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Jesus Suffers Injustice from the Jews

(John 18:28-40)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Last week,
We saw several things Jesus suffered for us
At the hands of His own people
So that He might bring us to God.

They had Him arrested and put Him on trial.

They tried to get Him to testify against Himself.
They brought false witnesses against Him.
Finally, the high priest brought his full lawful authority
To bear on Jesus, to compel Him to confess
Whether He was the Christ, the Son of God.
Jesus submitted and answered,
And for that truth, they condemned Him.

Since they didnt have the authority to put Him to death,

They decided they would bring Him to Pilate
That he might condemn and crucify Him:
This would be killing two birds with one stone
So to speak
Jesus would die

And in such a way
That would clearly show the Jews
That Jesus was accursed:
As the Bible says,
Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree, (Gal. 3:13)
But they would be exonerated for His death
In the eyes of those who supported Jesus,
Since the Romans would be the ones doing it.

But before they handed Him over,

They decided first to show their distain
By blindfolding Him,
While they hit Him
And spit in His face (Matthew 26:67-68; Mark 14:65).

Again, Jesus patiently submitted to this for us

He didnt have to:
He had escaped their hands many times before;
But He was giving Himself over
That He might save us.

B. Preview.
This morning,
We see them deliver Jesus to Pilate
That Pilate might crucify Him.

Lets consider three things:

1. The further injustices of the Jews against Jesus.
2. Pilates examination of Jesus.
3. And his attempt to release Him.
II. Sermon.
A. First, we see the further injustices of the Jews against Jesus,
That lead to the fulfillment of Gods plan.
1. The first two are implied by the timing of the previous trial.
John writes in verse 28, Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium,
and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so
that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.
The Praetorium was a magnificent palace
That Herod the Great had built for himself
This was the Herod that was ruling Judea
At the time of Christs birth,
The one who was alarmed by His birth
And sent his soldiers to kill all the children in Bethlehem
Two years and under (Matt. 2:16).
Herod had died many years earlier,
And now his palace was being used
By the Roman Governor when he was in the city.

John tells us they brought Jesus here while it was early.

The word means the fourth watch of the night

Between 3 and 6 in the morning.

The Jews had already broken two of their own laws:

The first is that a trial for a capital crime
Was never to take place at night
This one had.

The second was that they couldnt pass judgment

On a capital crime on the same day as the trial
They had only begun hours before,
And now they were coming to Pilate
To demand Jesus execution.

Legalists are very scrupulous with regard to the law

When it comes to their own self-righteousness,
But throw it aside when it gets in their way.
Notice, also how they refused to enter the Praetorium
For fear that they would defile themselves
By associating with Gentiles (Acts 10:28; 11:3).
They were concerned with their participation
In the Passover feasts;
But were willing to break the Law
To condemn our Lord.

2. Their next injustice was in demanding Jesus death.

Once Pilate was awakened,
John writes, Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, What accusation do
you bring against this Man? (v. 29).
What is this man charged with?
They answered and said to him, If this Man were not an evildoer, we would
not have delivered Him to you (v. 30).

Notice: They didnt bring a specific charge.

They knew Pilate wouldnt want to admit
Their particular charge of blasphemy:
It wouldnt be under his jurisdiction.

So instead of answering his question,

They point to Jesus character
At least from their perspective:
This man is One who continually does evil.
If that wasnt true, we wouldnt have bothered
Bringing Him to you.

In other words:
Weve already determined that He deserves death.
We just want you to carry out the sentence.

What was implied, is now stated in verse 31:

So Pilate said to them, Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your
law. The Jews said to him, We are not permitted to put anyone to death
(v. 31).

Weve already judged Him,
And our verdict is death.
But were not allowed to carry this out.
So were bringing Him to you.

Weve already seen one of the reasons

The Jews were dealing with Jesus in this way
Was that they wanted to be able to blame the Romans for executing Jesus,
So this wouldnt come back on them by the people.

But heres another reason

The reason God planned it this way:
Its because this is how He intended that His Son die:
John tells us this was to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by
what kind of death He was about to die (v. 32).
The Jews executed by stoning;
The Romans by crucifixion.
Jesus had said earlier in John 12:31-33, Now judgment is upon this world;
now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the
earth, will draw all men to Myself. But He was saying this to indicate the
kind of death by which He was to die.
Jesus had to be lifted up,
If He was to atone for the sins of the world.

B. Next we see Pilates examination of Jesus.

John writes, Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned
Jesus and said to Him, Are You the King of the Jews? (v. 33).

When the Jews saw that their initial charge was dismissed,
Luke writes, They began to accuse Him, saying, We found this man misleading
our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is
Christ, a King (Luke 23:2).
And so Pilate asks, Are you the King of the Jews?
Jesus answered, in John 18:34, Are you saying this on your own initiative, or
did others tell you about Me?
Is it because you really want to know,
Or is it because of what these have said?

Pilate answered, I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests
delivered You to me; what have You done? (v. 35).
Im not Jewish, so that isnt my concern.
I dont get involved with matters of Jewish religion.
What I want to know is if Youre guilty of treason.
Tell me what Youve done?

