An open letter to Pontius Pilate
To Whom It May Concern:
We in America often refer to someone like you as having their “fifteen minutes of fame.” It seems everybody has heard about you. Two millennia later, you are still remembered… though not exactly favorably. To your credit, you did ask a most astute question to Jesus that morning, “What is truth?”
You seemed, though, a little too preoccupied for an answer. Was it too early in the morning? Were you thinking of more pressing duties of that day? Or were you being “politically correct,” doing your best to avoid a riot and making sure you looked good to your constituents and Emperor? Washing your hands so all could see – that was such a great idea, especially since the rioters were beyond listening to words. You probably thought it made you look decisive to all the “right” people, though history remembers you as the man who “chickened out” and cratered under fear and pressure. However, the purpose of this letter is neither to judge your character or your actions that day, but instead to ask, did you ever resolve the question “What is Truth?”
Jesus told you that morning that He had come into the world to testify to the truth.
For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. John 18:37b
Even though you missed an opportunity then, you had until your last breath to pursue your question. There were several things you could have done:
- You could have researched His claims, His ministry and His Resurrection. There were lots of eye-witnesses to interview. In our day, we can google the stories of two former skeptics – Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel. Each researched long and hard to disprove Christianity, and instead came to love and trust in Jesus. Nabeel Qureshi desperately wanted Allah to be truth, but also came to believe in Jesus.
- You could have read the Jewish Scriptures, for as Jesus stated, “They testify of me.” Today we are blessed with the complete Bible where God’s word reveals the truth and has convinced many to embrace its truth. Rosaria Butterfield wanted to research Christianity for negative purposes. So she read “their book” the Bible, and instead came to belief. www.Gideons.org gives many video and written testimonies of lives restored through the reading of the Bible. Websites like http://www.biblehub.com and http://www.youversion.com help us read and study the Truth.
- You asked the mob, “What should I do with this man?” Instead, you could have talked with your advisors or other contemporaries who knew Him – Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, the Samaritan woman, the healed blind and lame, and even His disciples.
Today we still read the testimonies of those Bible-time people, plus millions of more stories since then. They are everywhere – in Christian biographies and Christian writings, Bible lessons, sermons, and websites such as http://www.myhopewithbillygraham.ca/programs/.
Most of all, Pilate, you could have prayed to God to show you the Truth. He is eager to reveal Himself, and promises, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
About the Writer:
Ruthe serves as the Director of Truett Memorial Library at First Baptist Dallas, where you can find much more information pertaining to the Love of God, as well as stories behind the songs we sing in church. Please visit us, or see our website at http://www.firstdallas.org/library.