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Christ before Pilate: Large Plate, 1636 -- Rembrandt van Rijn (artist) Dutch, 1606 - 1669

Pilate: What Is Truth? — From The Garden To The Cross Discussion

Welcome to another special edition of the Share Life podcast. We're in an ongoing series, as part of the discovery process for my next book project, From The Garden to the Cross: How Jesus' Harrowing Mission Shows Us The Way Forward.

In this discussion, we reflect on the moments where Jesus was presented to Pilate by the religious leaders and ending with Pilate asking Jesus, What is Truth? before being sent off to Herod. For those just now following along, this event takes place after Jesus' agonizing prayer in the garden, his arrest and betrayal by Judas, a night of scheming to find a way to sentence Jesus to death, the three denials of knowing Jesus by Peter, and the death of Judas. We'll now focus our attention on where Jesus is now presented to Pilate by the religious leaders for execution.

Some topics of the discussion include:

  • Pilate's allegiance to the differently motivated people involved.
  • The blatant hypocrisy and cowardice of the Sanhedrin.
  • How beneficiaries of the status quo are often the obstacle of liberation.
  • The ruthlessness of Pilate and how that differed from his encounter with Jesus.
  • The amazing nature of Jesus' silence to the accusations.
  • What is truth? And how else can we conceptualize this reality?
  • The suffering of those caught between the religious leaders and the Roman empire.

We'll read and discuss my harmonization of the story from the different accounts of Jesus' life with quotes from the New Living Translation of the Bible. Then, we'll explore the story through the following questions: What we can learn about Jesus, humanity, and ourselves from this monumental moment in time? How does this event apply to our lives today?

Fellow Conversation Participants

Today I'm joined by Chi Chi, Len, and Jonathan.

I'm grateful for their participation in this episode and for helping to make the book better.

Listen to the Discussion

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You can also find this discussion on Stitcher, Itunes, and wherever you listen to podcasts under the name, Share Life: Systems and Stories to Live Better & Work Smarter or Jason Scott Montoya.

Watch The Conversation

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My Harmonized Account of Jesus Brought Before Pilate For Reference & Study — An Excerpt From The Book

Mark 15:2-5 | Matthew 27:11-14 | Luke 23:1-5 | John 18:28-38

While the entire religious council led Jesus’ to Pilate, in the early morning, they did not enter the Roman Governor's palace as doing so would make them ceremonially unclean and unable to participate in Passover. 

Pilate came out to them.

“What charge do you bring against this man?”

The religious leaders answered.

“We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!

Pilate responded to the religious leaders.

“Then take him away and judge him by your own law.”

Confirming Jesus' prediction that he would die, the Jewish leaders revealed why they were handing him over for Roman punishment.

“Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone.”

Pilate returned to his headquarters and summoned Jesus. Standing before the Roman governor, Pilate, turned to Jesus and asked him a question.

“Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus quipped back.

“ Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”

Unclear as to what was going on and why Jesus’ own people had brought him before the governor, Pilate sought an answer to the presented crimes. 

“Am I a Jew? Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?”

Jesus replied.

“My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

Pilate quipped back.

“So you are a king?”

Jesus responded.

“You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

Before going out to the crowd, Pilate replied once more.

“What is truth?”

Pilate, not staying for an answer to his question, returned to the crowd and seeing no criminal offense on the matter, spoke to the religious leaders.

“He is not guilty of any crime.“

The high priests were insistent, spewing their criminal accusations against Jesus in front of the governor. 

Looking at Jesus, expecting an answer and receiving none, Pilate probed Jesus.

“Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?”

Jesus remained silent and Pilate was amazed. Pilate turned to the mob and religious leaders and repeated his message.

“I find nothing wrong with this man!”

The insistent crowd responded.

“But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

Unexpectedly prompted by what was said, Pilate responded.

“Oh, is he a Galilean?” 

The crowd confirmed. He was Galilean. Since Herod of Antipas was in charge of that area and in Jerusalem, Pilate responded to this fact by sending Jesus to Herod.

Hero Photo: Christ Before Pilate by Rembrandt van Rijn 1965 courtesy of the National Art Gallery

Additional Resources

From The Garden To The Cross, Podcast - From The Garden To The Cross

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