Pilate’s Efforts to Free Jesus

John 19:1-5

The eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of John’s Gospel deal with the trials of Jesus of Nazareth beginning with his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. They culminate in His crucifixion as recorded in John 19:16-30. The first part of John 19 is not a trial. There has been no record of a trial since Pilate’s initial verdict of acquittal as noted in verse 38 of the preceding chapter. Jesus is still in the hands of Pilate. The trial ended earlier when Pilate said, “I find in him no fault at all.”

(1) Pilate sent Jesus to Herod hoping that he would solve his dilemma.

(2) Pilate attempted to release Jesus instead of Barabbas in honor of the Jewish custom.

(3) Pilate caused Jesus to be beaten, hoping this meant to evoke pity from the leaders and mob.

None of these strategies worked. The reaction to these attempts shows the nature of the human heart and its sin. It also shows God’s plan for the redemption of the world through Jesus’ crucifixion.



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