Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" (John 18:37-38)
Pilate is full of questions for Jesus - "Are you a king?", "Are you the king of the Jews", "Where are you from?", and finally, the infamous "What is truth?" In his interrogation of Jesus, you can almost hear the desperation in his voice. Here is a man caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, desperately looking to make the decision that will bring the least amount of personal and political harm to himself. He is so entrenched in his own world that he cannot or will not recognize Jesus as the truth that he seeks. Yet, there is something compelling for him about Jesus. He clearly recognizes Jesus' innocence and his questions suggest that he recognizes in Jesus something more.
Catholic Encyclopedia describes Pilate as "...a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened."
Perhaps we identify with Pilate this Holy Week. We may be in a place where cultural or societal pressures are leading us to "wash our hands" of Jesus and go along with the whims of the crowds shouting around us. We may be tempted to give in to these external pressures and ignore the nagging voice in our heart which cries out "What is truth?"
I am so confused. All my life I have been taught to live one way. I understand the rules of my world. But now, you, Jesus are standing in front of me and all my prior assumptions are being challenged. My world is coming apart around me and I am in a no-win situation. If I believe you, Jesus, then my career and, more than likely, my life as I know it will be over. If I don't believe you, I fear I will be making the biggest mistake of my life. Is there an answer these questions that haunt me? Are you the answer, Jesus?
Read more Who am I? Reflections here...
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Am I the Good Thief?
Am I Simon?
Am I Peter?