Friday, June 02, 2023

Vision (6.2.23): Pilate's Wife


Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 27:15-25.

When he [Pilate] was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him (Matthew 27:19).

One of the unique details provided by Matthew in his account of Christ’s passion is the reference to Pilate’s wife and the message she sent to her husband in the midst of our Lord’s trial.

Notice four things about this:

First, she declared that the Lord Jesus is a “just [righteous] man.” This is a reminder to any who read this account that Christ had committed no actual transgression. He was not worthy of death in any sense (cf. Rom 6:23 where Paul says the wages of sin is death; Christ committed no sin; he was undeserving of death).

Her testimony of Christ’s innocence comes on the heels of that of another unbeliever, Judas, who said to the Jewish leaders, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood” (27:4).

Second, there is an ironic contrast in that this pagan woman sees and acknowledges something that the Jewish men who serve in elite offices as chief priests and elders cannot see and refuse to acknowledge.

Third, she claims that her conscience has been burdened, suffering all day about this matter because of “a dream” she received. This is another ironic contrast with the Jewish leaders, because they have the Scriptures and the all the things which the prophets wrote about Christ (cf. 26:24: “The Son of man goeth as it is written about him”), but they do not recognize him. All this woman had was an extra-biblical experience, apart from Scripture, and yet she understood that Christ is a just man (cf. Romans 2:14-15).

Fourth, she anticipates many Gentile women who will eventually come to recognize, trust, and serve the crucified and risen Christ. Luke, for example, will say of Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica, “And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few” (Acts 17:4).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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