Pontius Pilate – The Powerless Roman Governor

The trial of the Lord Jesus Christ was the most important trial in the whole world. While miscarriage of justice often happens in the world’s justice system, the miscarriage of justice of the trial of Jesus, the Son of God, was preordained of God. This case resulted in the crucifixion of Christ.

However, the execution order fell on the lap of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. The whole episode on the trial of Jesus turned out to be a kangaroo court situation based on public opinion. Unfortunately, the honourable Roman Governor had the dubious honour to become a rubber stamper instead of a righteous judge to put Jesus to death.

It wasn’t because Pilate was a useless, dumb and exceedingly corrupt trial judge. It was because the death of Jesus was prophesied of old not to be carried out by the usual Jewish execution by stoning. In fact, Pilate was a discerning and an intelligent man. He found Jesus innocent and proclaimed the verdict as such. But he was powerless to set Jesus free.

According to prophecy, the Lord Jesus Christ who knew no sin was made sin for sinners, the innocent dying for the guilty where the prophet Isaiah devoted an entire chapter on the suffering Messiah. This is also confirmed by the apostle Paul.

Isaiah 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Like the serpent of brass lifted up on a pole in the wilderness where the rebellious children of Israel who looked at it were healed, the Lord Jesus was lifted up in death for sinners who look to Him for salvation.

Numbers 21:8: And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

Numbers 21:9: And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Isaiah 45:22: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

The Lord also mentioned about His death of being lifted up upon the earth.

John 12:32: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Moreover, the Son of God is the Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and not one of His bones would be broken in death. So stoning would be out of the question.

Exodus 12:43: And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

Exodus 12:46: In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

Hence Roman crucifixion was the method of execution for the case of the Lord Jesus Christ. So Pilate happened to be the historical character in the trial of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalms 22:16: For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

However, Roman execution by crucifixion could involve breaking of the leg bones. This happened to the two thieves crucified with the Lord.

John 19:31: The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

John 19:32: Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

But the Lord Jesus was the exception because He died on the cross. So not one bone of the Lord was broken according to prophecy.

John 19:33: But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

John 19:36: For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

In addition, the Lord Jesus Christ would be pierced according to prophecy as well.

John 19:34: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Zechariah 12:10: And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Revelation 1:7: Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

So Pilate the Roman Governor was the required state actor for the day. Pilate knew very well Jesus was innocent and he tried hard to push the ball back to the court of the Jewish religious establishment but to no avail.

John 18:31: Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

He realized this whole event was a setup and he was being manipulated to do the bidding of the Jewish religious authorities.

Matthew 27:18: For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

When king Herod happened to be in town on the day of the trial, he pushed the court case over to him without hesitation having found out that Jesus was a Galilaean where Herod had jurisdiction over the accused criminal before him.

Luke 23:6: When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.

Luke 23:7: And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

Unfortunately, Pilate could not escape this political hot potato. King Herod played ping pong diplomacy with Pilate and the case was back in his court. Being a political animal himself, at least he scored points with Herod and resolved the enmity between them.

Luke 23:11: And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Luke 23:12: And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

This did not stop Pilate from trying to release Jesus. This was especially the case when his wife warned him about Jesus, a just man in her own words.

Matthew 27:19: When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

Initially, when the Jewish religious authorities brought Jesus to Pilate to be judged, he had already concluded that the Lord was innocent. The crime laid against Jesus was that He is the King of the Jews.

John 18:33: Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

John 18:35: Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

John 18:37: Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

John 18:38: Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

Pilate unequivocally concluded that there was no fault in Jesus after direct examination. The only problem was when the Lord Jesus told Pilate He was bearing witness unto the truth, he adopted a cavalier attitude. He didn’t inquire about the truth. He wasn’t interested in the truth although he knew the truth about the whole setup by the Jews to get Jesus executed. Pilate simply said what is truth and then walked off to confront the Jews concerning his conclusion of the court case before him.

Luke 23:4: Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

Luke 23:14: Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:

Luke 23:15: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.

Pilate thought he could offer the Jews a compromise under the prevailing custom during the Passover where he could release a prisoner to the Jews by offering up Jesus to be set free. Of course, this got him no where with the Jews. Instead, they demanded for the release of Barabbas a robber, a convicted criminal awaiting execution.

John 18:39: But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

John 18:40: Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

Pilate thought he could still get Jesus off the hook by torture hoping he could satisfy these Jews baying for His blood.

John 19:1: Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

John 19:4: Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

John 19:5: Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

Upon presenting the severely tortured Jesus to the Jews, this might assuage their anger against Him. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. There was no compromise as far as the Jews were concerned. They would stop at nothing other than the death sentence for Jesus.

John 19:6: When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

By now Pilate was obviously upset. Being a Roman Governor, having to come so low to appease these Jewish slaves was really embarrassing. Pilate concluded the second time he found no fault in Jesus. He challenged the Jews to crucify Jesus themselves.

So what when someone claim to be a king among his people! If there be any insurrection against the Roman empire, they would be brutally put down. Pilate had proved to be a ruthless and brutal ruler.

Luke 13:1: There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

Luke 13:2: And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

The Romans had no qualms not only in suppressing rebellion, if need be they could even desecrate religious practices. So the charge against Jesus as the King of the Jews was rather lame. There was no evidence to support Jesus leading a violent uprising against the Roman empire. Pilate knew full well the Jewish religious authorities envied Jesus and they were making use of him to execute Christ which he was not willing to comply.

Pilate definitely didn’t lose sleep over the charge that Jesus was the King of the Jews. However, the Jews upped the ante against Pilate when they realized this Governor was not willing to pass the death sentence on Jesus. They amended the charge that Jesus not only was the King of the Jews, he was the Son of God.

John 19:7: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

This was new territory here for Pilate to consider. Being a King of the Jews wasn’t a problem. The moment anyone claiming to be a ring leader seeking to rebel against the Romans, Pilate could easily handle such rebellion. Military options were never off the table. But being charged as the Son of God, this was a completely different situation.

This had raised the earthly affairs to the next level of spiritual war beyond the realms of Pilate and the Roman empire. Upon hearing the new charges against Jesus, it was reported that Pilate was more afraid. So another round of direct examination was in order.

John 19:8: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

John 19:9: And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

Since Pilate didn’t want to know the truth earlier but simply said what is truth and walked off, the Lord Jesus won’t entertain him anymore. He didn’t get any where with the Lord either with this new charge laid against Him. In order to coax the Lord to cooperate with this second direct examination, he issued threats to the Lord, which was quite laughable.

John 19:10: Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

He didn’t even succeed earlier with power bestowed upon him by the Roman empire to release Jesus, he thought he could still exercise that power under him to get Jesus off the hook after this second inquiry. He simply thought too much of himself where he was merely a pawn in this whole affair.

John 19:11: Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Right now, it wasn’t the Lord Jesus that was standing trial. It was Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor that was on trial. He knew Jesus was innocent but he could not release him. His wife warned him against passing sentence on Jesus and he had to factor in his wife’s concern into his calculation regarding what to do with Jesus. It was silly of him to still think that he had the power to kill and set free and he could exercise that power to do according to his wishes.

He was empowered by Rome to exercise lordship over these Jewish slaves but he found it hard to go against them. Military solution was a possible option to suppress rebellion if he did what was right but he wasn’t willing to go through such trouble. Dealing with an accused criminal not of this world was beyond him. His veiled threats against the Lord were useless. He realized the power bestowed upon him by the Roman empire was nothing if it were not firstly authorized from heaven.

So Pilate continued to belabour himself with this unwanted court case before him trying to secure the release of Jesus. Thinking out of the box was useless against the maddening Jewish crowd out there baying for the blood of Jesus. Pilate had already tried to soften the ground by scourging Jesus but to no avail.

The crowd now charged that Jesus was not just a human King of the Jews but the Son of God. He had no answer to this charge. Was it a crime against the Roman empire? Not necessarily. A crime against the Jewish law on blasphemy perhaps but what had this got to do with the Roman penal code? He couldn’t go back out to the crowd to offer a compromise.

Pilate didn’t choose to get himself into such a situation. His conclusion was right but he could not deal with the Jews now on the verge of rioting if he didn’t accede to their demands to put Jesus to death by crucifixion. Finally, the Jews checked mate Pilate by charging him instead of Jesus for trying to protect Jesus for His crime against their Jewish law.

John 19:12: And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

The Jews now turned personal and were resorting to personal threats against Pilate, the honourable Roman Governor. How audacious were these Roman slaves! They charged Pilate for siding with Jesus and issuing threats against him close to treason against Caesar and of course the Roman empire. This got Pilate into a bind. He found himself caught between a rock and a hard place.

Being a political beast that he was, to save his own skin and not get himself into trouble jeopardizing his own political career, he made deals with the Jews. He asked the Jews whether he should crucify their King. Was he being sarcastic? This was ridiculous. Since when a Roman Governor needed to ask permission from those he lord over?

John 19:15: But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

The reply from these Jews was epic. They had soundly rejected their Messiah and claimed a Gentile ruler to be their own king. The moment these Jewish religious elites made that claim, they had rejected the Law of Moses.

Deuteronomy 17:14: When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

Deuteronomy 17:15: Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

Being custodians of the Law, these religious Jewish elites were willing to transgress the Law of Moses just to get Jesus crucified. How blinded they were with hatred against the Rock of Israel, badly tortured standing before them who gave them the Law!

Matthew 27:22: Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

Matthew 27:23: And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

Pontius Pilate didn’t get it! He couldn’t figure out the crimes Jesus had committed against the Jews. Like king Herod, he had probably heard about the miracle worker Jesus going around healing the sick, restoring sights to the blind, casting out devils and even raising the dead. Were these crimes against the Jews? Definitely not crimes against the Roman empire. In fact, Jesus was an asset to the Roman empire for helping to reduce health care cost! Moreover, Jesus paid tax as well! Jesus was no trouble maker.

Matthew 17:24: And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

Matthew 17:25: He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

Matthew 17:26: Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

Matthew 17:27: Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

To issue death sentence on Jesus by crucifixion would go against his professionalism not to mention his conscience. He had already issued a verdict that Jesus was not guilty more than once. He was demanding to know what evil Jesus had done. This might offer him the justification to sentence Jesus to death. But he was given none other than Jesus was charged as a King of the Jews and the Son of God.

It was ridiculous to enter such crimes into record to put Jesus to death knowing full well there was no justification behind the sentence. The whole episode was political. If there were such a crime known as political crime where Pilate could agree to pass the death sentence, he would have done so.

The innocent Jesus, whom he had already scourged hoping this would assuage the Jews to set him free failed. When the Jews turned personal against him and in not so many words charged him for colluding with Jesus against Caesar and the Roman empire, it became too hot to handle. His own political career and even his life could be at stake.

Now with the Jews about to turn violent that day, trying all ways and means to set the guiltless Jesus free was hopeless. To extricate himself from passing the death sentence, he did what he had to do by washing hands before these raging mad Jewish crowd. The situation was red hot in Jerusalem while angels and devils watched this unfolding event with Jesus Christ, the Son of God subjected to abuse and judgment by mere sinful human creatures.

Matthew 27:24: When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Pontius Pilate couldn’t bear to pass the death sentence on Jesus knowing too well He was innocent. But by virtue of the fact that he held the office as a Roman Governor, the power to pass this death sentence rested on him. Has was merely acting as a rubber stamper, rather embarrassing, that was all. He dissociated himself from this death sentence he had to pass which came to pass. Moreover, the Jews were willing to cover for Pilate on this crime against the innocent Jesus when he went along with them to act according to their wishes.

Matthew 27:25: Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Those chilling words uttered two thousand years ago still ring loud and clear till this day. The Jews have been paying the price since for going against the Law of Moses to accept a Gentle king over them as well as rejecting their Messiah and had Him crucified.

All these happened according to the foreknowledge of God to bring salvation to the world through Christ. While the raging madness of the Jews witnessed against Jesus that day and the lame compromising Roman Governor who couldn’t perform his duty with dignity resulting in the crucifixion of Christ, the apostle explained about wisdom beyond this world.

1 Corinthians 2:6: Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

1 Corinthians 2:7: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:8: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The Creator God in eternity past knew every heart of man before they come into this world. God allows event to unfold to fulfill His will to redeem Adam’s lost and helpless race, yet still holding those actors accountable for their actions that revealed their wicked hearts in this whole episode on the miscarriage of justice in human affair.

Acts 3:13: The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

Acts 13:28: And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.

Pontius Pilate was the state actor for the day, completely humiliated to act against his own will and judgment. To say he had a bad day that day would be an understatement of galactic proportion. He failed to heed his wife’s warning. He failed in his own professionalism. He failed to uphold the high and lofty dignity of the Roman empire before these Jewish slaves. It was not as though he had no physical military means to back up his own verdict. Being a political animal, he was a wimp acting on self-preservation mode.

