Pilate was warned concerning Jesus.
Pilate knew Jesus was not guilty of sedition, but he ignored that innocence. He was warned by a troubled wife, but he ignored her warning. He was warned by his own conscience that Jesus was innocent, but he could not withstand the Jews clamoring for the Lord’s death.
“Why? What evil has he done,” Pilate asked knowing the crowd could not answer. The question meant nothing to the mob of Jews. They wanted the blood of this man who had only helped, healed, and given them hope.
So, Pilate washed his hands and forever became a picture of a pitiful man unsuccessfully wishing to escape guilt. But all the washing Pilate could do and all of his proclamations of innocence could not release him as the one who sentenced the son of God to die on the cross.
What will Pilate do on Judgment Day to attempt to convince Jesus he was innocent? What will we do to try to convince Jesus?
Pilate might say he was powerless because of the mob, but Romans and their legions had squashed rebellion in almost every corner of the world. There was no military power like Rome’s. Pilate may say he was placating an angry crowd bent on physical violence. But, there was a higher question of doing what was right. Pilate felt that duty keenly; indeed, he wanted to exonerate Jesus. The Roman will never be able to use that argument.
How will we defend our failure to believe in Jesus or our failure to obey the gospel? Can we plead ignorance? No. God’s word has come down to us from thousands of years to show us the truth. Can we tell the Judge of humanity we couldn’t understand the Bible? Some people obviously feel as though that may be grounds for not obeying the gospel. No, that argument falls for the same reason ignorance does. Just like Pilate, we may protest our innocence, but if we fail to obey the plain and simple truth of the gospel we cannot hope to wash our hands of the blood of Christ.
We can avoid these empty protestations by seeing the truth for what it is and obeying the gospel of Christ now, while we have time and opportunity. Will you obey the gospel and be saved? Or will you stand with Pilate and make an argument you know will not prevail?