And Pilate said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him.”

Luke 23: 14, 15


We all know how this story goes from this point. If anyone in history was not guilty of a crime, that person was Jesus. Everything that He had done and said was directed toward the well being of all of humanity. This was true for the Roman governor Pilot, the false Jewish King Herod, and the crowd that demanded His life. Yet, justice, the one thing that seemed to be Jesus’ due, was denied Him. He went through the torture that was to follow these mock trials and the brutal death that ensued with grace and the love of God on His lips.


So, the one person who has walked this earth who deserved justice becomes history’s greatest example of injustice tendered. In so doing, however, Christ takes upon Himself the righteous judgment and the resultant justice that we all truly deserve. The reward for righteousness that Christ deserved is gifted to all people who follow Him. There is more to this courtroom drama. For, as Jesus was being denied what was due Him, Christ granted that which He had been denied to others around Him. His words from the cross still echo across our world, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

(Luke 23: 34)


We may think that we live in a world that does not treat us justly. The need to cry out against the rulers and the rules of our times is often strong within us, and our reasons for this drive to speak out are real and come from the Word of God. However, we do not truly deserve justice. In fact, we should not want to receive the just sentence that we have earned, and, as Christ has freed us from that punishment, we will not. Yet, in setting us free, Christ does call us to follow Him in all of life. His disciples are to be people who bring justice and peace to our world. We are to grant the grace of God to others so that we will be known to our neighbors as people who speak and live in the center of Christ’s cross-bound proclamation of forgiveness and grace.

Then Pilot said to Him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

John 18: 37


If you are a follower of Christ, you can expect to be questioned. In fact, I think that He expects for us to draw attention and to receive many inquiries into what we understand to be truth. If this is the case, then we are showing the world that there is something different about what we believe and in the way that we live out those beliefs. There is no doubt that this was how Jesus lived, for it is what has brought Him to the point in His incarnation where the servants of the world are fully focused on their futile attempt to end His influence. They are seeking to silence His voice thus muting the truth that so sternly confronts their sinful departure from God’s clearly stated way. Yet, despite their best efforts, they have no idea what it is that they are actually doing.


In the courtyard of the High Priest’s house and at the palace of the Roman Governor, the people are conducting a coronation ceremony. That roughly crafted crown of cutting and piercing thorns is in fact the regal headgear of the only authentic ruler in the world. This was true on that day, and it will remain so for all of time. Even the blows, the scourging, and the other forms of abuse that were poured out onto Jesus were an essential part of the ceremony. Evil does not go out without a fight. The ways of man are tenacious but doomed. So, Pilot reluctantly and unwittingly recognizes the King and follows that act of recognition up with an equally unintended act of supreme worship that is played out in the agony of crucifixion and that culminates in the glory of the risen King.


Thus, we come to our times and our lives. The world still asks after Pilot, “What is truth?” People continue to doubt and to question; they seek and they reject the living Word. Still, others are touched by the Spirit of Truth and yield their lives to His Christ. Our lord calls us to live in submission and in service to our King. Everything that we do and each aspect of that process of living is under His authority. After Jesus, there is no longer any separation of the sacred and the secular, and we can not follow Christ on the one hand and live under humanity’s rules on the other. When there is a divergence between those rules, we must follow Christ. So, we should be ready to be questioned, and we must be prepared to answer with the truth that is found only in Jesus Christ the reigning King.