The night was dark and cold, as nature anticipated the death of her Creator (John 18:18). For it was near to the time the words of Caiaphas, the high priest would be fulfilled: “it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not” (John 11:50; 18:14). So, Christ, after pouring out the issues of His heart in the Garden of Gethsemane, is arrested and arraigned first before Annas, the high priest’s father-in-law, and second before Caiaphas. Unable, however, to tangle the Word in His words, the Sanhedrin takes Christ to the judgment hall of Pilate. They had the gall to take the Lamb to the governor’s court but to refuse to enter therein lest they defile themselves from eating the Passover (John 18:28).
Upon Jesus’ arrival, Pilate goes out to meet the sanctimonius Jews, inquiring what accusation they brought against Christ (John 18:29). The Jews could not furnish a reasonable answer, but name Christ a malefactor (John 18:30). And when told by the Roman Authority, to judge Christ by their own law, they claim: “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death” (John 18:31).
So, the ineffectual governor begins the interrogation, which Jesus quickly turns into an interview. The governor begins asking Jesus if He is the King of the Jews (John 18:33)? Jesus responds asking if Pilate discerned that himself, or if his profession is based on hearsay (John 18:34). Slightly surprised, and seeking to distance himself from the situation Pilate responds, “Am I a Jew? Thine own nation nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?” (John 18:35). But Jesus sets the record straight: His kingdom is a heavenly kingdom, and if He wanted, He could call down legions of angels, who, upon arrival, would destroy earth. Moreover, this earthly kingdom would not be conquered until the end of time (John 18:36; Daniel 2:36-45).
But the Roman Ruler would not forbear with his question. So for the second time, he asks the Messiah, “Art thou a king then?” (John 18:37), although this time disconnecting Jesus’ kingship with the Jewish kingdom. And finally, the Savior plainly speaks, answering His first question and Pilate’s:
Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice (John 18:37).
Pilate, now having the chords or his heart struck, perhaps troubled that he was not hearing Jesus’ voice, asks
“What is truth?” (John 18:38).
But before the Way, Truth, and Life could respond, the Roman authority leaves the judgment hall and tells the Jews he finds no fault in Jesus (John 18:38).
Stay tuned as we re-enter the judgment hall of Pilate and discover “What is Truth?”
Coller, Henry. “Christ in Front of Pontius Pilate.” Pinterest, 30 July 2012, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/344103227752393638/.