“Pontius Pilate, the governor.” Matthew 27:2 KJV

“Pilate, the governor.” Matthew 27:2 NASB

Only Matthew calls Pilate, “the governor.” In fact, Matthew does so on seven occasions in this final account of the trial and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. Look at verses 2, 11, 14, 15, 21, 23, 27. Matthew, who had worked for the Roman government would be very conscious of governmental positions. He would, perhaps, recognize and respect authority when he saw it. But the Spirit of God may have had a different purpose in mind. Pilate is the governor; he is the representative authority for Rome. What is being done is under his authority.

This is perhaps highlighted when Pilate, having washed his hands before the multitude and having proclaimed his own innocence, the Spirit of God brings him to an abrupt halt. For it is in the next verse that we read it was the soldiers of “the governor” who took Jesus and began to abuse Him and finally impale Him on a tree. No amount of hand washing, no eloquent pronouncement of innocence, no attempt to walk away from responsibility will be allowed by the Spirit of God. The “governor” was in full control and ultimately responsible.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Pilate made several grave errors in vv 24-25: he devised his own means and declared his own judgment. How is this similar to what men have done since that time?
  2. What are some of the choices which Pilate made that fateful day?