(Pilate said) "... Look, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. I will therefore punish and release Him" (Luke 23:15-16).
Read Luke 23:13-16.
In the first trial Pilate declared Jesus not guilty but failed to enforce his ruling. Now he has a second chance. Pilate reports that he examined Jesus in open court proceedings, not in secret, and found that Jesus was not guilty of any of the charges against Him. Moreover, Herod had tried Jesus and did not condemn Him.
Herod had a better understanding of the Jewish religion than the Roman Pilate. Yet even on religious grounds Herod had not found Jesus guilty, and he certainly would have punished Him if he had. Besides that, most of Jesus' preaching and miracles had been done in Herod's jurisdiction, yet not once over all those months had Herod found a reason to arrest and try Jesus.
Two courts had reached the same verdict. He concludes, "Look, nothing deserving death has been done by Him." Again at this point, Pilate should use his full authority as Roman ruler to protect the innocent. But instead of freeing Jesus, Pilate offers a compromise: he orders Jesus scourged-a savage, crippling whipping. Surely, the Jewish leaders will be satisfied that Jesus is no longer a threat, and accept it in place of Jesus' death.
What a strange punishment when you have declared a man innocent of all the charges leveled against Him. It is also odd that Pilate shrinks from killing a Man he knows is innocent, but can justify crippling Him. Jesus yields Himself to such suffering and injustice to pay for your sins and mine. But He knows God will not be satisfied with mere earthly punishment and suffering, the Son of God will have to die to save us from our sins.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I marvel at Your loving sacrifice. Fill me with such love and gratitude to You that I will sacrifice myself for others. Amen.
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