Pilate went out again and said to them, "See, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in Him." So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Behold the man!" When the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him." John 19:4-6
In the above text you hear Pilate's verdict concerning Jesus.
The Roman procurator was quite right when he declared Jesus to be innocent of any wrongdoing. Indeed, Jesus is the only person in the world's history who could make and be worthy of such a claim.
Jesus was innocent, while you and I and everyone else are sinners.
That is a fact which we prefer to cover up rather than admit. Just how far we are willing to go to hide our sins was shown recently by Nikkolaus McCarthy from New York.
State Police claim they first noticed McCarthy when he was riding his motorcycle. He came to their attention because at the time he was doing 166 miles per hour. An officer finally managed to get the cycle's license plate number when McCarthy had to slow down because of traffic.
McCarthy knew the police were on to him, but that didn't stop him from trying to cover his sin. Rather than receiving a summons, the cyclist sped off and achieved a speed in excess of 170 miles per hour.
Just to give you a reference point, a small Cessna airplane cruises at a speed somewhere between 120 and 160 miles per hour.
This all goes to prove, we human beings don't like to admit our sin. Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden; Cain buried Abel's body so his crime of murder might go undetected. All of us have our ways of pretending we're innocent as freshly fallen snow.
But we're not innocent, are we? We all have our sins -- big sins, little sins, public sins, and those stomach-wrenching private sins. Worst of all, by our own power we cannot erase or pay for the smallest of sins.
This is precisely why we need a Savior.
That Savior comes to us in Jesus. By His perfect life, which fulfilled the Law and rejected Satan's temptations, Jesus did what we could not. In His suffering and death, He paid the price our transgressions had earned. Now, with faith in the risen Redeemer, we are given forgiveness and the powerful assurance we have been readmitted into God's family of the saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive me for trying to cover my sin rather than repenting of them. Create a penitent heart within me, a heart which calls out, "Lord have mercy!" Then because of Jesus' sacrifice, may I be raised up to give thanks for what He has done. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries