Truth

John 19:10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin. 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free.”
…19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews.  20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.  21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” NIV

Some power is real and some is illusion.  Mostly human nature seems to respond more to the power of illusion because it makes us think we are able to control life and circumstances.  The illusion of power was clearly behind Pilate’s question: “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus answers Pilate in two sentences that tell him his  power is only an illusion, that he has no real power at all, AND at the same time offers him something that seems designed to ease his guilty conscience.  Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

And look at Pilate’s response to Jesus!  “From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free”…and finally his response to the chief priests and Jews when they complained about his notice posted to the cross –  “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews.”

Something real happened in that interchange with Jesus that affected Pilate.  Isn’t that just like Jesus to clearly remind where the source of real power lies AND then to create a small grace space in a reprimand so that truth would be revealed even without faith when “Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

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