Day 42 - Jesus Is Found Guilty

Video Host: John May - Potomac DYD

Big Scripture: John 19:1–16 (NLT)

1 Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 2 The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. 3 “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” 6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.” 7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9 He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” 11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” 12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” 13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!” 15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!” “What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. 16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.

Big Idea:

In the middle of these verses we read Jesus and Pilate’s conversation about power. Power is something everyone wantspower over others, power over themselves, power over their circumstances. In this story, we see power at display in a few different ways.

  1. There is the soldiers’ power. They used brute physical force to whip Jesus, inflicting terrible pain on Him. This is power that the world recognizes and fears, but this power can’t change the human heart. You can’t overpower someone into loving you. 

  2. There is Pilate’s power. He had positional power because he had a title and the authority to make decisions. But the power that comes from a title or a position doesn’t always mean people respect you or want to be under your power. Often the power someone seeks or desires actually has power over them and controls their thoughts and actions.

  3. Finally, there is God’s power. It’s seen in this story in two different ways. Jesus said Pilate would have no power if it wasn’t given to him “from above.” God rules over the activities of all humans and has the ultimate power. But God’s power is also seen in Jesus who allowed Himself to be punished and sentenced to death. Jesus laid down His power and gave His life for us—that’s real power. That is the kind of power that leads us to love Him and want to follow Him. 

Big Questions:

  • Who is the most powerful person you know? Why are they powerful

  • What are the three different examples of power in this text? 

  • How did the soldiers, Pilate, and Jesus all use their power differently? 

  • What would it look like for you to “lay down power” to help others? 

Big Prayer:

God,
Thank You that You are a powerful God. You reign and rule over all things and I trust in Your power. I know that Your power doesn’t mean I won’t ever go through difficult times. But I also know that Your power means I won’t go through them alone and they will not last forever. Help me to use any power You give me to lift up the weak and not to crush them. Help me to speak up for the powerless by the power of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.