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John 19 v 4. “Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”

How amazing that here, once again, the innocence of Jesus is portrayed. But as we know although he was innocent of all offences that would not save him. He came into the world to die. This was his great destiny and he would accomplish it.

But, look now, it is Pilate’s turn to display his conscience. He is confronted by a man he did not know, to make a decision he did not want to make, for a crime Pilate knew was untrue. But such is life. All of us are faced from time to time with difficult choices. We always need to do the right thing.

Pilate was a man in turmoil. He knew full well what the Jewish leaders were doing and unlike Herod, Pilate’s conscience was still in working order. There were several things that came to a head at this moment, all weighing upon his conscience.

For instance, Josephus, the Jewish historian tells us that Pilate had a couple of very serious confrontations with the Jewish people he was supposed to control. He did not need another Jewish riot. Then his wife came up with a dream she had which she took as a seriously bad omen. But most of all his own confrontations with Jesus convinced Pilate he was innocent.

Jesus said he was the King of a Kingdom not of this world. To Pilate that was just the usual Jewish religious talk. No threat there. But Jesus also said that he had come into the world to testify to the truth. He went on to say that anyone who was on the side of truth would listen to him (18:37). Moreover Jesus told Pilate that the only power Pilate had over him was given to him from above (19:11).

All combined Pilate felt more and more uneasy. Yet he had to make a decision and that moment of decision came. What did Pilate do? Exactly what Herod did. He caved in and made the wrong decision. He handed Jesus over to be crucified.

What does your conscience tell you about yourself and Jesus? Is all well between you?

Conscience. What a powerful thing it is! It will dog our footsteps to the grave. It will often accuse us. But of all accusations let it never be said that we turned our back on the Saviour.