YOU HAVE SAID SO
Mark tells of the morning assembly of the Jewish Council, the interogation in the praetorium and the exchange between Pilate and the crowd. Pilate finally gave Jesus over to be crucified, while Jesus himself kept silent.
1. Jesus kept silent (1-5)
Wrongdoers rise early to conspire against an innocent man. They were not tired from the previous night's trial and rose early. They bound Jesus and sent him to Pilate, since his permission was needed to put a man to death. Thus, Jesus stood before Pilate. When he asked if he was the King of the Jews, Jesus replied in four words, "You have said so". It was a dangerous answer to give the Roman governor because it could be interpreted politically. Yet, Jesus identified himself as the King of the Jews. Spiritually, it was the title of the promised Messiah. He is our Savior and Redeemer. Pilate pressed Jesus to defend himself in face of several accusations. But Jesus no longer answered. Before his accusers, he kept absolutely silent. Pilate was astonished, since whoever is on truth's side has no need to defend himself. Pilate was someone with an ethic of circumstance.
2. Crucify him (6-20)
During the Passover, a custom of national amnesty was observed. Perhaps the Jews had imposed this rule on the governor to commemorate God's delivery of Israel from captivity in Egypt. Thus, people asked him to release one person. Pilate thought the crowd would ask for Jesus the King of the Jews, since he knew that it was out of envy that the chief priests had asked for the death of Jesus. Yet he was mistaken because the leaders had already stirred up the people to ask for Jesus' death. Pilate was stuck, even more so because he hadn't formed his own opinion. "What evil has he done?" It was his desperate cry in face of the injustice that he would have to uphold in spite of himself. He finally gave in and sent an innocent Jesus to be crucified. The soldiers treated him arbitrarily with all kinds of physical and moral violence. Jesus was struck and mocked more than he had been by the religious leaders. He was treated that way in order to save sinful men like you and I. Thank you, Lord.