“And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he [Pilate] saith unto the Jews [regarding Jesus], Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:14-15)
Jesus was convicted of blasphemy in a sham trial and sentenced to death. The high priest said, “…behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” (Matthew 26:65-66) They wanted Pilate to approve the execution. He wanted to know the charge. They said, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king.” (Luke 23:2) What about blasphemy?
The conviction had been for blasphemy, not sedition, but Pilate knew they hated Jesus. “For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.” (Matthew 27:18) He said, “I find no fault in this man.” (Luke 23:4) He wanted to release Jesus, but they said, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.” (John 19:12)
Pilate told the Jews, “Behold YOUR king!” (John 19:14, capitals added) Pilate could say Jesus claimed to be a Jewish king and therefore no threat to Rome; which Jesus never was, anyway. Jesus said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s;” (Matthew 22:21) To “render unto Caesar” means to respect the civil government, pay taxes, and be law-abiding.
Yet they wanted Him dead. Pilate asked, “Shall I crucify your king?” (John 19:15) When they said, “We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15), they were saying that the government, that is, “Caesar”, was their true authority, not God. Jesus had told his enemies, “…ye are not of God.” (John 8:47) By saying, “We have no king but Caesar.” they proved He was right.
People can talk about their faith and even quote Bible verses. Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12 when he tempted Jesus to throw Himself off the top of the temple: “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6)
Yet when people and leaders consistently support what God’s Word opposes, and have “…cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the holy one of Israel.” (Isaiah 5:24), are they saying the government–“Caesar”–is the true authority and not God?
Jesus let it all happen. This was how He would die for our sins, be buried, and rise again. Do you know Jesus as Saviour? Are your sins forgiven? Will you be in heaven? Please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” to learn more.
Brian Miller 10/10/2022
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822