So he passed the death sentence on Jesus and crucified Christ, the King of the Jews. To get back at the Jews, he deliberately wrote the inscription the crime the Jews originally brought against Jesus, their King and Messiah. Pilate was acting on the power bestowed upon him to crucify the King of the Jews so what were you lowly despicable Jews going to do about this! At least this showed the Jews who was really the boss.

John 19:19: And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

John 19:20: This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

While rejoicing they had their wish fulfilled when Pilate sent Jesus to be crucified, the title the Jews saw set tongue wagging. This was now humiliating. Of course the Jews rejected this. The reason why they wanted Christ crucified was because they didn’t want Jesus to be their King. They were so desperate to even accept Caesar as their king! So they brought the matter to Pilate to change this title.

John 19:21: Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

John 19:22: Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

Now having done what he didn’t want to do, Pilate told these Jews off in no uncertain terms. He was very curt with them. He should have told them off concerning the crimes laid against Jesus in the first place. He tried so hard to compromise with these unreasonable Jews but got him no where. He was not about to compromise with them on this matter as well. There would be no where for him to hide his face having been led around by the nose by these Jews and he was even personally threatened by them for treason against the Roman empire.

Pilate was the most unwilling state actor for this earth-shattering trial in the entire universe. He went against his own conscience to pass the death sentence on Christ. This however, didn’t make him any less culpable for his crime and cowardice even though he washed his hands before these murderous Jews.

After capitulating to the demands of those unreasonable Jewish elites and their raging mad followers, what was Pilate thinking? What was he going to tell his wife that day? Was he satisfied with washing his hands from this sentence of Jesus could get him some peace? Was he angry with himself or with the Jews?

Just when Pilate thought the whole episode was settled and he could get over with this sorry kangaroo court trial and the resulting miscarriage of justice, this same bunch of Jews came to trouble him again. This time was concerning the body of Jesus buried in the tomb.

Perhaps he might be thinking what these crazy Jews were up to again when they could not furnish reasonable evil deeds that caused Jesus to be crucified. Now these mad religious elites were worry about the disappearance of the body of Christ. Were they really insane? Why were they so obsessed with Jesus when he was a live and now even in death? Pilate won’t get it, he never would.

Matthew 27:62: Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

Matthew 27:63: Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

Matthew 27:64: Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

At least these religious Jews were not as crazy as they were made up to be. They took the words of Jesus seriously when the Lord told everyone he would rise again on the third day. The irony was that the Lord’s disciples failed to take heed about this and failed to believe the resurrection of Christ.

They were disappointed and dejected after the crucifixion of Christ. They were completely lost. The promised kingdom was gone as far as these followers of Jesus was concerned. They were totally defeated wallowing in despair.

But this was not the case with the Jewish religious authorities. They took the resurrection of Christ seriously. Even though some might not believe in the resurrection like the Sadducees, they could not afford to lose the body of Jesus. So they came to trouble Pilate one more time.

By now the exhausted Roman Governor would be glad to tell them to get lost and not trouble him. He was already very curt with them earlier. He must be really annoyed. He gave order for the tomb of Christ to be secured.

Matthew 27:65: Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

Matthew 27:66: So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

What was Pilate thinking then? Now the responsibility of securing the body of Jesus was passed on to these Jewish accusers and prosecutors. Of course this was carried out in conjunction with the Roman soldiers.

Were they thinking those Roman soldiers were not professional in their duties? They could pay with their lives if things went wrong. The Roman jailor was about to kill himself when he thought the prisoners had escaped during an earthquake.

Acts 16:26: And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Acts 16:27: And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

Could Pilate become really disgusted with these troublesome Jews that had caused him so much trouble that day and now even doubt the professionalism of his own men? Did Pilate think they would succeed in securing the tomb and prevent the resurrection of Christ if the resurrection was possible?

Pilate didn’t even want to waste time to reason and debate with these religious Jews in high places. He could have just mocked them to get back at them for forcing his hands to crucify Christ but he did not. Maybe he thought these Jews were hopelessly lost in this whole affair trying to nail an innocent man and they had lost their mind. Even in the death of the convict they were not satisfied.

Perhaps Pilate was secretly hoping Jesus would come back to life so he could undo what he had done wrong on that day. Was there something bordering Pilate now after having Christ crucified? Could he quietly and secretly repented and trusted in Jesus like the centurion and those with him who witnessed the death of Christ on the cross and confessed Jesus was the Son of God?

