THE TRIAL OF PILATE
by J. Winfred
I realize the above title might seem strange. Mast of the time we think of him in relation to the trial of Jesus. But that is the point. He is shown to be what he really was by the way he reacted to the Lord. He was on trial even more than the Lord.
What happened to Pilate as he stood in the presence of the Lord? What sort of man does he show himself to be? How would he be judged by others who have occasion to know the facts in the ease?
1. He is a man that would close his ears to influence around him. If you read the record very closely, you will see that he knew that “for envy they delivered Him” (Matthew 27:16). He knows the charges are not valid and well founded. To thus condemn the Lord means he must sin against the advice that he had. Did not his wife warn him to have nothing to do with the Lord’s trial or death (Matthew 27:19)? Did he not have a chance to listen to what the Lord had to say? Yet, in spite of all the influences that were present to help him, you will find that he closes his ears.
2. He was controlled by forces around him. Rather than acting as a man of principle, you find him caving in to the cry of the mob to crucify the Lord. He was controlled by public opinion as he “was willing to content the people” (Mark ). Though he would say he had power, you will find him under the control of public opinion. He also wanted to hold onto his position (John ).
3. He lacked the character demanded for the position he held. He claimed to have power to release the Son of God, but he lacked the honesty to exercise such. In short, he was a moral coward. He would seek ways to compromise time and again.
He is seen as a weak and wicked man who occupied a responsible position but one who lacked the backbone to properly function in that capacity.