Did Pilate suggest just chastening and releasing Christ?

asked by anonymous

1 Answer

answered by kmpope

Yes. After Jesus returned from being sent to Herod by Pilate, the gospel of Luke tells us that Pilate called the Jewish leaders together and said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” (Luke 23:14-16, NKJV). The Holy Spirit then led Luke to explain, “for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast” (Luke 23:17). Luke uses this situation explain why Barabbas was chosen over Jesus. He writes, “And they all cried out at once, saying, ‘Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas’—who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder” (Luke 23:18-19). Luke emphasizes Pilate's desire to release Jesus, going on to explain, “Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him!’” (Luke 23:20-21). This does not excuse Pilate of guilt. Matthew records Pilate's attempt to dismiss himself of guilt by washing his hands in front of the people, but the very fact that he consented to the death of One he calls “a Just Person" (Matt. 27:24), shows that it was wrong for him to agree to the death sentence which the Jewish leaders demanded. He did not act upon his desire to release Jesus but, “gave sentence that it should be as they requested” (Luke 23:24).

Kyle Pope, April, 2017

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