What Is the Truth?
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” John 14:6
Easter’s over. We’ve eaten the candy, put away the baskets and other decorations, and attended church services. Back to school. Back to work.
Like Pilate, we go on with life. He hoped the people would settle down and not bring attention to Caesar over this man who had claimed to be King of the Jews. Jesus was dead and buried—out of sight, out of mind.
Can you imagine Pilate’s reaction when he heard that Jesus had risen from the dead? Did he wonder, What have I done? Who was this man? Maybe he reflected on his wife’s warning not to have anything to do with this man because she had suffered a great deal in a dream because of him (Matthew 27:19).
Did Pilate remember Jesus’ answer to the question, “Are you a king?” Jesus had said, “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” (John 18:37).
“What is truth?” Pilate had asked, but he walked away without waiting for an answer (John 18:38). Pilate believed Jesus to be innocent (Luke 23:4). But pressured by the crowd, he handed Jesus over to be crucified (Mark 15:13-15).
Have you ever thought about the nature of truth? Is it absolute or relative? Many people say, “That’s true for you, but not true for me.” However, the Bible says that truth is absolute. Jesus said, “I am the Truth.”
Pilate turned his back on truth. What do you do with the truth? How well do you know this person who claimed to be truth? Have you studied all that the Bible says about Jesus? Is He present in your life on a daily basis—or just on Sundays or religious holidays?
Compare the accounts of this encounter between Jesus and Pilate in the four Gospels: Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-23; and John 18:28-19:22. Which details are common to all and which are unique to only one or two of the Gospels?
Read John 19:12-16. Why do you think Pilate turned Jesus over to be crucified if he believed him to be innocent? How would you have handled a similar situation?
Read John 19:19-22. The chief priests protested the charge sheet that Pilate had prepared and placed on the cross above Jesus’ head. What did it say? Why do you think Pilate did not give in to their pressure to remove this? What motivates you to resist the pressure of other people?
Nancy J. Baker