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Caiaphas’ bold claim couldn’t be backed up, but every bold claim Jesus made was backed up. In the process of looking at those claims, we’ve actually already read another bold claim—one that was repeated three times. It is a bold claim made by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.
When Jesus was first brought to Pilate, he attempted to “pass the buck” by sending Jesus to King Herod Antipas. Since Herod sent Jesus right back to Pilate, the governor took that as support for his bold claim. Check out what Pilate said:
- I have found no basis for your charges against Jesus
- neither has Herod
- Jesus has done nothing to deserve death
- I have found in Him no grounds for the death penalty (Luke 23:13-22)
Even Pilate’s wife supported him by saying, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent Man” (Matthew 27:19).
Pilate’s role in this case was as a modern-day judge. A judge weighs the evidence from the prosecution, compares that with the laws on the books, weighs the evidence from the defendant, and then makes his ruling. Pilate rules multiple times: Not guilty. But the accusers keep coming back with their loud voices but no more evidence. Even though “[Pilate] knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him” (Matthew 27:18), the shouts of the religious leaders finally prevailed (Luke 23:23-25).
Why was Pilate’s claim of the innocence of Jesus so bold? Because the Bible tells us, “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
These religious elites had been trying to find an accusation against Jesus almost since the beginning of His public ministry. Many of these same accusers were present on the day they hauled a woman caught in the act of adultery before Jesus (John 8:2-11). They claimed she deserved to be stoned to death, but Jesus simply said, “Let those without any sin throw the first stone at her.” Jesus once again allowed His eloquent silence to work on their hearts, as they knew that not one of them was without sin, so they all dropped their stones and left.
Jesus freed this woman from her sin when He refused to condemn her. After all, He was the only sinless One who could have been justified in throwing the first stone, but He knew that “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:17).
Jesus doesn’t condemn us, but He doesn’t want us to stay in our sin either, which is why He then told this woman, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus called all of us to live a perfect life: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Yet like those men in John 8, we all would have to drop our stones and leave.
And satan loves to remind God’s saints of this. John shares with us that “the accuser of our brothers and sisters…accuses them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). The accuser wants to keep us trapped in the guilt of our sin—wants to see us condemned to an eternity separated from God’s presence.
But when someone has placed their faith in the sacrifice Jesus made for us with His death on the Cross, Jesus takes us into Himself and there is now no condemnation for those IN Jesus because there is nothing in Jesus to be condemned! Because of what Jesus did, it’s not us who is condemned, but sin is condemned! As a result, we no longer have to live according to the sinful nature and suffer the condemnation of sin, but instead when we are in Jesus, “the righteous requirements of the law” are fully met in us (see Romans 8:1-4).
We cannot do this on our own, but only through the power of the blood of Jesus. Look at the rest of this passage from Revelation: “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:10-11).
What amazing news! The writer of Hebrews gives us more details in this passage:
For by one sacrifice [Jesus] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First He says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:14-17)
When we are in Jesus—when we have accepted by faith His work on the Cross—God can make the same bold claim to the devil that Pilate made to the religious leaders: “I find no basis for a charge!” This is how we can then fulfill the righteous requirement Jesus gives us to “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Only Jesus can do this for us!
If you’ve missed any of the other messages in our series of Bold Claims, you can find them all here.
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