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From Pastor Eilers: Bible Study for Lenten Midweek, March 25, 2030

(a devotional recording will be posted soon)

Notes on The Trial of Jesus  Matthew 27: 1-2, 11-41     LENTEN MIDWEEK     March 25, 2020  

Note the similarity between the Roman trial and the previous Sanhedrin hearing. (26: 57-68)

 Charges are brought against Jesus, He remains mostly silent in both scenes.  When he gives answer it is with the vague reply, “You have said so…” also translated “Those are your words.”   The Sanhedrin’s hearing seeks religious evidence on the charge of blaspheme, the civil trial seeks evidence of political insurrection.   In both cases Jesus is abused and mocked after the decision; by thugs of the Sanhedrin as a prophet and by the Roman soldiers as a king.

Pilate’s Question,Are you the king of the Jews?”   In what tone of voice do you imagine Pilate asking it?

   Is it a flat, unemotional question?     Is it a question of surprise?   Or a disdainful question?

Jesus’ Answer  How do we interpret it?   

It’s neither a “yes”or a “no;” it’s as though he is saying, “Your words are correct, but your assumptions about them are wrong.”

The Silence of Jesus.   Why does Jesus not say more?   How do we interpret it?

Contrast it with the various voices which are speaking about him.

Can you imagine practicing silence when in an argument?   Why would you do that?

The Choice  

  Pilate takes the judgement seat to make a decision.   But instead gives the crowd a choice.

  Barabbas was known as a violent rebel.  Given the political climate there might have been some admiration for someone who stood up to Roman authority, even with violence.

  Pilate’s wife sends him a message while he sits on the judgement seat.  Note that this is a Gentile and a woman who is defending Jesus as a “as a righteous (innocent) man.”   This is a soft approach.  

  The choice for the crowd seems to be whether to vote for a violent course of action or a humble but dignified one.   Note the harshness of their response and the blood-thirst of their decision.

Pilate’s Handwashing

What is the statement Pilate is attempting to make?   Does it work?

Is Pilate absolved of any guilt?  

Our Connection

    Do we ever like Pilate seek to avoid making a decision?   Or absolve ourselves of any guilt?

    When does a harsh, more violent way appeal to us more than a humble and compassionate way?

    Ever wish you had kept silent, instead of speaking up, which only gave more importance to the conflict

    than it deserved?

    Describe the dignity of Jesus in these scenes.

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