Study of Matthew 27:11-31; Luke 23:1-12 ~ My answers to BSF study questions
11. a. Herod wanted to see Jesus perform a miraculous sign of some sort.
Jesus did not speak a word to Herod nor answer any of his questions.
b. This is the same Herod who had John the Baptist beheaded to save his “honor.” Herod heard about the miracles Jesus performed and thought perhaps Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.
c. Herod had more spiritual light than Pilate because of his previous knowledge of John the Baptist. When he heard about Jesus, he desired to see Him.
d. Herod and Pilate both saw Jesus face to face. Pilate believed Jesus was innocent and Herod believed Jesus could perform miraculous signs. Yet that was not sufficient to be with Him in paradise.
12. a. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent—
- Matthew 27:18 (Pilate) knew that it was because of envy that they had handed Him over to him.
- Luke 23:4 And Pilate said to the chief priests and the throngs, I find no guilt or crime in this Man.
- Luke 23:14 I have not found any offense (crime or guilt) in this Man
- Mark 15:10 For he was aware that it was [because they were prompted] by envy that the chief priests had delivered Him up.
- John 18:38 I find no fault in Him.
b. The religious leaders handed Jesus over to Pilate to avoid ceremonial uncleanness. John 18:28
Then the Pharisees said to one another, “You see? You’ve accomplished nothing. Look—the world has gone after Him!” John 12:19 (HCSB)
Whatever their motives, the method of Jesus’ death was described in Psalm 22:16-18. The Jews killed by stoning. By turning Jesus over to the Romans for execution, the prophecy was fulfilled.
c. Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified to prevent a riot. “His two main duties were to keep order in the country and to make sure that all imperial tax revenues were collected and sent to Rome.” (Pontius Pilate)
During the Passover Festival, many people from all over the country were in the city. The possibility of unrest was a greater threat.
One commentary and probably others, too, said Pilate was weak. Given some of the violent and ruthless incidents attributed to him by historians, it is unlikely he was weak.
These possible motivations are suggested here:
— As an upper-class Roman, Pilate wouldn’t have put much value on the life of a lower-class Jew like Jesus.
— The question of guilt or innocence was probably of little importance to Pilate. During his time as governor, he must have sent many innocent people to their deaths. Jesus would just be one more.
— Because of previous difficulties with riots and uprisings, Pilate would have been predisposed to take strong action against anyone who might be a potential threat to the stability of the country. A man like Jesus, who had a large number of followers, could have appeared to be such a threat.
— Pilate sometimes needed the collaboration of the Jewish leaders on other matters. To try to stay on good terms with them, he would have paid attention to their wishes in this case.
I don’t think we can extrapolate a real motive behind Pilate’s decision even if he stated a reason in his own words. As in the previous question, Pilate had the power to have Jesus crucified. And he did.
d. The life lesson they are looking for here—probably, don’t follow the crowd or allow pressure to cause you to go against your better judgment.
13. The Jewish leaders who knew the scriptures were so deceived. Even if Jesus wasn’t the Christ, they broke their own laws over and over due to their hatred driven by hypocrisy.
I pray that I will always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s revelation of the truth.