Day 97: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 97: The Way Of The Warrior

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

The Way Of The Warrior

Jesus had six illegal trails after he was arrested in Gethsemane.  His three religious trails were over, then he was sent to the Roman governor – Pilate.  Jesus’ trial before him started with Pilate asking illegal questions, then Jesus set him straight (John 18:28ff). “Are you the King of the Jews?” (18:33) was illegal, asking Jesus to confess to a charge without witnesses. Next: What have you done?” (18:35). Confess to what?  No charges, no confession.  That’s another illegal question, coming from a man of Roman Law.

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”  (18:37).  Pilate was in quicksand way over his head.  Jesus doesn’t throw him a lifeline. He burdens him with his responsibility. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. (18:37).  Jesus rightly puts Pilate’s testimony on record.  In other words, Jesus asks: are you the accuser?  Pilate’s already has been slammed by Jesus, twice, he’s not going to fall again into his incisive intellect.

Do you want to know Jesus’ purpose for leaving Heaven and invading human history? He said: For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world– to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (18:37).  This is Pilate’s second Sunday school lesson.  But this verse is packed with astonishing truths.  Do you think Pilate’s mind will receive the ‘truth?’  Is the truth just whimsical to Pilate?

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (1:17). Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (14:6).  If Jesus is ‘the truth’ what is expected of every person in the entire world? Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (6:29). Truth in the natural and spiritual realm are identical. 2 + 2 = 4; 2 + 2 is not 127, no matter how strongly you believe it’s 127. That’s the natural realm. The same spiritually, there’s one correct answer – belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Here’s Pilate’s test: Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (18:37). Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (18:38).  Did Pilate listen? Nope. God chose you… by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (2 Thess. 2:13).  Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession. (1 Tim. 6:13). ‘Good’ in that verse means superlative.  Jesus laid the truth right in front of Pilate, like a raging bonfire.

Truth is a matter of proposition (belief, thought, statement, representation) corresponding to reality.  ‘Truth’ is the way a proposition represents reality to be.  When a person wants a different outcome for convenience, they minimize truth.  In Pilate’s mind, he doesn’t see a moral absolute.  He’s not looking for justice, but for fortuitous circumstances.

Pilate makes up his mind because Jesus impaled him with truth.  After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. (Jn. 18:38).  The Jewish leaders will accept his verdict – right?  He even sweetens the deal, making a magnanimous gesture to these Jewish sharks: But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” (18:39).  But Pilate insults them: to release to you the King of the Jews?”  They don’t take the bargain.

Pilate was trying to play both ends.  He hates the Jewish leadership and insults them. The Jewish leaders counter his move: They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. (18:40).  Here’s intrigue and irony along with illegality. No truth here, either from Pilate or the Jewish leadership.  Only Jesus was honest.

‘Barabbas’ ironically means ‘son of the father.’  Barabbas was a despicable man.  His daddy would not be proud of him.  But he was going to replace the real Son of the Father – Jesus!  And behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17).  God’s Son was rejected for a reprobate.  Jesus took Barabbas’ place, just as he took our place.  Jesus replaced degenerate sinners – like you and me.

There are 7 characteristics of Jesus that shine forth in John 18:30 – 38.  1) Perfect man:     v. 30 – they had no charge or crime. 2) Prophetic God vv. 31, 32: This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken… 3) Purposeful King vv. 33 -37 “for this purpose…” 4) Preincarnate one v. 37: “I have come into the world…”  5) Proclaimer of truth v. 37 “bear witness to the truth… v. 37:  6) Personal Savior v. 37 “For this purpose…listens to my voice…” 7) Proven faultless v. 38 “I find no guilt in him.”   Jesus has impeccable credentials.

In contrast to Jesus, is Pilate: Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. (Jn. 19:1).  Huh!? This is where pretense instead of truth comes to?  Pilate chooses compromise, not moral absolutes.  This was illegal! Roman Law required three things: 1). There must be a specific indictment. 2) Accusers must be brought before the accused. 3) There must be an opportunity for the accused to answer for himself. (Acts 25:16).

Flogging, or scourging was brutal.  It was meant to prepare one for death.  Roman’s skilled at scourging, could measure out the cruelty over time.  They called it the: ‘first death.’  The expert would kill you with the 40th slash, but the 39th left you a millimeter away from dying. After the 39th was over, death was a blessing to alleviate the misery.

A Scourge was a handle with many thongs.  Imbedded in the thongs were stones, nails, sharp objects. When one received a lash, the objects pierced the skin imbedding into the flesh, then it ripped open the flesh by pulling the scourge across the back.  Ribs were revealed.  Each lash carved groves through flesh.  One cannot imagine the anguish.

For he [Pilate] knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. (Matt. 27:18). This makes Pilate a shameful man.  Rather than the Roman governor facing the Jewish leaders, he folded and gave Jesus a horrid punishment.  Jesus did nothing wrong.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5).  This punishment was for you friend, and he had not been crucified yet.  What a Savior!

Pilate tried to do an end-run around the Jewish leadership, and even around Jesus.  But Pilate only dug himself a hole.  He looked for a way out.  He found himself at a dead-end. No person who has ever lived gets to ignore Jesus.  You’re either for him – or you’re an enemy. Whoever is not with me is against me… (Matt. 12:30).  There’s no fence sitting.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank for the gift of one so good and glorious, your Son, Jesus.  He faced the brutality of mankind, rather than us.  We earned justice, and he gave us a pardon.  Though this seems mysterious, let the truth about Jesus’ gift to us bring us more appreciation of his great love.  He did not bear these punishments because we earned a pardon, rather he’ll give a pardon if we chose it.  Father it is an honor to praise Your Son for his worthiness, and superlative virtues.  We have no merit to receive his gift, but he gave it none the less.

To honor him is admirable, but Father make us like Your Son.  We want to step into the domain of yearning to be like him.  But we are so far from his standard.  Shape us into persons of noble character: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10). Our yearn-ing must be greater than the process.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. (Heb. 5:8).  Here is where we wilt Father. Embolden and enable us to trust you, even in the dark times, since it is for a greater good.  We pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.