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121: The Guilty Ones versus The Innocent One

May 15, 2009

Major Text:

Matt. 27:3-10
John 18:28-38
Luke 23:6-12
Matt. 27:5-23
John 19:6-16

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 27:3-10                                                                                                                    Acts 1:18-19
Matt. 27:2,11-14       Mark 15:1-5       Luke 23:1-5          John 18:28-38
Matt. 27:15-26          Mark 15:6-15     Luke 23:13-2       John 18:39-19:6


  1. Judas Admits His Guilt Matt. 27:3-10
  2. Pilate Finds Jesus Innocent John 18:28-38
  3. Herod Finds Jesus Uncooperative Luke 23:6-12
  4. Pilate Continues to Find Jesus Innocent Matt. 27:15-23; John 19:6-11
  5. Pilate Give in to Pressure John 19:12-16


Judas became remorseful when he learned that Jesus had been condemned to die and returned his money back to the Jewish leaders claiming he had sinned and that Jesus was innocent. But it was too late to correct his mistake. It wasn’t too late to seek forgiveness but Judas was not aware of the depths of Jesus love for him so he went out and hanged himself. The difference between the Matthew text and the Acts text by Luke is explained by scholars by assuming that Judas did hang himself, His guts spilled out upon being cut down. The Jewish leaders did not want the “tainted” money on the eve of Passover but they didn’t mind the tainting of an innocent man. Thus, they used the money they gave Judas and bought a field in which to bury foreigners. In their minds they were doing a good deed. True, but it doesn’t come close to undoing their deed of condemning an innocent man. In their pride and arrogance they are blind to the Truth.

The Jews turn Jesus over to Pilate early in the morning, before Pilate is ready for duty. At the urging of the Jews, Pilate questions Jesus and finds Him innocent. The trumped up charges of not paying taxes and His claim of being a King are not unusual. That was the mind set of the Jews in Jerusalem. None of them liked to pay taxes and they were always looking for a king who would rid them of the Romans. Pilate probably dealt with such charges every day. The big difference is that these charges were brought to him by the Jews and not the Roman soldiers.

Pilate ships Jesus off to Herod Antipas once he learns that Jesus was from Galilee. Herod is pleased to have an audience with Jesus but only for the purpose to talk with Him and to see Him do a miracle. Herod was not a “genuine” person and when Jesus would not cooperate, he sent Him back to Pilate.

Pilate continues to question Jesus trying to find some means of being able to set Him free. But the Jews would not have it. They preferred to have Barrabas released and Jesus crucified. Pilate even goes so far as to ask Jesus for help in His defense. But Jesus says nothing. God’s Sovereign will is being carried out. So Pilate gives in to pressure, releases Barrabas and condemns Jesus to the cross.


  1. Seek forgiveness for His love and mercy are great. Then our sins will be forgiven, our despair will turn to joy, and our works will glorify His Name.
  2. False charges will make one unclean, not bricks and mortar. Again, our tongues reveal our heart and our hearts condemn us.
  3. The claims of Jesus convict the unjust more than those who desire or claim [Pilate or Jewish leaders] to practice justice.
  4. Practice Justice; protect the innocent. Beware those who envy.
  5. The miracles of Jesus are for revealing the Truth, not for entertainment.
  6. Lobbying pressure takes control when the facts are suppressed. Hold fast to truth so one can resist false claims.
  7. The Sovereign Will of God is for His Name to be glorified. The resurrection victory would not be evident without His death.
  8. In the end, we will die in despair or in triumph. They may look the same but the result is different. It’s our choice.

Fear Truth and Ignore the Populace.

Pursue Truth at the Expense of Opinions.

Let Truth Shout Down Unjust Claims.

May Truth Reign in our Lives Always.

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