“When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.” John 19.13-16
It was the day before the Passover, the day the Jews remembered God’s deliverance of the people out of the hands of Pharaoh in Egypt. The celebration that happens once year was happening on the same day as Jesus’ crucifixion. Coincidence? I don’t think so. It was the day the Jews put the blood of the innocent lamb upon their door posts so that the angel of death might pass them over.
Jesus was the ultimate Lamb of God being sacrificed for the sins of the world. His suffering, death and resurrection would win for all who believe salvation. Even as they were showing hatred God was showing mercy. On the day before the Passover, the day of preparation, Jesus was being prepared to meet his death upon a cross.
Pilate mockingly said to the Jews, “Here is your king,” to which they replied, “We have no king but Caesar.” Which was a mockery of their Father — God should have been their king. But as they rejected Messiah so they would reject the Father. And finally, Scripture tells us, Pilate handed (I might add reluctantly) Jesus over to the Jews for crucifixion.
No one, not you or me, can appreciate fully what Jesus did on the cross. The penalty of our sin was laid upon him so we might have life today, meaning and purpose, and life to come — heaven and salvation. Jesus’ death meant we might have life. For those who do not know him I say, “Turn, repent and believe the Gospel.” For those who know him yet have fallen away I say, “Return to your first love. ‘Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches’ (Revelation 2:5.)
He who was accused for our sin submitted to those who were afraid of his grace. Let’s not allow this be our response today.
“O Lord God, you are faithful. In your beauty I find rest. In your arms I find contentment. Come now, Holy God, bless us as your own. Own us as your children and allow us to know the power of your love. The accused became the conqueror with your resurrection and reward. But until then, you paid the heaviest price of your life for ours. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen