a free man. And whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
To all who believe in Him, He gives the power to be sons of God, Barabbas. The criminal walked away acquitted as My child while My Son died in His place. I was in Christ reconciling the world to Myself not counting your sins against you, but accounting them all to Him. Be reconciled to Me. I love you with an everlasting love that you cannot quench or stop. You can reject it and go your own way but I will never stop loving you.
In our next Life Lesson we will walk with Jesus in the Spirit to see what took place in the physical but also in the spiritual realm in the scourging and crowning with thorns. Even in all the darkness, there is much light. There is cause for rejoicing here in what He won for you. Live on in My love for it is yours in Christ Jesus.