What Does Luke 23:3 Mean?

So Pilate asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And He answered him and said, "It is as you say."

Luke 23:3(NASB)
Picture courtesy of Nikolai Ge public domain

Verse of the Day

As recorded in the Law, the Passover lamb was to be examined for blemishes for four consecutive days. Only an unblemished animal could be used for this purpose. Jesus Himself fulfilled this legal requirement for He was God's Passover Lamb, and for four days before He was crucified on Calvary's Cross, He was examined. Jesus was questioned, tested, and scrutinised unrelentingly, by Jewish leaders, scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, but He was found to be unblemished.

They could find no fault in Him. Nevertheless, they hatched a plan to kill the Lord Jesus and paid Judas Iscariot to betray the Master he had followed from the beginning. Jesus was seized by a mob in the Garden of Gethsemane and brought into the house of the high priest at the dead of night where he was unlawfully questioned. There He was mocked and beaten, and at daybreak, the elders incited the people to riot, both the chief priests and scribes conspired to label Him guilty, and together they hauled Jesus before the Sanhedrin.

The trial was a travesty, for the Word of Truth stood before the Sanhedrin and the truth He spoke was labelled blasphemy. The entire assembly were stirred up in heated anger and brought Him to Pilate, the Roman governor, to determine whether Jesus was guilty and deserving of death. They presented three accusations to Pontius Pilate. First: this man is subverting our nation. Second: He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar. Third: He makes Himself the Messiah and a King.

This was the first time that Jesus was brought before Pilate who quickly realised the Man before Him was innocent of the crimes of which He was accused. Pilate recognised that the Jew's accusations resulted from their jealousy, but he was intrigued by the Person of Christ and asked Him directly, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And Jesus answered him and said, "It is as you say."

It was exactly as Pilate said. Jesus was indeed the king of the Jews, but He was not like others who had used violence to stir up the people. He was not an insurrectionist. Pilate knew that Jesus posed no political threat to Caesar or his empire. The emperor had nothing to worry about from this peaceful Person, and so he passed His verdict back to Christ's accusers: "Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, 'I find no guilt in this Man.'" He found no blemish in the Lamb of God.

Four days of relentless questions that were designed to trick Jesus into committing an unlawful act or making some treasonous statement against Rome, had failed. The Jew's attempt to have Jesus legitimately condemned to death for blasphemy, treason, rioting, and insurrection, failed utterly, for He was the spotless Lamb of God, the perfect Passover Lamb, the sinless Son of Man. He was the One Who came from heaven as the Sacrifice for the sin of others so that whosoever believes on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.

There was nothing false about Christ. All His words were true. Four days of trick questions from the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and religious leaders, followed by a series of false witnesses, unlawful trials, unfounded accusations, lies, and gross deception were exposed and failed, because Christ's character was unblemished and His heart was pure before God. 

We are not here to overthrow governments, as some suggest. We are here to pray for our leaders. We are not here to take the law into our own hands, but we are to trust God to fulfil His plans and purposes when we are despised, rejected, falsely accused, and persecuted for righteousness’ sake. But we are to be ready and willing to stand up for the truth and to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ. And we are to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding. In all things, we are to acknowledge Him and trust Him to direct our lives.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus came as the Passover Lamb, the King of the Jews, and the Saviour of the world. Thank You that Your love for man was so great that He was willing to be despised, rejected, accused, and crucified, by those He came to save. He was willing to do this so that all who believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life. I pray that I would be ready and willing to speak the truth in love and if necessary to suffer and die for the sake of Christ. Thank You that Your grace is sufficient and that Your power is made perfect in my weakness. Give me the courage to face the future and to be ready to give an answer for the hope I have in Christ, my Lord and my God, AMEN. 

Picture courtesy of Nikolai Ge public domain

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