The Roman Trial

Today's Bible reading: John 18:28 - 19:16

So the Sanhedrin finds Jesus guilty of blasphemy, of ridiculing God – an offense worthy of death.  However, they don’t have the authority to kill anyone – that authority belongs to the Romans.  Here in this Roman trial the true King of the world faces the highest human authority on earth.  But it is finally not Jesus who is judged.  Pilate’s desperate squirming and turning - his repeated movement between Jesus inside the building and the Jewish crowd outside - are a symbol of the agony and turmoil of the man’s soul, as he realizes that he is actually the one who is being judged.

Even if in mockery, Jesus is robed and crowned as King.  Though the governor doesn’t realize it, he also carries out the usual prelude to a coronation: the presentation of the king to his subjects.  First we hear: “Behold the man” … then: “Behold your King!”  Finally, it is Pilate who unwittingly underlines the truth when he insists that the sign affixed to the top of the cross must read: “Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews.”

Prayer: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."