May 15: A Rejected King (Matthew 27:11-26)
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series called Making Sense of Christ and the Spirit at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through TheGospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Leviticus).
 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.”  But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer.  Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?”  But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted.  And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.  So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.  Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”  Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.  The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.”  Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”  And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.”  And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”  Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified (ESV)
Our passage continues the darkness found in Jesus’ last day, not simply as it details the betrayal and unjust trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus but also because of the weakness and darkness of the human heart. After Matthew inserts the final acts of Judas he picks up with Jesus being delivered to Pilate to be crucified. The story is one of God sovereignly working his redemptive plan through the darkness of men and the glory of His Son. Jesus shows an incredible willingness to follow God’s plan, even though it results in his crucifixion. Jesus is unique in his silence, innocence, and submission to his father in the salvation of a new people. Consider the beauty of Jesus set against the backdrop of deserting disciples, an expedient politician, corrupted religious leaders and the ignorant masses of people shouting for his crucifixion. Rejoice over his perfect obedience and perfectly innocent life.
Review and Apply
1. What does Jesus’ silence teach us?
2. What is revealed about the heart of man? If you were there, what would you have done?
3. In what way is the role of Pilate central to our faith?
4. Why is crucifixion central to forgiveness?
5. How is God’s providence revealed in this passage?
6. What does calling "his blood be on us and our children" mean?
7. How does this story increase your affections for and worship of Jesus?
8. How does this increase your assurance of salvation?
9. What changes in your life this week from this narrative?