We come to the opening fifteen verses of Mark 15 and in this particular portion of Scripture, we meet this fascinating character by the name of Pilate…Pilate. He is a name to add to the rogues gallery that we’ve been accumulating in the drama of the murder of Jesus. Names like Judas, and Annas, and Caiaphas, and Herod, and now the Roman Governor by the name of Pilate, fascinating lineup of infamous, evil characters in the unparalleled drama that unfolds around the crucifixion of Christ. They are all part of the black backdrop set behind the shining glory of the Lord Jesus. All of them tried to use their position and their power and their influence and their wits to bring Jesus to His end. Humanly speaking, they are the co-conspirators who finally accomplished the execution of Jesus.
However, divinely speaking God is the true power and God is the true influence who brings His own Son to the cross. The Apostle Peter will give testimony to this in his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 verses 22 and 23 where he says, “You crucified Him, but by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God.” That will be repeated again in the fourth chapter of Acts in a similar apostolic sermon, verses 27 to 28, where while there is human responsibility, God is the one who is accomplishing in the death of Christ His will and His saving purpose. The irony is that Judas from the viewpoint of man bears an immense amount of responsibility for the betrayal of Jesus. He renders, in a sense, the initial death sentence. Annas follows up with his own death sentence. Caiaphas follows with his. Herod plays a role. And Pilate passes final sentence.
But the truth of the matter is, none of them were the cause of the judgment on Jesus Christ. Rather Jesus judged them. Judas thought he rendered a verdict on Christ, but the reality is, man by himself is priced for 30 pieces, Judas sold himself, not Christ. Annas and Caiaphas thought they sat in judgment on Jesus, as did Herod. But the truth of the matter is, He is their judge. And now we see Pilate and I have titled the banner purposely not Jesus before Pilate, as if Pilate is the judge, but Pilate before Jesus, because in truth, Jesus is the judge.
In all of their verdicts on Jesus, these men condemned themselves as every Christ rejecter does. And Jesus will be the judge of all such. Pilate, a tragic self-serving coward who was on trial for his own life and his own career and his own eternal destiny, as he stood before Jesus.
In verse 12 is the ultimate question that every human has to answer, what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews? Everyone has their eternal destiny based on how they answer that question, Pilate and everyone since.