29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.
31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:
32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, 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.
38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
Those without, looking without understanding, will always exclaim, “What is truth?”
Jesus is not only to be King of the Jews, but also the King of the world. Pilate, though being manipulated here by Annas, is not without blame himself. Yet I need to remember that the Creator of the world delivered Himself up for a sacrifice for my sin. “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” As a sacrifice for the world He offered Himself, that all who look upon the cross and believe God should be held not guilty for his sin.
An interesting article may offer insight into Jesus being the only way to forgiveness, just as is said in John 14:6, and implied here in verse 37, when Jesus is bearing witness to Pilate.
One purely hypothetical illustration may help. If I screamed at my wife, calling
her unmentionable names, my wife would be rightly offended and our intimate fellowship would surely be broken. So how would I return to a genuine state of e-harmony with my wife: First my wife must be willing to bear the harm I caused her and not hold it against me. But to restore the relationship in any meaningful sense, I need to realize that what I did was wrong, repent and confess my sin to my wife—preferably with symbols of my repentance in hand, such as flowers and candy! . . . Now consider some of the common errors offered as “ways” of salvation. They are incoherent given the biblical objectives of salvation. For example, in a works—righteousness model, one would perform good works, such as helping little old ladies across the street, and then return to his wife and demand forgiveness since he “earned” it by good works.
Of course such a scenario is absurd! And so it is absurd to think that by good works we can ever accomplish what it took God Himself to initiate. We are forgiven, not on the basis of what we have done, but because God Himself acted as a substitute for our sins. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) It is God who decided to bear the harm we caused Him, and because of Christ, to never hold it against us. Anyone who thinks God will just overlook his sin is fooling himself, and is in danger of the greatest judgment. Anyone who thinks Jesus is Lord, and died to be a propitiation for us knows the truth, and the truth will set him free from judgment.
Credit must be given to Pilate though. I read elsewhere that his wife warned him not to do anything to Jesus because of a dream, and I certainly see his trying to avoid crucifying the Christ here. If anything, I liken Pilate to the hammer, which was in the hand of Annas. It is the Jewish fathers, refusing to recognize their own king’s coming, who must bear the responsibility. And yet it is a mystery of God, for as Jesus pointed out, if His kingdom were of this world, He would not have gone to the cross, but would have successfully resisted all attempts to kill Him. What He did was voluntary, and with complete foreknowledge.
According to McDowell, Napoleon had this to say about Christ, “I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ, or anything which can approach the gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary.” The world has never seen again, and never will see again, the effect of this one solitary life.
Lewis, Kevin Alan, Why is Jesus Christ the Only Way of Salvation?, Biola Magazine, Winter, 2012, (www.itnet.org)
McDowell, Josh, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, p. 111, 1972
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village.
He worked in a carpenter shop until he was about thirty.
He then became an itinerant preacher.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn't go to college.
He had no credentials but Himself.
After preaching three years, the public turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing, the only property He had on earth.
He was laid in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone,
and today He is the central figure of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched,
all the navies that ever sailed,
all the parliaments that ever sat, and
all the kings that ever reigned
have not affected the life of man on the earth as much as that
ONE SOLITARY LIFE
by Dr. James Allan Francis