• Pilate Asked
• Pilate asked almost as many questions in a few hours that Christ asked
over three years.
• Pontius Pilate stands as one of the worst villains in Scripture, Perhaps
• Arguably second only to Judas Iscariot in infamy.
• His misdeed was more passive than Judas’, however.
• He could have said NO!, but he let others influence him.
• Truly, he was a man with more questions than answers.
• And wanting to know allows Pilate to stand out above many others.
• “WHAT ACCUSATION DO YOU BRING AGAINST THIS MAN?”
• John 18:29
• It was most reasonable for the Governor to ask the accusers “to
specify the charges against him
• Festus spoke to Agrippa a similar thing.
• Acts 25:24-27.
• So, here are the accusations:
Matthew 26:61, 63-64; Luke 23:1-2
• “WHAT ACCUSATION DO YOU BRING AGAINST THIS MAN?”
• Sadly, that question brings to the light the reality that the accusations
were most disharmonious.
• Was Jesus under indictment for threatening to destroy the temple, for
claiming to be the Son of God, or for forbidding payment of taxes?
• It seems His accusers could not agree on the charges. Thus, these were
sham legal proceedings.
• “ARE YOU THE KING OF THE JEWS?”
• Luke 23:3
Pilate inquired as to whether Jesus is King.
• John 18:36-37
The Lord did not deny it, but He did clarify the nature of His kingdom.
• It is not in competition with Caesar’s, but in superiority over
it, for His kingdom is not an earthly one.
• Mark 9:1
His kingdom came within that generation. It is, evidently, a spiritual one.
• “DO YOU NOT HEAR HOW MANY THINGS THEY TESTIFY AGAINST YOU?”
• Matthew 27:13
Similar to the first question, Pilate here reminded Christ that the testimony
against Him was multifaceted.
• Mark 14:56, 59
Perjury was suborned, but one witness’s testimony was incongruous with another’s.
• Exodus 20:16
Since at least the Ten Commandments, God’s people have known the wickedness
of bearing false witness.
• Proverbs 18:17
We should be slow to believe the first version of events we are told.
• “DO YOU ANSWER NOTHING?”
• Mark 15:3-5
Jesus declined to speak in His own defense.
• First, this demonstrates acceptance of the course of events unfolding
– a willingness to die.
• Second, it demonstrates the wisdom in silence.
• Matthew 26:62-63; Luke 23:8-9
Not only before Pilate, but also before the priests, and before Herod, Jesus had
nothing to say. He was consistently mute.
• Isaiah 42:1-2; 53:7
This fulfilled prophecy concerning the anointed one.
• “DO YOU ANSWER NOTHING?”
• Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7
It is wise to know when to speak and when not to.
• John 8:6
The silence of Christ was not without precedent. Jesus found it prudent on a prior
occasion to withhold answer.
• Colossians 4:6
Christians are enjoined to learn how to answer.
• This will include learning whether to answer.
• “WHOM DO YOU WANT ME TO RELEASE TO YOU? BARABBAS, OR JESUS WHO IS
• Matthew 27:17
Considering Barabbas was a thief, insurrectionist, and murderer – a most
unsympathetic prisoner, it seems likely Pilate was attempting to increase the
probability of Jesus being chosen by the crowd for release.
• Acts 3:13-15
Alas, the multitudes chose poorly, dragging a weak leader into a reprehensible
• Hebrews 2:9; Galatians 3:13
When evil Barabbas deserved to die for his heinous actions, Christ died instead.
• Truly, His death spared all sinners who obey Him from our deserved second
• “WHAT THEN SHALL I DO WITH JESUS WHO IS CALLED CHRIST?”
• Matthew 27:22
What to do about Jesus is the most basic question there is and it is still relevant
• Romans 10:17; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10; Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:38
In brief, the answer is to learn about Him, believe Him, confess Him, repent of
sins as He commanded, and be baptized into Him.
• But we know Pilate had a different reason for asking.
• “WHY? WHAT EVIL HAS HE DONE?
• Mark 15:14
Having heard multiple, contradicting accusations against Jesus, Pilate remained
unconvinced that He had perpetrated any crime.
