A decision needed to be made by a certain man, Pontius Pilate. His position was that of Governor of Judea. As such, he had all the power of the Roman Empire and its army backing him.
Internal dispute among his Jewish subjects had arisen over things being done and said by Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth. This man, over the course of three years, had gathered a following. The religious leaders of the nation had laid the charge of treason against him and were requesting the death penalty.
The Governor had dealt with situations like this before and had stepped on troublemakers hard, fast, and without mercy. This time the situation was different – the man before him had no political ambitions, he did not desire to raise up an army against Roman authority – rather he was a man who did and taught remarkable things.
He performed miracles that could not be explained away. We read a summary of the things this carpenter called Jesus of Nazareth did, “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Luke 11:5)
He taught the meaning of the prophecies in the book that we today call the Old Testament. He taught with authority, so much so, “all the people were amazed.” “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:29)
Jesus taught who he really was, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27) Peter, one of his disciples, summed up who he was: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God”. (Matthew 16:16)
Jesus taught the people why he, the Son of God, had come into the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46).
So you see Pilate's dilemma! What should he do with this Jesus? He examined him in private. And then, going out to the deputation still standing before the gate, he declared that he could find no fault in Jesus. Nevertheless he had him scourged, and then crucified, to pacify the leaders who had stirred up the people.
Here is our dilemma according to the Bible: do you believe and trust in Jesus as the Son of God? Or will you do as Pilate did, reject him? Pilate wished for peace and quiet, he put his profession as soldier and governor over what his conscience said. Do we do the same, albeit for different reasons?
Another puts it:
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. (Heb 9:27)