Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man." ...Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death..." Luke 23:4, 20-22 (ESV)
The cast of characters who were part of Jesus' final earthly days ranged in devotion from disciple to mortal enemy. Pilate is intriguing because, by all accounts, his role was that of an unwilling participant in the infamous event. Pilates intentions were by no means pure. On the contrary, he was motivated by self-preservation, seeking only to distance himself from the volatile drama playing out under his watch. But no matter his motivation, Pilate saw and testified to what the crowds either could or would not: Jesus was innocent.
As we prepare to mark Good Friday and Easter, we must come face to face with the reality that the sinless Son of God bore the weight of our sin and took our punishment upon Himself. It is both sobering and transformative to realize that it is only by His perfect sacrifice that we can be saved.