“When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod.” (Luke 23:6)
Following his arrest, Jesus was taken to the High Priest Caiaphas, who had him beaten and sent off to Pontius Pilate the Roman governor. Pilate was infamous for being cold-hearted, insensitive, and cruel. The Jewish leaders knew that and hoped that Jesus going to Pilate would make it easy to have him crucified. The Jewish leaders also only had authority to have Christ stoned, but that wasn’t enough for them. They wanted to make certain he was dead. They also wanted him judged as a traitor, one whose teachings could not be trusted. This was the only time the Jewish leaders and God wanted the same thing. It was never the Father’s plan for Christ to be stoned for our sins. He needed to die on a cross.
When Jesus arrived before Pilate, something began happening in the hardened heart of Pilate. Most likely he saw something in Christ as he interrogated him. We are told in Matthew 27:14 that Pilate “marveled greatly” at Jesus. The term means to “be at a loss for words, or to be shocked and amazed.” The more Pilate listened to Christ, the more questions he asked him. But Pilate had another situation hanging over his head. If he did not crucify Christ, it would have given the Jewish leaders the ammunition they needed to prove to Rome that Pilate was a traitor to the emperor. Something else the Jewish leaders wanted to happen. On top of that there was something going on with Pilate’s wife. She was having dreams about Jesus that upset her so much, she sent word to her husband begging him not to crucify Christ. So, Pilate had a major dilemma hanging over his head.
As Pilate interrogated Christ more, he discovered that he was from Galilee. Finally! A loophole! Pilate saw a way out of his predicament. Galilee was under the jurisdiction of Herod, who just so “happened” to be in Jerusalem that week to participate in the Feast of Passover. So, Pilate sent Christ to Herod. Herod was glad to meet Jesus, simply because he was hoping Christ would perform a miracle or two for him. But it didn’t take long for Herod to become bored with Christ, get angry and send him back to Pilate. That was the final event that sent Jesus down the Via Dolorosa, the road to the cross.
So, we have three men who didn’t know what to do with Jesus Christ – Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod. All three were intrigued with him to one degree or another. All three most likely just wanted him to go away. In some way Jesus bothered each of these leaders. The world doesn’t know what to do with Jesus Christ. He bothers the world. They don’t know what to do with his followers either. We too bother them. Perhaps your friends or family members don’t know what to make of Jesus or you. They see us as weird and different – but then maybe there’s also something to admire at the same time. Why is that? It is because Christ and his followers are different. We aren’t conformed by what they are used to. We think different. We act different. We even speak differently. Different is good! As we fast approach these remaining weeks before Resurrection Sunday let’s show those who are confused by all the woke, distorted, twisted morality society offers, what being different really looks like. Let’s be a better witness of God’s grace, of his mercy, and above all – His love. The world really isn’t used to God’s love. It’s different to them.