Tuesday after Judica
Scripture: St. Mark 15:1-19 (NKJV)
1 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. 2 Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” 3 And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. 4 Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!” 5 But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.
6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8 Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13 So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” 14 Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” 15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. 17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, 18 and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him.
“It is as you say.”
Pontius Pilate asks Jesus about His identity, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And Jesus gives these words as His answer: “It is as you say.” At first glance, this appears to be an indirect answer to a direct question. Certainly, the answer given here is less direct than Jesus’ invocation of the divine name, “I AM,” to describe Himself on other occasions. Yet, Jesus’ answer could not be more direct, for what He said was directed straight to the heart of Pilate. Answering the question in this way, Jesus was turning the question back to the questioner, seeking Pilate’s own response to the question of Jesus’ identity. By his response to the question Pilate would reveal what he believes in his heart about the identity of Jesus—and whether this King of the Jews is his King and Savior.
“It is as you say.” The answer that Jesus gives to Pilate’s question speaks to the vital importance of one’s confession of the divinely-revealed truth. Jesus is the King of the Jews—the Savior of God’s people—and that remains true no matter how many men might deny it. What does matter is whether a man acknowledges the truth that God has revealed by His Word and through His Spirit about salvation from sin and death through faith in His Son. As it was for Pilate, so it is for any man, “It is as you say…. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).
We pray: We beseech Thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon Thy people, that by Thy great goodness we may be governed and preserved evermore both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.