Today’s Reading: John 18:25-19:22 (additional reading: Psalm 119:113-128 & Proverbs 16:10-11)
Are you on a quest for truth? In a sense every life is a pursuit of truth. When a baby reaches out to touch the object in front of him he is discovering the reality of what he sees. We spend billions of dollars to go into outer space trying to find out the truth about what is out there. We want to know what is and what is not. We are in various ways seeking out truth. But sometimes when people encounter truth, truth encounters them. Truth confronts us with pure reality. That’s what happens in our text today.
Pilate asks the Jews “What charges are you bringing against this man?” But the Jewish leaders do not want to deal in specifics because they know they have nothing that would stand up in a court of law. Rather than give Pilate any specifics they answer in generalities. John 18:30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” In other words, “Pilate, don’t concern yourself with details, take our word for it this guy is a criminal.” The way they express criminal in this text indicates ongoing evil doing. They may have even been calling Jesus a “habitual criminal.” They are saying to Pilate, “You know us, we wouldn’t say he’s a criminal if he weren’t, take our word for it and pass sentence upon him.”
But Pilate tells them to handle the matter themselves. He is saying sarcastically. “If you have already tried the matter and are not willing to give me the specifics of your accusations, then just handle it without me.”
But this is a question that might be asked today. What fault do people find in Jesus that causes them to resist him rather than serve him? Their accusations are seldom specific. Like these Jewish accusers they usually talk in generalizations like “Why then does he allow so much suffering in the world if he is a God of love?”
There are no valid accusations against Christ. He is full of grace and truth. He is righteous in every way. We may not understand all his ways. But his ways are higher than our ways not lower. He has come that we might have life and have it abundantly. There are no impure motives in him toward us. There are no unwise or inappropriate actions. An honest examination of the Lamb of God will always conclude with the words of Pilate, “I find no fault in him.”