On Trial for Us

Study Guide

Because the Jewish leaders don’t want the responsibility of executing Jesus, they pressure Pilate to solve their problem. The entire situation is fraught and chaotic, yet God is orchestrating forces of evil to bring about the greatest good.
  1. In the cast of characters of this story, we should identify most with Barabbas. Take some time to reflect on the reality that Jesus was on trial, convicted, and cursed for you. How does this impact your day-to-day perspective?

  2. Pilate viewed his problem as an external one, and therefore, did not see his personal need for a Messiah. In what ways are you tempted to view your problems in life as external rather than internal? How can you apply the hope of the gospel to your problems, both big and small?

Key Points
  • God is our creator and judge, yet we often sit in judgment of him. Ironically, our judgment of him determines our eternal destiny.

  • Jesus’ trial occurs at the height of Passover. He is our Passover Lamb—his blood covers us so God’s judgment falls on him in our place.

  • This trial is not Jesus’ trial; it is our trial. And he is willing to be cursed for us.

  • Like Pilate, the world cannot understand a power greater than we can comprehend wrapped in vulnerability and meekness.

  • Barabbas is representative—a guilty criminal goes free, and an innocent man dies in his place. It is the greatest evil that brings about the greatest good.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: John 18:28-40