If Pilate was concerned that Jesus was a political Messiah

That had come to overthrow the Romans
Jesus now proves to Pilate that he has nothing to fear:
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this
world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to
the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm (v. 36).
If I were such a King,
My servants would have fought for Me
To keep Me from the hands of these who have brought Me to you.
But My kingdom is not of this world.

In essence, He was telling Pilate
He didnt need to be troubled:
If His servants didnt protect Him from the Jews,
Much less would they use force
To set up His kingdom against the Romans.

This was really all Pilate was concerned with

If Hes not a political threat,
Then its a matter for the Jews to settle among themselves.

But it was also an admission on Jesus part

He has a kingdom, so He must be a king:
Therefore Pilate said to Him, So You are a king? (v. 37).
Pilate seems surprised that Jesus admitted the charge,
And was wondering what that might mean.

Jesus wasnt afraid to tell him:

Jesus answered, You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born,
and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of
the truth hears My voice (v. 37).
Yes, I am a king.
Thats why I was born
As we saw in Isaiah 9:6-7
Thats why Ive come into the world
To testify to this truth:
Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice (v. 37).

Jesus came into the world

To tell us the truth:
That He is the only way to God
The only Savior of mankind
But He came particularly to testify of this:
That He is the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords.

Everyone who is of the truth

Everyone the Father has given Jesus,
Everyone who is born again from above
Hears His voice,
Acknowledges Him as King,
And follows Him.

C. Finally, Pilate finds Him innocent and tries to have Him released, but the Jews
wont let him.
After Jesus said He came to testify of the truth,
Pilate said to Him, What is truth? (v. 38).
That is a question all the wise men and philosophers in every age have asked, but
no one has been able to answer.
So many people believe they have truth.
But what is it, really?

Even though Pilate didnt see it,

The One who knew the answer


Was standing right in front of him:

Jesus not only knew the truth,
He is the truth (John 14:6)
The One who created everything;
The reason why were here;
The One who can tell us
What really is right and wrong.
Most importantly,
The One who can show us the way to eternal life
Who can get us into heaven.
The ultimate meaning behind everything
Was standing before Pilate,
But he was too blind to see it.
But he could at least see
That Jesus was innocent.
And so we read in verse 38, And when he had said this, he went out again to the
Jews and said to them, I find no guilt in Him.

At this point,
Pilate tried to get the Jews to drop the charges.
The easiest way was to invoke a tradition
We read in verse 39, But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the
Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews? (v. 39).
So they cried out again, saying, Not this Man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was
a robber (v. 40).


The Jews werent going to let Jesus off the hook

Not now that theyve come this far.
They would rather see Barabbas go free.

John tells us that Barabbas was a robber

The word can mean insurrectionist or revolutionary.
Mark tells us that is exactly what he was,
And that he had been bound with those
Who had committed murder in the insurrection
Against the Romans (Mark 15:7).

Perhaps Barabbas threatened their position with the Romans,

In the same way Jesus had.

Its interesting that the same word used to describe Barabbas crime,
Is also used to describe the crime the two men crucified with Jesus committed.
Matthew writes, At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the
right and one on the left (Matt. 27:38).
Its very likely that these men had been Barabbas accomplices,
And that Barabbas was the one who would have been crucified with them:
Jesus took the cross that was meant for him.

Lets stop here for now,

And pick up the rest of the story this evening.

But lets close with some application:

Jesus said earlier that He came to testify to the truth:

The truth that He has a kingdom,
That He is a king.
He also said that those who are of the truth
Hear His voice.
Have you heard Him?
Has the Spirit spoken to you through the Gospel?
Have you received the free gift of life
That Jesus offers you
Through His life and death?
Have you received Him as your King?
Are you following Him?
Are you obeying everything your King commands you to do?
Are you particularly following His example
Of making the good confession before the world,
As He did before Pilate?
Paul wrote to Timothy, Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to
which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many
witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of
Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep
the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus
Christ (1 Tim. 6:12-14).
Have you taken hold of eternal life?
Are you fighting the good fight of faith?

Are you contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints?

If you have, then be encouraged:

What Jesus went through here,
He went through for you.
He willingly confessed the truth
Before the Jews and Gentiles,
Knowing they would hate Him
And put Him to death
Thats what the Table reminds us.
If your Lord has done this for you,
What should you do for Him?

For those of you who havent,

Jesus offers this same love and mercy to you this morning:
All you need to do
Is trust Him
Trust Him to save you
Turn from your sins
From everything He tells you not to do,
Every hateful way
And follow Him
Follow His example,
Obey His commandments

The path of love.

If youre willing to do this,

Hes willing to forgive you,
Give you His righteousness,
And secure a place for you in heaven.

If you havent trusted Him,

Trust Him now.
If you find you really cant,
Then pray and ask Him
To give you that ability
To give you His grace, His Spirit.
Keep praying, keep seeking Him
Until He does.

Lets prepare now to come to the Table.