Matthew 27:54: Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

The trial leading to the crucifixion of Christ was the most momentous event since the creation of the world. It was this day that the Devil was thoroughly defeated.

Hebrews 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Hebrews 2:15: And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Though Pontius Pilate was instrumental in the crucifixion of Christ, he and others were unwilling actors in the entire affair blinded by their own sins and living under the dominion of Satan to destroy the Lord of glory. This turned out to be exactly what God the Father had planned to destroy the Devil and offer salvation to the whole world. Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ also prayed for everyone before he gave up the Ghost on the cross of Calvary.

Luke 23:34: Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Pontius Pilate, the coward and powerless Roman Governor might be found among the just if he had repented of his sins and trusted in the Lord having dealt with Him so intimately on that fateful day. That face to face confrontation with the Lord and having to deal with those Jews steep in hatred for Christ must have been troubling and exhausting.

At least he knew Jesus was innocent and he washed his hands in the entire affair to dissociate himself from the sentence of Jesus. But without repentance and faith in Christ, there would be no salvation for him. He was born into this world to confront the Lord and had the dishonour to be the executioner of the Saviour of the whole world. Some one had to do this job. It happened to be Pontius Pilate! He wore the badge of dishonour as the powerless Governor of the Roman empire.


How To Get Prayers Answered

The healing of the daughter of the Canaanite woman is a classic case on how to get prayers answered.

This woman of Canaan was a desperate mother whose daughter was grievously vexed with a devil. She must be at her wits end trying whatever means to deal with her daughter’s vexing trouble. It was no ordinary ailment where human intervention might bring solution to her vexing soul. It was an affliction that originated from a different dimension where human efforts are often found wanting and powerless in the face of such assault on the body, mind and soul of the tormented victims. Many were afflicted with such trouble in Israel and the religious elites could offer little help to the family members of the suffering victims.

But this woman of Canaan heard about Jesus and she had faith that the Lord could be the only solution to heal her pitiful daughter, God knows for how long had she been afflicted with the devil. So she approached the Lord during the Lord’s visit to her hometown.

Matthew 15:21: Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

Matthew 15:22: And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Her approach was direct and she went straight to the point to plead for mercy, acknowledging Jesus as the Lord, the Son of David. All nationalistic pride was put aside, confirming the Lord Jesus Christ to be the King of the Jews, who would sit on the throne of David ruling over Israel. So this woman wasn’t an ignorant peasant unhappy with the Jews living in the former land of her forefathers and full of hatred for the Jews.

She cried and begged the Lord to have mercy on her and relating to the Lord her daughter’s condition. It wasn’t a small matter as her daughter was vexed with a devil badly in need of deliverance.

Matthew 15:23: But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

However, the Lord ignored her. The Lord was being kind to her by ignoring her. The Lord could have said nasty thing she might not want to hear. She was not one of their own people. So the Lord kept silent.

With the Lord ignoring her, this woman went after the disciples. She must be harassing the disciples to ask them to help speak with the Lord. The disciples’ lack of compassion was rather telling. Instead of helping her intercede with the Lord to heal her daughter, the disciples got frustrated and went to beseech the Lord to send her away.

They didn’t behave that way when the Jews were healed of devils but for this woman, not one of their own nationality, they could not care less. Such is the hardness of men still very much plagued with nationalistic divide over who should benefit from blessings of their Messiah. So the woman continued her pleading with whoever who would help say a word to the Lord to help her and heal her daughter and this got annoying, at least with the disciples.

Matthew 15:24: But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Finally, the Lord open His mouth. Those words weren’t what this woman hoped to hear. But the disciples were very likely pleased and perhaps even secretly applauded the Lord’s reply to the woman. They couldn’t wait to get this woman off their back and they still had much work to do and with many others to minister to. Every day was a busy day and this woman of Canaan was holding up their work.

Moreover, it was the Lord who commissioned them to minster to the Jews and they were expressly forbidden to reach out to the Gentiles. Now this Gentile woman showed up and this would be a good test to see if the Lord meant business. So far the Lord confirmed the mission was meant for the Jews only.

Matthew 10:5: These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Matthew 10:6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The disciples were observing what the Lord would do with this woman, a non Jew coming to ask for help. Would the Lord practise double standards and violate His own admonishment for the disciples to avoid the Gentiles? The Lord’s reply confirmed their earlier commission. The Gentiles were to be bypassed. No doubt, the disciples might be glad and even pleased too.

So the door for this woman had been closed. She was an outsider outside of the commonwealth of Israel and could not enjoy the blessings meant for Israel. But she still didn’t give up knowing all avenues were closed and she had no other authority to appeal to in order to become a recipient of God’s blessing for His chosen people. She left the disciples and approached the Lord again since the Lord had opened His mouth to pronounce His rejection of her plea.

Matthew 15:25: Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

This time, this woman did more than just acknowledging the Lord as the Son of David. She came and worshipped Him. She even worshipped Jesus as the Lord God, above just the King of the Jews. In fact, the Lord is not just the God of the Jews but God of the Gentiles as well. This episode of healing was about timing and the Jews must be dealt with first.

Earlier, she called Jesus Lord and Son of David. She already knew her proper place. This time she upped the ante and she worshipped the Lord. Her priority was to get her daughter healed and she knew the Lord could and she was doing all she could to get that blessing and her prayers answered.

If you are using some false bibles, you will get your prayers hindered. The translators of these fake bibles didn’t believe this woman of Canaan worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ. They only believe she bowed down or knelt before the Lord. Bowing down and kneeling do not necessarily mean worship for many people in this world also bow and kneel before earthly kings but worship is only reserved for the Divine. So it is time to throw away these modern fake bibles in order to get your prayers answered.

Matthew 15:25New International Version (NIV)
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

Matthew 15:25New American Standard Bible (NASB)
But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:25English Standard Version (ESV)
But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”

Matthew 15:25Amplified Bible (AMP)
But she came and began to kneel down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:26: But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Since the Lord had already opened His mouth and the woman had persistently not given up hope on getting the Lord to do something for her daughter, the Lord had no choice but to reveal the real truth to this poor woman who had already lowered herself to beg, cry, prostrate and worship the Lord.

The reply here was terrible. To add insult to injury, she was called a dog. This woman was already humiliated for being an outsider. Now she was called a dog.

What do you expect this woman to do? Crawl away barking like a dog and complain to everyone how heartless the Lord has been to her?

Anyone who is not sincere and just making use of the Lord to get prayers answered without truly believing in the Lord and becoming a follower of the Lord would be greatly offended. How often we see people who needed help would do anything to just get what they wanted and then they would turn their back to their benefactors once they achieved their objectives!

Such people would come to you just to get a blessing and then leave you when you are no longer useful. Such scheming people would no doubt get up and spit at you and walk away and blast you all over the Internet to show to the world how cruel you are and would demolish you because you didn’t accede to their demands.

But this woman of Canaan was a woman of faith, no doubt a sincere believer of the Lord Jesus Christ. She was already in trials and tribulation over her daughter’s plight, what more could be added to afflict her and for this instant, it came from none other than the Lord of the whole earth to test her faith and tenacity in prayers!

The disciples might be getting more irritated even though this woman had left them and went back to beg the Lord for help. Why didn’t this Gentile woman just get lost and leave them alone? Didn’t she know she wasn’t a qualified beneficiary and the Lord had also made clear to her!

But this woman’s reply stunned heaven and astounded the disciples as well wondering how much lower could she go in order to get the Lord to lift a finger to help her and heal her daughter.

Matthew 15:27: And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

Such a reply was classic. When she was already put down and then called a dog, instead of being offended, she reasoned with the Lord. There was so much wisdom in her reply under tremendous stress and despair with everyone over there against her and no one spoke a word in her favour.

Her reply was spoken softly rather than yelling back at the Lord but those words struck a chord in containing the Lord’s reproach, cornered the Lord and stormed through the dark clouds of heaven and so the windows of heaven poured down blessings upon her that day.

It is truly not right to give food meant for the children and cast it to dogs. The biblical exhortation is always to take care of one’s family first and not the other way around.

1 Timothy 5:8: But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

How many times have we come across foolish Christians giving away their wealth to ministers of Satan promising them God’s blessings and prosperity and then their family suffer poverty while these ministers of Satan enrich themselves and live in luxury.

What the Lord told this woman earlier wasn’t being unkind but scriptural. It must always be taking care of family first before helping others. Putting outsiders first would cause the family to fall apart. How many ministers who put in so much effort in ministering to others and neglected their own family and then they wonder why they ended up in divorce or their children become rebels when they grow up!

