Then the whole company of them arose and brought Him before Pilate... Luke 23:1
The Jewish high court and temple police arise as a large company and lead Jesus to Pilate. As they bring their charges against Him, they won't even call Him by name, saying instead, "this fellow." They level three charges against Jesus. First, they accuse Him of stirring up the nation against Rome. Next, they charge Him with hindering the payment of taxes to Caesar. And finally, they accuse Him of declaring Himself to be the Christ-a king who would be a definite threat to Caesar.
Pilate directly asks Jesus, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answers the same way He answered the Jewish high court previously. "You have said so." In Luke's Greek Jesus is really saying, "Yes, what you have said is true. I am King of the Jews."
In Pilate's mind there was no doubt, Jesus definitely was claiming to be the King of the Jews. And yet Pilate recognized this Christ-King was no threat to Caesar.
After this questioning Pilate went back out to the Jewish leaders and made his verdict known: "I find no guilt in this Man." At this point the trial should be over. Pilate should order the Jewish crowd to disperse and free Jesus, with an armed escort, if necessary.
But upmost in Pilate's mind is maintaining peace and order during this festival, when so many Jews from across the Empire have streamed into Jerusalem. He could certainly use his troops to disperse the Jewish leaders and free Jesus, but he prefers a more peaceful resolution. He seeks consent for his ruling from the Jewish high court-his first fatal flaw of the day.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Pilate was convinced of Your innocence, yet He opened the door to injustice when he should have set You free. Thank You for being willing to suffer and die for me. Amen.