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August 18, 2019

L. John Bost
L. John Bost
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Pilate's Fifth Effort to Release Jesus - Matthew 27:20-23; Mark 15:11-14; Luke 23:20-23.
Before releasing Jesus to be crucified, and before having Him scourged, He had asked Jews whether he should release Jesus or Barabbas. They said, "Barabbas." He then asked what he should do with Jesus. Matthew records their answer, "They all say unto him, Let him be crucified" (Matt. 27:22). This fourth effort to release Jesus failing, Pilate tries a fifth time to release Jesus, asking, "Why, what evil hath he done?" Realising that the Jews had still not revealed their real reason for their hatred for Jesus and desire for Him to be crucified, Pilate, with this question, finally gets them to admit it: "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God" (John 19:7). Again, false, because He was, in fact, the Son of God, but they refused to believe that truth. If He made himself the son of God, He must die for blasphemy (Lev. 24:16). The Jews had thus far resisted presenting this law as there reason for demanding Jesus' crucifixion because that would not classify as a death penalty offense under Roman law, and Pilate would never consent.
James Burton Coffman points out, "Scourging was a part of execution by the cross." But, it was also given as a punishment for a crime or crimes. Pilate had already said he found no crime in Jesus, yet he scourged Him anyway, as he had condemned Him to be crucified when He had committed no crime. Pilate here inadvertently fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy concerning Jesus. Isaiah had written:
(Continued on page 49)

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