Page 9 - October 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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Pilate was wearily aware of the trouble   no defense, just silence. Pilate willed Him
        such an acquittal was likely to cause,   to speak, to say something that would
        but he was also relieved. He had been   demolish the case against Him, but still
        perturbed by the message that his wife   He stood silent. Hoping to jolt Him into
        had sent to him as he prepared to hear   speech, Pilate broke the silence: “‘Hearest
        the case: “Have thou nothing to do with   thou not how many things they witness
        that just man: for I have suffered many   against thee?’ And he answered him to
        things this day in a dream because of him”   never a word; insomuch that the governor
        (Mat 27:19 KJV). Like most Romans, Pilate   marvelled greatly” (Mat 27:13-14 KJV).
        believed that dreams were not to be taken   The governor marveled greatly, for
        lightly, and he had been unable to dismiss   this was  something unprecedented  in
        her message from his mind. Indeed, the   his experience. Not even the guiltiest
        demeanor of the accused served only to   criminals failed to deny their guilt or, at
        reinforce it; a far less experienced judge   the very least, to defend their actions. And
        than Pilate would have recognized how   that was true even when the stakes were
        fitting her epithet was – here, quite clearly,   a great deal lower than they were today,
        was a just Man.                       when a guilty verdict meant an inevitable
          He had been impressed, too, by the sole   sentence of death by crucifixion. But the
        statement the prisoner had so far made.   Savior stood silent, and Pilate marveled.
        Pilate had asked Him if He acknowledged   Would his wonder have grown if he
        the title “King of the Jews,” and if His reply   had realized that this surprising silence
        was rather hard for Pilate to understand, it   had been foretold centuries before by the
        sounded remarkably unlike the manifesto   prophet Isaiah: “He was oppressed, and he
        of a political troublemaker: “My kingdom   was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:
        is not of this world: if my kingdom were of   he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
        this world, then would my servants fight,   and  as  a  sheep  before  her  shearers  is
        that I should not be delivered to the Jews:   dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa
        but now is my kingdom not from hence”   53:7 KJV)? Pilate had never seen a man
        (Joh 18:36 KJV). The anger of the Jews, the   stand silent in these circumstances. In
        warning from his wife, and the evidence of   the awful hours that followed he would
        his own eyes and ears made it very clear   see many other unprecedented sights.
        that this was no ordinary prisoner, and   He watched this Man give “[His] back to
        certainly not the seditious rabble-rouser   the smiters, and [His] cheeks to them that
        that the Jews would have him believe.  plucked off the hair” (Isa 50:6 KJV). And he
          As the prosecution’s evidence       watched as Jesus stood unflinching while
        finally petered out in a messy pile of   the soldiers spat in His face.
        contradictions, Pilate motioned for the   As he saw all this, he became more and
        prisoner to speak, confident that he would   more convinced that this was no ordinary
        soon be able to dismiss all charges and set   man. Three times he declared Him
        Him free. A silence settled over the crowd.   faultless (Joh 18:38; 19:4,6), yet as the Jews
        Pilate waited. The chief priests and the   tightened the screws of political pressure,
        crowd of onlookers waited. And waited.   Pilate gave way and delivered the King
        And Jesus stood silent. No protestation of   of the Jews to death by crucifixion. In
        innocence, no refutation of false testimony,   an attempt to distance himself from the
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