A Clear Conscience

Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. John 19:10-16

Jesus now turned the heat up on Pilate. Someone who is bold enough to proclaim innocence and complete control of a chaotic situation he subjects himself to is (1) crazy, (2) overconfident, or (3) someone you might want to listen to. Knit together his wife and her dream, Jesus’ conversation about him being a king, and now this bold statement, and he has Pilate’s undivided attention.

But at this point, it’s next to impossible for Pilate to get out of the mess he put himself into. He gives it one last shot and in the end he just blew off the Son of God. He wanted nothing more to do with him, but again as legend has it, Pilate washed his hands obsessively the rest of his life, trying to wipe the blood stains from his conscience.

How about your conscience today? Is it cleared, completely wiped clean? Now is a great time to do just that.

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