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The Good Confession of Jesus Before Pontius Pilate

1 Timothy 6:13

Thursday, 05/23/24 and Sunday, 05/26/24

The “Good Confession of Jesus before Pontius Pilate” (1 Tim 6.13)

 

I.   Setting the scene

     A.   The Date/Time: Nisan 14, 3793 (Passover) / April 3, AD 33 – ca.4.30 am

 

       B.   The Place: The Essene Gate on the far west wall of the Herod’s Palace, and thus of the city of Jerusalem

 

       C.   The Primary Players:

               1.    Jesus of Nazareth, on trial for His life, charged with the crime of sedition

               2.    Caiaphas the High Priest/Presider over the Sanhedrin – primary accuser

               3.    Pontius Pilate, Roman Prefect (governor) of Judea/Jerusalem & Samaria

 

       D.   The Drama: Jesus is on trial before Pontius Pilate - the Sanhedrinists’ plot to murder the Nazarene is unfolding nicely, but it is about to run into a wall!

 

II.    Jesus’ “Good Confession before Pilate”

 

       Scene 1: Jesus before Pilate for the first time (Mt 27.11-14; Mk 15.2-5; Lk 23:1-7; Jn 18.28-38)

 

       A.   The Sanhedrinists accuse Jesus, but Pilate refuses to “play along” (Jn 18.28-32)

 

       B.   Private Interview #1 (Jn 18.33-38a) [1st stage of Jesus’ Good Confession]

 

       C.   The official verdict declared by the duly authorized Judicial Officer (Jn 18.38b)

 

       Interlude: Jesus sent to Herod Antipas (Lk 23.8-12)

Scene 2: Jesus before Pilate a second – and final – time

       

       A.   Pilate’s Barabbas “gambit” falls through (Lk 23.13-23 / exp 13-15 [3x] – cf. Ac 3.13)

 

       B.   Jesus is scourged / “Behold the Man!” (Jn 19.1-6)

 

       C.   The Sanhedrinists declare the real issue at stake (Jn 19.7)

 

       D.   Private Interview #2 (Jn 19.8-11) [2nd stage of Jesus’ Good Confession]

 

       E.   Pilate tries to release Jesus / the Tiberius threat / “Behold your King!” (19. 12-15)

 

       F.   Pilate “delivers Jesus to them to be crucified” (Jn 19.16)

 

III.   Conclusion: By reason of Jesus’ Good Confession” before Pilate –

 

       A.   A very strong probability: Pilate became a believer (cf. 19.19-22)

 

       B.   An undeniable absolute certainty:

               On the one hand, Jesus died a “spotless Lamb,” having been exonerated of sedition in the most undeniable and dramatic way one could imagine, but…

 

on the other, Jesus did die the death specifically designed by Rome for a seditionist (i.e., He was “lifted up” – cf. Jn 3.14; 8.28; 12.21 – 18.28) – proving to all the reality of His physical death and thus validating His resurrection!

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