The King and His Kingdom
Open your Bibles to the Gospel of John once again. We are going to begin reading with verse 28 of chapter 18 and read through verse 40. We really need to read the entire chapter. I wish that you would read chapters 18 and 19 together. They are some of the most powerful words that have ever been written as they concern our Lord as he is arrested, brought to trial, and then to the cross. You see great conflict between individuals and a great conflict between their goals. It is a wonderful psychological study, seeing the interplay between all those characters in these chapters.
Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. (I underlined that as I thought there was great hypocrisy. They didn't have scruple one about crucifying an innocent man, but they were certainly not going to defile themselves ceremonially. The sad fact is that some people wouldn't smoke a cigarette or take a drink of wine if you put a gun to their heads, but they do not mind murdering someone with gossip and innuendo. I have found in my own ministry that sometimes those who are the most particular and the most precise about maintaining the ritual cleanness they are the worst at the massacre of the reputations of others.) So Pilate went out to them, and said, what accusation do you bring against this Man? They answered, if this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you. Pilate said to him, take him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law. The Jews replied, we are not permitted to put anyone to death. This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death He was to die. Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, are you the King of the Jews? Jesus answered, Do you ask this on your own ...
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