Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. — John 18:31
Pilate wanted to evade the responsibility of trying and sentencing Jesus. But instead of honestly refusing to have anything to do with His condemnation, Pilate sought by evasion simply to get clear of the case. He could not do it, however; for each time Jesus came back and stood before him waiting for his decision.
One of Pilate’s questions a little later than this was, “What shall I do with Jesus?” — a question he was compelled to answer in the end. Jesus stands before every human soul, as He stood before Pilate, demanding reception or rejection, and every one of us must answer this same question. The question may be postponed, but we cannot get it off our hands. We may send Jesus away, but presently we find Him back, standing again at our door. Every soul must sit in judgment on Christ, and give a decision.
Look on a little later. Here we see Pilate on the judgment-seat, and Jesus standing before him to be judged. “Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and power to release thee?” Awful power for any man to hold! The scene closed, and Jesus went to His cross. Pilate soon fell into disgrace, and in a few years committed suicide. When he stood before the throne of the divine Judge, into whose eyes did the poor guilty Roman look? Ah, what a reversal there was! Once Pilate was judge, and Jesus stood at the bar: now Jesus is judge, and Pilate is before Him!
Jesus stands now before sinners, meek and lowly, asking to be received; but the scene will soon be changed for those who reject Him — they will be hurried away into eternity, and the Judge before whose bar they shall find themselves will be the same One who stood so long, patient and loving, waiting to save them.