What I have written...

So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.” (John 19:16-22)

No matter how hard Pilate tried to release Jesus from the bonds his accusers had placed him in, they objected vehemently, completely determined that Jesus would die that day before the sun went down. Pilate had listened to Jesus' testimony, heard him tell him he was "born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” He found no fault in him, yet his accusers continued to demand his crucifixion, actually going so far as to accuse Pilate of being disloyal to Caesar if he refused to condemn Jesus to death. Isn't it amazing the lengths some will go to in an attempt to stifle the truth? Truth might not be popular to some, but it remains truth nonetheless. Try as we might, we cannot silence truth.

Pilate went to far as to ensure the sign above Jesus' head included the title "King of the Jews", even after the demands to change it to something more 'subtle' like he 'claimed to be' the King of the Jews. Here was what the Pharisees and religious leaders would have considered to be a 'heathen' ruler, giving honor to the one they had come to despise so greatly. Why do you suppose Pilate would not alter his declaration? Could it be that he actually believed Jesus to be the Son of God, come to redeem his people? Or do you suppose he merely did not want to condemn an innocent man, sort of like washing his hands of his guilt when he posted the sign? Either way, he did not ever declare Jesus to be guilty of a crime - he merely fulfilled the wishes of the pressing and demanding crowd.

In Hebrew, Latin, and Greek - assuring that all within the city could clearly see just who hung on the cross that day. Why would Pilate care that everyone knew? I go back to the question of belief. Did he perhaps believe in more than the 'innocence' of Jesus? Could it be when Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world,” that he actually realized this was more than a man standing before him? We weren't there that day, but I imagine the quandary he felt was made even worse when Jesus spoke nothing but truth and refused to 'justify' his claims or 'fight for his rights'. 

What I have written, I have written. Profound words indicating they would not be changed - truth would be told for all to see. When Pilate encountered truth, he would not allow truth to be altered. We don't know all the reasons behind his actions, but we know he was moved by what he saw in Jesus, and he would not allow his testimony to be altered. How about us? Are we willing to stand by the testimony of Jesus in our own lives? Does what we reveal about Jesus point clearly to the truth? If not, maybe it is about time we consider our testimony a little closer and allow the truth resident within to shine just a bit brighter. Just sayin!


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