CAIAPHAS, PRISON, & PONTIUS PILATE – Day 4 Meditation Blog For Holy Week
Jesus is brought before Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest. Jesus is facing trumped up charges because the Jewish religious authorities, under Caiaphas, see Jesus as a threat. They need to find a way to condemn Him. They need Jesus dead.
The Jewish Council (Sanhedrin) treat Jesus like the scum of the earth. Their only goal is to silence Jesus for good, to put Him to death. Based on what Jesus says would be how successful they would be. For every question and accusation addressed to Him, Jesus remained silent. Why do you think that is so?
The only time Jesus does answer is when He is asked, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of God?” Jesus replied, “I Am. And you shall see the Son of God standing on the right hand of God.” Why did Jesus answer this time, and not the others? That is for you to ponder.
Notice that after Jesus answered, “I Am,” the Sanhedrin condemned Him to death. They now had the evidence to condemn Him. Jesus said He was God. They began to spit in His face, punch Him with their fists, and slap Him around. What do you think went through our Savior’s mind as they beat Him? That’s what you get for speaking truth. Some will embrace it; others will reject it (and beat you up for saying it.)
When Jesus is your Lord and Savior, there will be times that God will make you stand before the Caiaphases of this world to bear testimony of Jesus. How prepared are you? Some will embrace what you share. Others will not and personally attack you instead. They may not physically beat you, but they certainly will attack your character and your integrity. They will attack your person with their lips, through slander and gossip. In many ways, they want to test your faith, especially during painful trials, suffering, and persecution. They want to see if you will crack under pressure.
Are you ready for this? Remember Jesus is always at your side. Not only has He walked this same road 2000 years ago, He will give you the correct words to share. They are words that cannot be refuted. They are truth. You words will bring glory to God. Jesus will be doing the speaking through you.
Alone and locked in prison, the soldiers continued to beat Jesus. They struck His face and body repeatedly. His precious blood poured forth more heavily. We can only imagine His swollen puffed-up eyes, the deep pain, and the anguish of His heart that Jesus was experiencing at this time. Yet, Jesus drew all the more strength to go forward.
He continually shows His love for us during His sufferings. Yet, we often leave Him alone in the prison cell of our hearts or never permit Him to enter at all. Jesus hungers to comfort us, but often we do not comfort Him because of the anxieties of life. Jesus always waits for us in solitude. May our hearts at least gaze upon Him in the pain and sorrow of His prison cell.
Whatever you do (or not do) to the least of these, you do (or not do) to Me (Jesus).
A remnant of Christians does follow Jesus in His sufferings. This is what I pray to be more like. If I am beaten, ill-treated, and maligned because I am a Christian, I want to unite my sufferings with Jesus’ sufferings. It is difficult and challenging to attain, but is always possible through the Holy Spirit. My love for Him pushes me closer to Him. My love for Him teaches me to love those who persecute me. (That’s deep.)
In the deep prison cell of my heart, I find peace with Jesus. He is my peace. He is my solitude. I find His cross there for me. In my weakness of shame and nakedness, His perfection shines through. His mercy, grace, and love are far greater than all my sins.
I see the nails pounding His hands and feet. I see the spear piercing His side. I see His dripping blood continuously washing my sins away. I see Jesus, the Lamb of God, for me crucified. I can only stand in amazement that Jesus did this for me. Though His face is beaten beyond recognition, there is a deep peace within me. It is well with my soul. I offer my sufferings to God the Father for the wounds others commit against His Son Jesus.
Pilate’s Interrogation of Jesus
Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor over the land of Israel. His responsibility was to ensure that Roman law and justice was carried out. Since Rome occupied and governed Israel, the Jewish Council (Sanhedrin) could not put Jesus to death without Roman approval. They brought Jesus before Pilate to get it.
Jesus ensured He never lowered Himself to man’s way of thinking. He did not look for human favor. He remained silent during Pontius Pilate’s interrogation. It was only when Pilate asked Him a specific question did Jesus reply. “Are you, Jesus, the King of the Jews?” Jesus’ response is an example for all Christians to follow. “I am. And My Kingdom is not of this world.”
Look closely at Jesus’ response. As Christians, we are only passing through this world until we are home with Jesus in the next world. Our kingdom is not of this world. It is with Jesus. In this world, we are only to represent Jesus to others. We are only His ambassadors. We share the love of Jesus with others while keeping our focus on Jesus. That is why an over attachment to worldly pleasures is unhealthy for the Christian. We must safeguard this. We do not want to treat Jesus (and others) the way Pontius Pilate and King Herod did.
Instead of human popularity, Jesus sought humiliation and suffering. He remained faithful to us unto death. Pilate wanted the opposite. He knew Jesus was innocent, but yielded to the peer pressure of the Jewish leadership to gain their favor. Pilate did not want to take personal responsibility, so he shuffled Jesus off to King Herod. As He had done to Pilate, Jesus uttered not one reply during King Herod’s interrogation.
We must not forget that during these interrogations, Jesus was still bruised, beaten, and dripping with blood. However, deep within the heart, Jesus was on fire for the cross. His shed blood and eventual death would draw countless souls to God for salvation. It is remarkable that Jesus always remained faithful unto death for us.