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12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.

 

Pilate sought to release Jesus a result of His sessions with Him. But the upshot of his decision was of no effect because the Jews would have none of it.

19:12

From then on Pilate sought to release Him,

Pilate tried to persuade the Jews to set Jesus free. He sought to gain their consent to do it. Yet he could have done it immediately by his own authority.

but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend.

The Jews manipulated Pilate by the phrase “you are not Caesar’s friend.” They in effect said that he would not be loyal to the Roman Emperor if he supported someone who revolted against the Caesar. This was a veiled threat to Pilate.

Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

Caesar Tiberius was on the throne of the Empire currently. He was a very suspicious and insecure individual. Pilate feared him greatly. No Caesar allowed any defection from their authority. This was a lie by the Jews; Jesus was no revolutionary, a crime of high treason.

19:13

When Pilate therefore heard that saying,

Pilate now capitulates to mob rule. Out of fear that Caesar would think that he was not loyal to him, he put Jesus on formal trial. This was the last straw in his attempt to free Christ from crucifixion.

he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat [bema] in a place that is called The Pavement [Greek name],

“The Pavement” was the location where Pilate issued public decrees. It was probably an elevated stone platform adjacent to the Praetorium. The “judgment seat” or bema was the place of rendering a verdict.

but in Hebrew, Gabbatha [Aramaic name].

“Gabbatha” was a location where the public could witness the governor’s judgments and verdicts. It was an area of about 3000 square feet. The site was near the Jaffa Gate. It may have been part of the Castle of Antonia in Jerusalem. “Gabbatha” comes from a word meaning “high” and was an elevated place where Jesus was sentenced. 

PRINCIPLE:

Christians one day will appear before the bema seat or the Judgment Seat of Christ.

APPLICATION:

The Romans used a raised platform, where a person in authority would pronounce judgment. Christians will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, the bema seat of Christ (2 Co 5:10).

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