In the very early morning hours on Friday, the day that Jesus would die for the sins of the world, Jesus was asked bluntly, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus would answer with a short sentence begun with the words, “I Am,” (Mark 14:61-62). Of interest, it wasn’t only the Lord who would declare who He was, but others with nothing to gain would reach the same conclusion before the day was over.
Judas Iscariot – Yes, the very one who had agreed to betray Him for the meager sum of 30 pieces of silver, would declare His innocence before the day was over. Matthew 27:3-4 records, “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’” On the day that Jesus died, the one who set it all in motion was the very one now remorseful and declaring His innocence.
Pilate – He was a spineless people pleaser. He cared nothing about Jesus nor about the Jews, but he really desired for there to be peace and not a stir with those in upper Roman government. He could see plainly that Jesus was innocent. Four times in the span of perhaps a few hours, Pilate declared the innocence of Jesus (Luke 23:4,14,15,22). He made it clear that he found no fault in Jesus, but to appease the crowd, he delivered Jesus to the will of the people (Luke 23:25).
Pilate’s Wife – As her husband was questioning Jesus, she sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with this just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him,” (Matthew 27:19). The word ‘just’ carries with the idea of guiltless or innocent. Our Lord was upright and innocent and the wife of Pilate recognized it. She had nothing to gain from sending this message, but she did what she could to stop an innocent Man from dying.
An unnamed criminal – Jesus died on a cross that was in the middle of two others. One of those crucified next to Jesus would declare to the criminal on the other side, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong,” (Luke 23:40-41). We don’t know his name, but Jesus told him that he would be with Him in paradise that day. It was an unbiased appraisal of the innocence of Jesus.
A Roman Centurion – This would have been the man elected to oversee the crucifixion of Jesus. Before Jesus died, amazing things were happening, like darkness in the middle of the day.
After Jesus died, amazing things continued to happen and there was only one conclusion for him and those guarding Jesus to make, “Truly this was the Son of God,” (Matthew 27:54).
These, on the day that Jesus died, ultimately had nothing to gain when they declared Jesus to be innocent, just, and the Son of God. They simply spoke the truth based on the evidence and the Bible records it for us. Why? So that we might believe and know Jesus, the innocent, just, Son of God, died for no guilt of His own, but for us! Please weigh the evidence for yourself and reach the same conclusion about our precious Lord.
– Adam Orr