• Luke 23:15; John 19:4
Pilate’s repeated conclusion was that Jesus was no outlaw.
• John 14:30; Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15
The Lord claimed that the devil had nothing in Him. It was true, for when they
met face-to-face, when Christ was in a most weakened condition, Satan failed to
turn Him. Having faced all temptations, Jesus never sinned.
• Hebrews 7:26; 1st John 3:5
Christ is sinless. Even the Governor who issued His death sentence knew it.
• “WHERE ARE YOU FROM?”
• John 19:9a; Luke 23:6-11
Pilate was not trying to become better acquainted with a new friend. He was curious
to know where Jesus was from so he could be rid of Him, pawning Him off on the
tetrarch of Galilee. Of course, that’s irrelevant since, even though Jesus
was a Galilean, His alleged crimes took place in Judea. Herod returned Him to
• Matthew 27:24
Pilate was desperate to evade his duty as Governor to release an innocent man.
• Exodus 4:13
Shirking responsibility angers God. Moses did not please Jehovah when he offered
excuses as to why he should not be the messenger to Pharaoh.
• Jonah 1:2-3
Jonah displeased the Lord when he fled away from Nineveh after God had summoned
him to preach repentance there.
• “AM I A JEW?”
• John 18:35
Pilate sensed that what transpired between Jesus and His accusers was not his
business since he was not a Jew.
• Romans 10:12-13; Galatians 3:28
Being a Jew is irrelevant now. In Christ there is equality between Jew and Gentile.
• Romans 9:6-8; Galatians 6:16
Because not every Israelite is legitimate anymore, Christians have become the
true “Israel of God”.
• “WHAT IS TRUTH?”
• John 18:38
Whether he was sincere or flippant, Pilate’s question was a most appropriate
• John 17:17; Psalm 119:160
The answer to the question asked, “What is truth?”, is God’s
• Psalm 31:5; John 14:6; 1st John 5:6
The answer to another, unasked question, Who is truth?, is Jehovah, Christ, and
• “DO YOU KNOW THAT I HAVE POWER TO CRUCIFY YOU?”
• John 19:10-11
Trying to intimidate His prisoner, Pilate reminded Jesus he had power to release
or execute Him. Jesus did not disagree, but taught His interrogator where that
power came from.
• Acts 25:11
Under similar circumstances, on trial for his life before a Roman governor, Paul
did not deny or question the validity of the death penalty, only the appropriateness
of using it against an innocent man.
• Romans 13:1, 4
God establishes government for the upholding of good and the punishment of evil.
It is an abject failure when government upholds evil and punishes good.
• 1st Timothy 2:1-2
The people of God ought to pray for government leaders to leave us all in peace.
• Proverbs 29:2
Pray for righteous leadership!
• “SHALL I CRUCIFY YOUR KING?”
• John 19:15
The question Pilate here asked is one we are capable of answering.
• Hebrews 6:4-6
When we forsake Christ for sin, it is a renewed crucifixion.
• After all, He suffered the pain of death to save us from sin, so to sin
again is like driving new nails into His flesh.
• “HE ASKED HIM IF HE HAD BEEN DEAD FOR SOME TIME”
• Mark 15:43-44
It surprised Pilate to know that Jesus had expired as swiftly as He did.
• Apparently, crucifixion was so horrible that a six hour death was regarded
• Hebrews 5:5-7
The relative brevity of His death, therefore, substantiates the idea that God
answered Jesus’ prayers.
• Matthew 26:37-39
He prayed for deliverance, and, to a limited extent, was granted what He requested.
• 1st Peter 1:6-7
God does not deliver us from all suffering, but He does deliver us through that
• So many of the questions that Pilate asked are still just as relevant
• We sometimes sing the song “what will you do with Jesus”.
• Those questions are for each of us to answer.
• Pilate was wrong for allowing an innocent man to suffer the penalty of
death. And he knew it.
• Will you also allow the death of Christ to mean nothing to you?
By Carey Scott
Home / Bible
studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General
Articles / Non-Bible Articles /
Sermons / Sermon
Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith
The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence
Courses / What is the Church of Christ /
Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me