What to put up on one of the high and holy days of the church calendar? The betrayal, trial, condemnation and Crucifixion of Christ, and the psalms, the prophets and comments of the apostles: the readings for today are long.
But it is for our sins that this happened. Pilate and the Sanhedrin were allowed to be in power so that this could happen. When Pilate heard this he feared. Greatly. And he caved.
John 18-19, NASB
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the [a]ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered [b]with His disciples. 2 Now Judas also, who was [c]betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. 3 Judas then, having received the Roman[d]cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, *came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6 So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9 to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” 10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”
12 So the Roman [e]cohort and the [f]commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him,13 and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.
15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the slave-girl who kept the door *said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He *said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in [g]synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. 21 Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” 22 When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” 24 So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.
28 Then they *led Jesus from Caiaphas into the [h]Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the [i]Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. 29 Therefore Pilate went out to them and *said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” 31 So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” 32 to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.
33 Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this [j]on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom [k]is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not [l]of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”
And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. 39 But you have a custom that I release someone [m]for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release [n]for you the King of the Jews?” 40 So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.
19 Pilate then took Jesus and [o]scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; 3 and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. 4 Pilate came out again and *said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” 5 Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate *said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6 So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate *said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”
8 Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; 9 and he entered into the [p]Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?”11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority [q]over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 As a result of this Pilate [r]made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king [s]opposes Caesar.”
13 Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called [t]The Pavement, but in [u]Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the [v]sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15 So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate *said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
16 So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.
17 They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, [w]bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in [x]Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20 Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in [y]Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the [z]tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven [aa]in one piece. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “Theydivided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast [ab]lots.” 25 Therefore the soldiers did these things.
But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch ofhyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
31 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath ([ac]for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be [ad]broken.”37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”
38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a [ae]mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred [af]pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Pilate was frightened when Christ talked to him. His accusers were very careful to keep themselves pure so they could eat the Passover, forgetting that there is a clear command that those ritually unclean should eat it.
In these days, where the woke are so ready to damn, we have to deal with this ugly thought: the Pharisee is in such, is in us.
Christ knew this was needed. For our soul, for our sake.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 NASB
13 Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and [a]greatly exalted.
14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of men.
15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.
53 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender [b]shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should [c]be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of [d]sorrows and acquainted with [e]grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our [f]griefs He Himself bore,
And our [g]sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
[h]Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was [i]pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our [j]well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To [k]fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the [l]living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, [m]putting Him to grief;
If [n]He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His [o]offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the [p]good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the [q]anguish of His soul,
He will see [r]it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out [s]Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.
Such great a love. We did not deserve any person to take our wrongdoing and pay recompense for all we have done and all we will do. His work is final, complete.
Choose Christ. All else is lies.