Philip Rockey, Newington, CT
"Pilate answered, am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?" (John 18:35).
In majestic dignity, the Lord Jesus Christ stands before Pilate. The representative of the universe and of all mankind stands before the representative of Rome; the King of kings before a governor of Jerusalem; the Mighty Monarch before a mere man.
The life of our Saviour was marked by kindness, love and mercy while the life of Pilate was no doubt filled with deceit, lies and corruption as he moved to prominence in government. Multitudes had witnessed the mighty miracles that had been performed by Godís unique Son and word of these wonders had spread through towns and villages and even reached the throne of Herod. "He had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him" (Luke 23:8). Men marvelled at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth. They said "what manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" and "He doeth all things well." Then how could it be that Pilate could ask this of the Lord Jesus, knowing full well that in Him there was no fault?
The question was meant to extract from the blessed Saviour a confession of some crime that would give cause for the religious leaders to condemn Him to death, but He did no sin, He could not sin and in Him is no sin. The spotless and holy Lamb of God stands condemned before a defiled and sinful man and hears the question "What hast thou done?" It is a wonder to our souls that there was not one voice lifted up on His behalf to recount the mighty things that He had done. There was no cleansed leper to speak of the Word that had brought healing to a diseased body. There was no Bartimaeus to tell of the miracle of his restored sight; no demoniac to tell of the chains that the Lord had broken to give him new life. There was none of the hungry multitudes that had seen the hands of the Lord opened to sustain them. There was no one, for they had "all forsaken Him and fled."
As inconceivable as it is that there was no man that stood with the Lord Jesus in His hour of deepest need, how much more do we bow in wonder when we think that the heavens were silent? What could have been the burst of acclamation from the heavenly hosts in response to this question "what hast thou done?" They could have told forth the wonder and glory of the great Creator, of the One who is very God and became Man that He might redeem His fallen creatures. They could have exulted at His holiness and perfections, of His mighty power and glory and yet the lowliness of His coming into the world. But heaven was silent.
It is only the apostle John that records Pilateís question to the Lord Jesus and it is interesting to note that it is this same writer that reminds us that "there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen" (John 21:25). The response of our hearts to this question should be worship and thanksgiving when we consider our Lord and Saviour and all that He has done as He moved through a godless, sinful world "doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). How much greater should be our response when we "consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself" (Heb. 12:3).
And when I think that God His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God to thee
How great thou art!
In light of the great salvation and blessings that we have been brought into, we could also ask this question of ourselves: "What have I done?" What has been the reponse in my life to the Lord Jesus Christ for all that He has done for me? As we look back on the years past, has there been anything for Him? May God help us that we might be faithful in service and devotion in the days that are left. "It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!"
Thy life was given for me, what have I given for Thee?