Two weeks ago we saw Jesus appearing before the High Priest (Mark 14:53-65), and the effort they made to convict Jesus by false testimony. Jesus is now bound and taken to Pontius Pilate, the Procurator representing Judea. The Jews would accept nothing less than Jesus death - not just a traditional stoning, but a public, humiliating death on a cross - which they had no authority to perform (John 18:31-32); they wanted Jesus formally cursed (Deut. 21:23).

Pilate observed as the Chief Priests made their accusations (Mark 15:3). Jesus remained silent. The only response He gave, as He did before the High Priest, was to respond to the truth:

Pilate: "Are you the King of the Jews?"

Jesus: "Yes, it is as you say." (Mark 15:2)

We look at things from the perspective of the one convicted appealing to a higher court to seek acquittal, but here, the High Priest has ordered Jesus to be taken to their higher authority to assure that the convicted One receives the worst punishment possible. Again, as He was before the High Priest, Jesus also remained silent as His accusers repeated the false charges against Him. Only when Pilate asked the right question did Jesus respond.

It's beginning to look like Jesus was, in effect, putting them on trial. He knew God's will was that He endure death on the cross for the redemption of all mankind. The Chief Priests and Pilate could not understand such a thing - who would intentionally condemn himself?

Jesus told the truth - He told only the truth - and He responded only to the truth. Can we say that? Are our temporary interests worth compromising the truth?