Would things have been different for Jesus had Pilate listened to his wife? Could He have avoided the terrible death of crucifixion? Pilate’s wife came to him, pleading that he not harm Jesus. In fact, she said for him to have nothing to do with Him. This was a strong statement. “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” Matthew 27:19
It appeared that she believed strongly in her dreams and what they may mean. She also “suffered” in them, so the dreams must have been terrifying. Regardless of how she got the word, she knew her husband might make a grave mistake. She had to warn him! She also calls Jesus an “innocent (or just) man”.
Who exactly was Pilate? Better known as Pontius Pilate, he was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD26-36. He had served under Emperor Tiberius and according to various writing was probably a Roman equestrian. (The Equestrian Order is the Plebeian nobility. … Also referred to as the Equites, or Knights. In Roman antiquity, these were the wealthy, landed Plebeian merchant class granted a “Public Horse” by the State so they could act as the Republic’s cavalry. Wikipedia)
Pilate’s position gave him authority to grant or deny certain requests by the people. Pressure was building on Pilate from the crowds of people and the traditions of the time of releasing from prison someone on certain days. In this case, the mob wanted Barabbas to be released and Jesus taken.
“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” Matt.27:24
On releasing Barabbas to the mob and giving them Jesus to crucify, Pilate not only ignored the wise words of his wife, but made a terrible prophecy to future generations. He publicly and ceremoniously washes his hands and calls out to the people, “ His blood be on us, and on our children.” Did he have any idea what he was really saying? Probably not, but he wanted to rid himself of all responsibility. One can imagine what his conversation was like with his wife that evening!
Sometimes we are warned by those around us when we have major decisions to make…to be careful…to reconsider. We can choose to ignore and rush out on the limb because of fear; lack of self confidence…or even the pressures being brought about by work or relationships. It is an age-old problem for all of us.
Back to our previous question: Could Jesus have avoided the Crucifixion if Pilate had listened to his wife?
Maybe He could have for that moment, but not in the long run for God had a plan to save the world from sin and give forgiveness and meaning to our lives. He had told of this plan to the generations before by way of their prophets. The betrayal of Christ by Judas (discussed in the previous blog) and leading up to the events of the crucifixion, had been clearly told in what is now the Old Testament Holy Scriptures. We are told in the New Testament, “But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56).
If you are a Jewish reader, who has dismissed these prophecies as pertaining to Christ, Who you do not believe to be the Messiah, I challenge you to read the prophecies and their fulfillment written below… and ask God to show you His truth.
Jesus, Himself, had shown the Jews that followed Him that they had been shown by the prophets His death and purpose: “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27).
Let’s take a look at a few of the many Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment in the New Testament: (Taken from Messianic Prophecies bible.com)
1. SOLD FOR THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER by Judas
Prophecy: Zechariah 11:12 And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.
Fulfillment: Matthew 26:14-15 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver.
2. THE MONEY CAST TO THE POTTER
Prophecy: Zechariah 11:13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:5-7 And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers.
3. THE DISCIPLES FORSOOK HIM
Prophecy: Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones.
4. SMITTEN AND SPIT UPON
Prophecy: Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:30 And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.
5. DUMB BEFORE HIS ACCUSERS
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12-14 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.
6. WOUNDED AND BRUISED
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:26, 29 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. . . . And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
7. HANDS AND FEET PIERCED
Prophecy: Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
Fulfillment: Luke 23:33 And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
8. CRUCIFIED WITH THIEVES
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
Fulfillment: Mark 15:27-28 And they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 28 (And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”)
9. PRAYED FOR HIS PERSECUTORS
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. (emphasis mine)
Fulfillment: Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
10. GARMENTS PARTED AND LOTS CAST
Prophecy: Psalm 22:18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.
Fulfillment: John 19:23-24 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
11. HIS FORSAKEN CRY
Prophecy: Psalm 22:1 For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? “that is, “ My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?”
12. GALL AND VINEGAR GIVEN HIM
Prophecy: Psalm 69:21 They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Fulfillment: John 19:28-29 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch ofhyssop, and brought it up to His mouth.
13. HIS SIDE PIERCED
Prophecy: Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.
Fulfillment: John 19:34-37 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. 35 And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “ 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”
14. DARKNESS OVER THE LAND
Prophecy: Amos 8:9 “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. (The Jews reckoned twelve hours from sunrise to sunset. This would make the sixth hour about noon, and the ninth hour near three o’clock.)
15. BURIED IN A RICH MAN’S TOMB
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:57-60 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
Perhaps in her dream, the wife of Pilate saw all these things that would come to pass. She knew this innocent man’s crucifixion was nothing for which she wanted her husband to be responsible. Yet, if it had not been Pilate who turned a deaf ear to the pleas of his wife, there would have been another who would have condemned Him. God, the Father, had a plan for the world and for His Son to be the Redeemer and the Messiah. If she had seen more, she would have known that her terrified dream had a magnificent ending… the Resurrection after the third day. She would have seen that His followers recognized him and that He showed Thomas the nail scars on his hands.
Jesus said to Thomas, “… reach hither thy finger and behold My hands…”
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