Now Jesus stood before the governor and the governor asked him “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he (Jesus) was accused by the chief priests and elders he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But (Jesus) gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. Matt 27:11-14
The testimony of this section of Scripture (Matt 27:1-31) has a number of extraordinary statements and descriptions of people’s reaction, not the least of which is Pilate’s mindset. While Pilate was no saint as the local Roman ruler, his callousness did not blunt his reason or astonishment…
What practical application can I take away from this section of scripture?
That is the usual objective for me. I want to get something that I can build upon, use, apply, etc. for the effort that I put into spending the time to read the Scriptures. After all, I need to get a value for doing this, right? Not always. In fact the “practical application” question may be down the line a bit. Sometimes I must read to fill my eyesight with the Awesomeness of God.
Here, reviewing the Story leading to the Crucifixion, my first read is to familiarize myself with the story again. My second read is to slow down and read the detail. My third read slows it down even further attempting to imagine what the individual scenes must have been like. Three reads, each slower than the previous, to get to the enormity of what God has decided to testify about. For I should realize that I am reading God’s testimony leading up to the Cross.
In slowing down I see the instances where the Scripture testifies of prophecy fulfilled as with Judas. But looking harder at Pilate, the scripture says some significant things and insinuates others: In v14 Pilate was amazed at Jesus pointed lack of response; in v18 Pilate knew that the crowd was envious of Jesus and was the reason that He was delivered to Pilate for judgement; in v19 Pilate was petitioned by his wife to “have nothing to do with that Righteous Man” because of reaction to a dream she had; v24 the scripture states that “he was gaining nothing” possibly indicating that Pilate was really trying to release Jesus-ok, maybe not very hard-and getting nowhere. At the end, Pilate attempts to distance himself from the violence of the crowd and responsibility by “washing his hands of it.” (v24)
So I see that there was a certain amount of amazement and awe by Pilate-he was impressed somewhat with Jesus. There was trepidation by his wife as a result of a dream and identified Jesus, not by name, but by the description “that Righteous Man.”
Astounding! Here is what I cannot help but think of: If unrighteous Pilate and his wife are impressed by the Son as described in Scripture, am I at least as impressed? Do I act and think in awe of my Lord daily? What am I like?
Lord Jesus, how do I cultivate an attitude of daily amazement of your Presence? All through the day I can see Your Hand-if I look for it. Most times I get so self-involved that I neglect noticing. Pilate could have neglected and just processed You without a notice-but he didn’t. He was impressed, amazed, questioned the sanity and reason of the mob. Why is this important to notice? Because of this: I view the world through my eyes, my reason, and my convenience as a result of my self-absorption. Help me repent from this self-absorption and see my world through Your Eyes-to the end result of more fully walking worthy of the Gospel. AMEN.