What law was broken?

Luke 23:1-25

Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the  nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”

 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”

 But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.  And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.  That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;  no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.  I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast). And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—  who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested.  And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

 The only answer to the accusations was, “It is as you say.”  What was meant by the question; “Are you the king of the Jews?”?  It is obvious to the Romans that he is not, in the sense of mankind’s rule over man.  He had no army, he was opposed by the religious leaders, his followers had vanished; in that place, who was calling him king?  Who was giving him authority?  Not any man-made institution.  For this there was no law broken.  Christ was Jewish, that was established, that he was Lord of all was a spiritual concept not a law made to determine rule over mankind of that time.  Pilate found no crime committed, no law broken.  “The things of God are foolishness to man.”  Jesus did not speak for he did not require a defense.  How often do we jump into a verbal conflict, only to find it deteriorate into chaos because we perceived a need for defense where no defense was needed.  Study Jesus, learn from him; his approach was to give this no energy.  There are many times when what is needed is our silence. 

Contrast the noise with the silence.  And the noise reduces the accusers to mob rule and lack of thought.  The silence becomes regal, noble in its simplicity.  We have a lot of shouting going on right now in our world, mob rule with lack of thought, accusations flying for which there is no need of defense; it shouts its own lack.  We would take note and follow the path Christ trod; silence is noble in this place.  It indicates confidence, no need for defense, no need to engage in conversation and dialogue that contributes only to the noise and conflict.  Many questions but no answers, and so he was mistreated, prophecy was fulfilled and the end result was one of triumph for him, and us.


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