We meet at last Mr Bond!
We now get to the horrific show trials before Jesus’ death for us on the cross. Jesus doesn’t say much to His accusers, but what He does say, in Luke 22:69, is significant. The Jewish leaders are standing in judgement of Him. They are waiting for a Messiah (Christ) who will overthrow the Roman state, but ironically are planning to use that to condemn Jesus before the Roman state! Jesus’ answer to their accusation is “But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God”. He sits in judgement of them. There is a new Israel replacing the old (Romans 9). A new people of God made up of Jews and Gentiles in Christ (Ephesians 2:18-22).
Caird writes “Pilate does everything in his power to secure the discharge of Jesus Christ, short of discharging Him.” His political position is very precarious, he is in enmity with Herod and weak before the Jewish leaders, so he fudges the issue and sends Jesus off to Herod.
“We meet at last Mr Bond!” declares the villain with an ugly smile, believing he finally has the secret agent in his power. Herod has been in the background of the whole Gospel. He is a frivolous man wanting to see some magic and Jesus doesn’t play.
There’s a lovely touch though in 23:12. As Tom Wright puts it… “Now even without believing in Jesus, Herod and Pilate are reconciled. It is as though with Jesus on the way to the cross, reconciliation cannot help breaking out all over the place.” The reality is that this shady deal is nothing like the reconciliation we get with God and each other through the cross, but it is an example of the amazing new deal that is breaking out.
Barabbas whose name means “Son of the Father” was the first to experience the great exchange of the cross. Jesus died in his place. The innocent for the guilty. As all of our guilt and shame was placed on Jesus and he became sin for us.
Praise God for the amazing Gospel.