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The Good Seed - Thursday, April 16, 2020
by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above.
John 19:11

As the Roman governor over Judea Pilate had supreme judicial authority. In many cases he had to make judgments against which no appeal was permissible. Now the Jews were asking him to pronounce the death sentence on Jesus Christ. One of their accusations was: He made Himself the Son of God. Pilate soon realised that this case was of an entirely different character from the normal ones, when he had criminals before him.

The governor asked Jesus: “Where are you from?” but received no answer. So he attempted to show the accused his power and authority and said, “Are you not speaking to me? Do you not know that I have power to crucify you, and power to release you?” Would Jesus speak to him then? Pilate was accustomed to the accused defending themselves and seeking to get a favourable judgment. However, in this case things turned out differently: “Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above.” There was no attempt to weaken the accusation, no self-justification, simply an indication that Pilate owed his power to God.

The judge had suddenly become the accused: he had to justify his verdict before God, who was the highest authority above him. That appeared to make the governor even more insecure, for in his view there was no reason to justify the death sentence. Pilate at least tried to release Jesus.

Eventually, however, Pilate ignored the warning voice of his conscience and decided what was for him politically most suitable. Although convinced of Jesus’ innocence, he condemned Him to death by crucifixion.

Today’s reading: Jeremiah 25:1-14 · Romans 2:1-7


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