Why didn’t Pilate arrest Jesus when He first rode into Jerusalem? Good question…
2 He whose walk is upright fears the LORD, but he whose ways are devious despises him.
Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey probably on the first day of the week (Sunday). He spent Monday and Tuesday (and possibly Wednesday and Thursday) teaching in the temple court, probably Solomon’s colonnade, which was a covered, stepped area popular to rabbis. The Roman guard was never mentioned until the night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. Why not? Wasn’t He claiming to be Israel’s king?
Had Jesus come riding in on a white stallion, which was the symbol of a conquering king, King Herod would have taken immediate action, as would have Pilate. Instead, the first we hear of them is when the religious leaders present Jesus to them. Here is the conversation between Pilate and Jesus:
John 18:33-38 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
“What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.
Did you catch what Jesus said? His kingdom was not political. It isn’t even of this world. There was no political reason to execute Jesus, which is why Pilate tried to release Him. We would do well to look to the advancement of Jesus’s Kingdom. How do we do that in today’s political climate? By releasing the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives regardless of what happens politically. Instead of trying to make Christianity cultural, let’s pray for opportunities to share Jesus and how to be part of His Kingdom.
Abba, have we lost sight of Your Kingdom on this earth? Remembering that it is a spiritual one and not a political one is difficult. May You give us discernment and wisdom, O God. We are trusting You no whatever happens. Amen.