Truth in Unexpected Places

In John 18:38, Pontious Pilate asks the question, “What is truth (NASB)?” Jesus is standing in front of him and Pilate is interrogating him to determine his crime. The truth is that Pilate finds Jesus innocent and he tells the Jews, “I find no guilt in Him (18:38).” While Pilate gives into the crowd and has Jesus crucified, he does declare to the Jews, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood… (Matthew 27:24).”

Even after Jesus is crucified, Pilate maintains the truth about Jesus. The Jews complain to Pilate about the sign placed on the cross that read: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS (Luke 22:38).” They felt it was not the truth and told Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews (John 19:21) To which Pilate replies, “What I have written I have written (John 19:22).” The Jews stubbornly refused to see Jesus as their King, as their Messiah.

So many times in the New Testament it is the Gentiles, who see Jesus’ divinity, that profess he is the son of God. In Matthew 8 we meet a centurion who asks Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus replies, “I will come and heal him (8:7).” To which the centurion replies, “ Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed (8:8).” Jesus remarks, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel (8:10).”

While Jesus is suffering on the cross for our sins; people passing by mocked him saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross (Mark 15:29-30)!” The chief priests and scribes also mock him among themselves saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself (Mark 15:31).” It is a centurion standing in front of Jesus on the cross who ignores the mocking and professes the truth about Jesus: “Truly this man was the Son of God (Mark 15:39)!”

On this Friday before Easter, on the day we focus on how Jesus suffered for our sins, how do we answer Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Do we profess to others, “Truly he is the son of God.” Do we demonstrate our faith in Jesus by saying, “Just say the word and my servant will be healed.” Do we profess the truth about Jesus even when others want to tell us he only claimed to be the King of the Jews. Remember, it was not the the religious leaders who showed us the answer to Pilate’s question, but the Gentiles who saw Jesus.

© 2020, CGThelen

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