Matthew 27:19
While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: "Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered terribly in a dream today because of Him."
It is Easier to Do Right than WrongD. G. Watt, M. A.Matthew 27:19
Pilate's WifeG. T. Coster.Matthew 27:19
Pilate's WifeH. Melvill, B. D.Matthew 27:19
The Dream of Pilate's WifeD. G. Watt, M. A.Matthew 27:19
The Warning Word to be WelcomedG. T. Coster.Matthew 27:19
The Actors in a Momentous TragedyJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 27:11-31
Christ Before Pilate. No. 2Marcus Dods Matthew 27:15-30

He knew that for envy they had delivered him. Pilate was never under any sort of delusion concerning Christ. Experience as a magistrate made the criminal's face, and attitude, and speech, and ways, quite familiar things to him. He watched Jesus, and was perfectly certain that he was no criminal, and no dangerous revolutionist. And Pilate had not had contention after contention with that priest party without knowing the party well; and his estimate of it we can well imagine. It did not flatter them, and it was just. Of course, he saw everything from the Roman's point of view, and he made some mistakes, as every one must who fails to put himself in the place of him whom he appraises; he was, however, right in this case. But what he read seriously increases the guilt and shame of his act. He has no excuse of even self-deception.

I. PILATE'S READING OF THE CHARACTER AND MOTIVES OF THE PRIEST PARTY. Pilate "was a typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period; a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and, in times of irritation, freely shed their blood. They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of every crime - maladministration, cruelty, and robbery." "Pilate understood their pretended zeal for the Roman authority." He may not have known the precise occasion for their strong feeling against Jesus; but he saw plainly that it was a case of malice and revenge, and they were prepared to humiliate themselves utterly in carrying out their evil purpose. But, if Pilate knew them so well, we must judge his guilt in yielding to them by the light of his knowledge.

II. PILATE'S READING OF THE CHARACTER AND MOTIVES OF JESUS. He seems to have known something of Jesus. The story of the triumphal entry had been duly reported to him; and he formed his opinion when he found that Jesus took no material advantage of that time of excitement. He settled it - Jesus was a harmless enthusiast, of no account politically. "He questioned Jesus in regard to the accusations brought against him, asking especially if he pretended to be a King." He may have laughed cynically at our Lord's answer, but he knew well that nothing of the demagogue lurked behind that calm and peaceful face. Again and again he declared him innocent - he found no fault in him. Pilate read him aright, but condemned himself in the reading. Our guilt is always measured by our knowledge. - R.T.

His wife sent unto him saying, Have thou nothing to de with that just man.
I. The testimony of women to Christ.

II. The testimony of dreams to Christ.

III. The testimony of suffering to Christ — "Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things," etc. The wife failed; but it was well to have tried.

(G. T. Coster.)

I. Let us observe her dream as a sign that various obstacles are placed in the way of completing sin.

II. Let us observe the dream as a sign that continuance in sin depends upon injustice done to Jesus Christ.

(D. G. Watt, M. A.)

Is there one of you who would seriously maintain that it is easier to drive a horse and cart over a steep embankment than it is to drive along the road on the top of the embankment? Oh yes, you say, the former is easier! It is but a plunge, and you have done it. But then, you must consider how many obstacles you have to overcome before you can take the plunge, and- these obstacles make it a harder thing to go over than to go along the road. The beaten road says: "I am the way; you must not leave me." You will have to overcome the obstacle which that clear statement raises. "There is certain damager to limb and life" — you will have to overcome the obstacle which respect for your own safety raises. "The horse, if it has been properly driven, will back off from sharp descent." You will have to overcome the obstacle which the animal raises. Putting together the forces which are exerted by such matters, you will acknowledge that it is not fair to say that it is easier to drive over a precipice than it is to drive along the road which skirts its summit. Just so is it with us in life. Right and wrong solicit us. It may appear more easy to submit to the representations of evil impulses than to those of good; but, however it may appear, remember that before you can yield to the former you must have cast off the restraint of a law of God; you must have stifled your desires to be truly happy; you must have broken away from the influences which proceed from those of your friends who stand in awe of the Christ of God.

(D. G. Watt, M. A.)

Put not this word from you. If — to use one of Dr. Payson's illustrations — you should see at this moment a very fine, an almost invisible thread coming down from heaven and attaching itself to you, and knew it came from God, what would you do? Would you dare to thrust it away? Now, this word of appeal is like such a thread. It is weak and frail, and you can easily brush it away. But will you? No! Welcome it, and it will enlarge and strengthen itself until it becomes a golden thread to bind you to that just Man — the Saviour — and to bind you for ever.

(G. T. Coster.)

The wickedness of Pilate forced him to assume all the appearance of weakness. How striking the testimony given by enemies to our Lord; He is to die as a malefactor with the judge's verdict in His favour.

I. THE GREAT PRINCIPLE OF CONSCIENCE WAS NOT DORMANT IN PILATE, BUT ON THE CONTRARY ACTED WITH FAITHFULNESS AND VIGOUR. Whatever the sensuality and tyranny of this Roman he had not succeeded in silencing conscience. The enormity of his sin is also enhanced by the warning he received through his wife.

II. WE CONSIDER GOD AS ACTING UPON PILATE TO DETER HIM FROM COMMITTING A GREAT CRIME, AND THEREFORE TO LEAVE HIM WITHOUT EXCUSE IN THE COMMISSION. God has nothing to do with causing the wicked actions he overrules. No man can take refuge in God's foreknowledge of his sins, as having made them unavoidable. It left Pilate as free as if there had been no foreknowledge.

III. How the method used by God was EMINENTLY FITTED TO PREVAIL WITH PILATE, and how it cut off all excuse when he gave up Jesus to the multitude. It may seem singular that the vision was to Pilate's wife, and net to Pilate himself. Would not the admonition have been more likely to prevail if directly conveyed to him? But to please his wife may have been a motive in addition to obedience to the vision. God took this course because the Roman governor was probably most accessible through his affections. It is far from an unfrequent thing that God causes His warnings to be conveyed through the channel of the affections. One member of the family is saved in order to impress another. If this does not succeed, there remains no more likely method. Let not men think it would be better if they were acted upon directly by the gospel.

IV. How greatly it increased the criminality of Pilate THAT THE MESSAGE OF HIS WIFE REACHED HIM AT THE VERY MOMENT OF HIS TAKING HIS PLACE ON THE JUDGMENT SEAT. It was precisely when his convictions were urging him to release Christ, that there came to him a testimony to His innocence. When men are tempted God sends seasonable aids and disposes events for their strength and victory. The whole judicature of conscience is constructed on the principle of counsel being given at the precise moment when temptation is urgent. It remonstrates at the moment the bait allures. What a scene will it be when this Roman stands forth to answer for himself at the tribunal of Christ. How changed their condition. Christ will then be in glory and power.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

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