We often think of Pilate as the bad guy for allowing the Jews to crucify Jesus. He really didn’t want to kill Jesus but the pressure from the Jewish leaders was too great. He was a wimp. But Pilate appears to know something that the Jews didn’t. Jesus is the king of the Jews.
So Pilate was a bad guy. He was a Roman ruler over that region after all. Pilate was not reticent to kill Jesus because he was the king of the Jews. Crucifying someone claiming to be a king was common for the Romans. Caesar was the only king. Pilate’s reluctance came from seeing something more in Jesus, a power that radiated from Jesus. He was more than a king of a small backwater region of the Roman Empire. Jesus was king over all, the Son of God.
Knowing Jesus is the Son of God is not enough. Pilate still crucified Jesus. The writer to the Hebrews warns us that those who have been followers of Christ, who have experienced the power of God yet turn away from Him “and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” -Hebrews 6:6 NIV They are as guilty as Pilate.
We have the choice as followers of Christ. We may know Jesus is the Son of God but we must also live as representatives of the King. We need to obey Him, proclaim the great salvation he has wrought, and love each other (John 15:17, 1 Peter 4:8).
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. -1 Peter 1:22 (NLT)