The Greater Sin is with those who reject Jesus
8 When Pilate heard this statement,
he was even more afraid.
Comment: The jews made a statement that Jesus needed to die in verse 7 just above this one and verse 8 starts by indicating that when Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid. This tells us that Pilate was indeed afraid and was even more afraid when he heard this statement. Why was Pilate afraid, well the only reason I could find was in Mat 27:19. There we see Pilate’s wife telling Pilate that he must have nothing to do with the righteous man, referring to Jesus. She told Pilate that she had suffered much that day in her dream because of Jesus. This is what could have made him afraid and even more afraid when the jews wanted Jesus dead.
9 He entered his headquarters again
and said to Jesus,
“Where are you from?”
But Jesus gave him no answer.
Comment: As indicated in verse 7’s comments above, Pilate was afraid because of what his wife told him and the fact the jews wanted Jesus dead. Coupled with the fact that Jesus told him in John 18:37-38, that His kingdom is not from this world and that He had come into this world to bear witness to the truth, this might have caused Pilate great confusion as to who Jesus really was, hence the question, where is Jesus from. I don’t think Pilate truly asked about Jesus’s birthplace but rather he wanted to know if Jesus was some supernatural human of some sort. Jesus chose not to answer him. Why, I don’t know. I could speculate but I don’t know.
10 So Pilate said to him,
“You will not speak to me?
Do you not know
that I have authority to release you
and authority to crucify you?”
11 Jesus answered him,
“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.
Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Comment: Although Pilate was indeed telling the truth and Jesus is actually not disputing that, Jesus indicates correctly to him that all authority comes from above, from God, and he would have had no authority over Him if God did not give it to him. Then Jesus went on to almost exonerate Pilate by saying that the one who delivered Him to Pilate has the greater sin. I say almost exonerate because Jesus does not say Pilate has no sin but rather, the one who delivered Him, has greater sin.
Pilate gives in to fear and delivers the Innocent Jesus to be crucified
12 From then on
Pilate sought to release him,
but the Jews cried out,
“If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
Comment: Pilate was not only convinced at this point that Jesus did not deserve to die but I believe that he was also convinced that Jesus was some kind of deity or holy man and he was going to do everything in his power to protect him. Pilate did try to release Him but the Jews threatened him. They told him if he releases Jesus, then he is not a friend of Caesar, since Jesus said He was a king and everyone who say he is a king opposes Caesar,since Caesar was the true king according to them. This must have scared Pilate or at least the Jews must have known that by saying that, they would be able to get Pilate to do what they wanted. Why? Well, apparently from one commentary I read, Pilate had already caused an upheaval at Palestine because of some acts he did and was now under high scrutiny from Tiberius Caesar who was known to be ruthless. Anymore upheaval could cause him his job or even his life. True or false, it worked.
13 So when Pilate heard these words,
he brought Jesus out
and sat down on the judgment seat
at a place called The Stone Pavement,
and in Aramaic Gabbatha.
14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover.
It was about the sixth hour.
He said to the Jews,
“Behold your King!”
15 They cried out,
“Away with him, away with him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
Comment: After caving in, Pilate went and sat on the judgement seat. This is a place where official judgements were made. They called it the stone pavement. Pilate was ready to make a judgement call on the matter. John tells us here that it was a day of the preparation of the passover and was about the sixth hour. There is some controversy regarding this but, we will not discuss it here. In a mocking irony, Pilate introduces Jesus as the King of the Jews and asks if he should crucify their king. The jews replied by rejecting Jesus and acknowledging Caesar as their king, although they hated the romans. They were prepared to accept Caesar as their king even though they hated him, than to accept Jesus as King. Pilate then delivered Jesus over to be crucified. This despite Jesus having been found guilty four times already and this despite he himself trying to release him.