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Suffered Under Pontius Pilate

The country that we’ll be praying for this week is Saudi Arabia.  For more information on this country, please visit


The sermon text for this coming week will be Matthew 27:1-2,11-31.  I’ll be using this text to explain what we are affirming when we recite the portion of the Apostles’ Creed that says, “Jesus… suffered under Pontius Pilate.”  You may want to read the parallel texts in the other three Gospels, as well.  See Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:16


As you read through these texts, you’ll read of how Jesus was mistreated by the Roman soldiers; how they placed a crown of thorns on His head, how they placed a purple robe upon Him and ridiculed Him, how they spat in His face, and punched Him and whipped Him, etc.


All of this happened PRIOR to Jesus be placed on the cross.  Do you believe that this “pre-cross” physical suffering that was endured by Jesus is part of the atonement for our sins?  How do you support your answer to this question?  Is there Scripture you can use to support your answer?


Why do you think the Apostles’ Creed specifically mentions the name of Pontius Pilate?  Didn’t the Jews cause Jesus to suffer, as well?  Wasn’t it the Jews who really forced Pilate’s hand in this matter?  Why wouldn’t the creed mention the Jews, as well?  Or maybe something more inclusive, such as “…suffered under the persecution of men…”?


Read Matthew 27:24-25.  Seeing that Jesus was innocent of the crimes He was charged with, Pilate declared to the Jews that to proceed with the crucifixion would bring “blood” (guilt) upon himself.  Then Pilate washed his hands as a symbol of his innocence in this matter and instructed the Jews that any guilt associated with the crucifixion of Jesus would not come upon him.  The Jews agreed.  They replied, “His blood be on us and on our children!”  Was it really possible for Pilate to make this statement?  To defer the guilt of his participation in the crucifixion to others?


What difference does it make today, in your life, that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate?