You're here: » Articles Home » J.R. Miller » The Life of Jesus » Chapter 19 - "What Shall I do with Jesus?"

The Life of Jesus: Chapter 19 - "What Shall I do with Jesus?"

By J.R. Miller

      Pilate's was a most unenviable distinction. No doubt he felt honored when he was made procurator of Judea. But the honor brought him a responsibility which left him weighed and found lacking. Pilate did not know when he was roused so early that April morning, that that Friday was doomsday for him. He did not know when he was going through the various stages of the trial of Jesus, that he was making such a record of infamy for himself! He would better a thousand times have missed the honor of being the governor of Judea, and thus have escaped the making of the terrible mistake he made that day.

      Yet Pilate need not have failed so terribly. If he had been simply just, and had stood like a rock for what was right, the day would have become one of undying honor--and not one of everlasting obloquy for him. But the question with which Pilate met every crisis was not, "What is right?" but, "What will advance my interest?" He knew that Jesus was guilty of no wrong--he confessed that he found no fault in Him. He knew the motive of the religious rulers--that for envy they had delivered Him.

      But instead of directly acquitting Him, he sought in indirect ways to secure His release. He sent Him to Herod, thinking thus to get clear of the responsibility of meeting the question himself. This failing, he begged the rulers to accept Jesus as the one prisoner to be set free at that Passover. But they refused, choosing Barabbas. At this point it was that Pilate, perplexed and beaten, asked, "What then shall I do with Jesus?" Instantly came the answer, "Crucify Him!" Still Pilate pleaded, awed by something in the prisoner before him, and dreading to send Him to the cross. But the only answer he got was, "Free Barabbas! Crucify Jesus!" He still struggled hopelessly to keep Jesus from death--but he had gone too far in his temporizing. So he yielded. He delivered the prisoner to their will.

      Then taking water, he washed his hands before the people, saying he was innocent of the blood of the Just Man he was giving up to crucifixion.

      Pilate lost his opportunity. He is held up before the world as a judge who knew the innocence of the Man who stood before him--yet sent Him to a cross! An imaginative writer, describing Pilate's life in the world of eternal darkness, represents Pilate as washing his hands forever, and then looking at them to find them still and forever stained. They will never come clean!

Back to J.R. Miller index.

See Also:
   Chapter 1 - The Gospel of the Infancy
   Chapter 2 - The Mother and the Child
   Chapter 3 - The Watchfulness of God
   Chapter 4 - The Youth of Jesus Christ
   Chapter 5 - The Shadow of the Cross
   Chapter 6 - "Not Dead--But Sleeping"
   Chapter 7 - "Lord, Save Me!"
   Chapter 8 - The Teacher by the Sea
   Chapter 9 - Christ at the Door
   Chapter 10 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   Chapter 11 - The Compassion of Christ
   Chapter 12 - Unrequited Love
   Chapter 13 - The Coming of the King
   Chapter 14 - Remember Jesus Christ
   Chapter 15 - The Lesson of Service
   Chapter 16 - The Refuge in Sorrow
   Chapter 17 - "Could You Not Watch One Hour?"
   Chapter 18 - Why Did Peter Fail?
   Chapter 19 - "What Shall I do with Jesus?"
   Chapter 20 - "Behold the Man!"
   Chapter 21 - The Great Mystery of Love
   Chapter 22 - Last at the Cross, First at the Grave
   Chapter 23 - The Women Friends of Jesus
   Chapter 24 - The Walk to Emmaus
   Chapter 25 - The Pathos of Divine Love
   Chapter 26 - The King and His Kingdom
   Chapter 27 - The Parting Blessing


Like This Page?

© 1999-2019, All rights reserved.