Perhaps everyone over there that day expected this woman to throw in the towel feeling disgusted and walked away. The Lord had already used the most cruel words to put her down and this was generally the attitude of the Jews towards the Gentiles regarding them as unclean. Even the Samaritans they regarded as people having a devil and would not speak with them or have anything to do with them.

John 4:9: Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

John 8:48: Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

Years later when Peter opened the gospel door to the Gentiles at Cornelius house in Acts chapter 10, he ran into trouble with the Jewish believers in Acts chapter 11 who confronted him. He had to explain himself with witnesses following him to Cornelius house to keep the peace of the believers in Israel.

But those words from the woman rang loud and clear though spoken softly hoping for the best. How would the disciples answer her having heard these words? What other excuse could the Lord throw at her with such a reasonable reply from her?

Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. What she said was true and an observable known fact! How else could anyone counter her argument?

The Lord told the disciples not to minister to the Gentiles and the Lord made Himself an example by not wanting to help this Gentile woman. But what this woman did and said that day changed the course of events following. None wag a tongue after hearing what she said and all mouth was stopped that moment.

Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

The Lord’s reply was one of excitement and full of admiration for her great faith and thus granting her request and her daughter was made whole that very hour. The Lord is plenteous in mercies but worthy recipients are few and far between. The Lord is rich beyond imagination but those chosen to share His wealth are just remnants who accept Jesus as Messiah and Saviour of the world.

This woman was one such recipients of the Lord’s mercy and grace and of course riches beyond measure. That day, her posture was one from prostrate humility and kneeling on the ground in worship to another of rising in victory conquering all odds that were stacked against her. No one could possibly stand in her way from getting her prayers answered.

The disciples stood speechless as the Lord took the exception to grant healing to the daughter of this Gentile woman that was against the original commandment given to them to minister only to the Jews, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. No one complained and stood against her for the Lord’s double standards in dealing with this Gentile woman in this case. They heard with their very own ears what this woman said and her reasoning was one full of faith and humble gentle submission in responding to the King of the Jews why she should be one of the recipients of the Lord’s mercy and grace even though she was a Gentile dog.

This woman’s admission of her lowly status nationally speaking and her unflinching determination interceding with the Lord in wisdom and humility won her the Lord’s favour as well as everyone present with no one dared to disapprove of the Lord dispensing healing to her tormented daughter.

She became a living example of what the Lord proclaimed as a message to the desperate and despairing John the Baptist rotting in jail waiting for execution, and she was blessed indeed because she was not offended by the Lord and in what the Lord had told her earlier.

Matthew 11:6: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Seldom you will find the Lord excited and exclaiming a big fat O in responding to situation during His earthly ministry. Here is one such incident where the Lord exclaimed with a big O followed by praise for this woman’s great faith.

Just a chapter before this woman’s incident, the Lord also likewise exclaimed with a big fat O but this was in response to Peter’s lack of faith while walking on water towards the Lord.

Matthew 14:30: But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Matthew 14:31: And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Matthew 15:25: Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Putting these verses together is a rather embarrassing comparison. Both made short prayers and were answered. The Jewish apostle was rebuked for his little faith and doubts while this Gentile woman was commended for her great faith and for not giving an inch to every obstacles thrown in her way to prevent her from getting her prayers answered and her daughter healed.

Such is the Lord’s dealing with fallen man. Even chosen privileged people of God can fail in faith while those temporarily set aside Gentiles could gain access to the privileges conferred for God’s own people and become one such members of God’s amazing goodness to all fallen man. Now that the chosen nation of Israel has been set aside for two thousand years and the Gentile Church is temporarily grafted in to deal with the world at large to magnify the name of Jesus above every name, the day will soon dawn upon this world when the Church is removed and the nation of Israel is come into focus again in the Lord’s prophetic calendar.

In order to get your prayers answered, you need to know your place and come sincerely in humility in worship of the Lord who is worthy of all praises and adorations. If you trust those fake bibles without having to worship the Lord in praying to the Lord to hear your petition, you will be badly mistaken. You will need to justify with reasons why the Lord should grant you your request lest you ask for things to consume upon your own lust which is not according to God’s perfect will for you. On top of that, you need to have this unflinching faith in the Lord who is more than able and capable to grant you your request. The question is whether you are one such worthy recipient for God to honour that request you put before the court in heaven.

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is a prerequisite when approaching the Lord to petition your request. You must believe that He is God when you approach Him diligently like this Gentile woman. The Lord will then reward you according to your faith when you have pleased Him no matter how hopeless the situation might be.

Luke 11:9: And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Luke 11:10: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

May heaven smile upon you as you bring your petitions before the Lord in all humble submission full of faith and truth!


An Atheist’s View on Pursuit of Happiness

Sorrows and pains are often part and parcel for many people living in this fallen sin cursed world. People respond differently to adversity.

Some take trials and tribulations in their stride and emerge stronger while others collapse and end in tragedy.

The recent death of a young man at his training camp who was depressed due to troubles in the family is a reminder of the frailty in this life.

NS Recruit Dies Three Days After Enlistment

While we observed such tragedies and adversities people face in their daily lives, the observation made by Dr. Lee Wei Ling is noteworthy.

She observed her colleagues having come to terms with their mentally challenged child and how their faith in the Christian God helped them overcome adversity in lives.

She remarked how as an atheist she might cope with misfortunes and her emotional response would depend on how she views her situation. She talked about being stoic philosophically might help overcome adversity in life.

She then questioned whether it was wise to consider the American’s ideal of pursuit of happiness as an inalienable right. As an Adj Professor and Senior Advisor to the National Neuroscience Institute, she must have seen countless cases of misfortunes in humanity. Hence she commented that sometimes it was not easy to be happy.

She is right!

Job 5:7: Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1: Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

She saw many truths in this life and there was no answer to the many problems man has to face. She also realized that wealth on its own won’t bring happiness and as such, she won’t use Chinese New Year greetings “Gong Xi Fa Cai” because she understood this meant to wish that person to gain great wealth. She commented that accumulating wealth is an endless pursuit in self-gratification with no meaningful purpose in life.

She is spot on again!

Psalms 62:10: Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

Proverb 23:5: Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Proverb 27:24: For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?

Below are her closing thoughts.

Happiness, in whatever form one sees it, becomes more elusive the harder one tries to pursue it. That’s why my personal aim is much more realistic: All I ask for is calmness and contentment. These at least are partially within my control.

I don’t believe pursuing happiness is an effective way to achieve happiness. By behaving well, and by helping our fellow humans negotiate the obstacles that are part of life are more effective ways to become happy. Doing so will make the people around us happy as well. There is nothing profound in this, but sometimes simple solutions can achieve what complex thought cannot.

She is right on the money again!

Proverb 11:25: The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

1 Timothy 6:6: But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Sometimes, an atheist talks more sense than any superficial Christian on the street.

Isn’t it ironical that sometimes, atheist could be practising Christian in philosophy and outlook in life while Christians could be practising atheist in their manner of life?

What Dr. Lee probably wasn’t aware of is that her philosophy with regard to overcoming adversity has a biblical basis.

The Bible warns against the madness in meaningless pursuit of wealth.

Ecclesiastes 5:10: He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

Luke 12:15: And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

The Bible commands Christians to practise self-denial.

1 Timothy 6:17: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

The Bible exhorts Christians to be content.

Philippians 4:11: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

1 Timothy 6:8: And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Hebrews 13:5: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The Bible teaches Christians to live by faith and trust in the Lord.

Romans 12:12: Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Philippians 4:19: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Proverb 16:20: He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

So now you might wonder why some Christians are always unhappy! They fail to heed scriptural admonition.

John 16:33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Proverb 3:13: Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Proverb 14:21: He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Hence, the pursuit of happiness seen through the lens of this atheist is more insightful than average Christians who seldom read the scriptures and apply scriptural truths in their lives

Here is the article More to Life than the Pursuit of Happiness

My desire for Dr. Lee is to come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ who alone can give her true inner peace.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)


Perversion of Justice

Is there justice on earth always? Not always the case.

It was so bad during the times in Israel under king Manasseh that God was determined to remove the Jews from their homeland.

Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;
And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon. (2 Kings 24:3-4)

Late last year, Donald E Gate was cleared of crimes he did not commit after spending 27 years in jail.

He was framed for rape and murder and imprisoned 27 years.

This was what he said after being exonerated.

“It feels like the God of the King James Bible is real, and he answered my prayers,”

Here is the story from Washington Post.

DC Police framed man imprisoned for 27 years.

Someone must have ministered to him while he was in prison.

Glory to God!

If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. (Ecclesiastes 5:8)