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Today, we as Christians celebrate this day as Good Friday, and what is Good Friday?  Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

However, on this day more than 2000 years ago that allows us the opportunity to celebrate a Good Friday, Jesus had been brought before Pilate to face false accusations charges against him.  Pilate was governor in a region called Judea, it was a dusty outpost of the Roman Empire.  Pilate main duty was to maintain the peace, and now he was faced with the possibility of a riot on his hand because the people were demanding the head of Jesus.  Although Pilate saw no guilt in him, the people were threatening to report him to Caesar.  Pilate knew that such a report accompanied by a riot, could cost him his position and hopes for advancement.  This meant that Pilate had to answer what could be the most important question of his life.  The question was this, “would he set free this innocent man at the risk of a major uproar in his region, or would he give in to their demands and condemn a man who, he was quite sure was innocent?

The charge was treason, so Pilate asked Jesus directly if he claimed to be the King of the Jews.  Jesus’ answer was “yes” but with a qualification attached.  Jesus did claim to be a king-to remain silent would be like denying it.  Nevertheless, he was not claiming kingship in any way that would threaten Pilate, Caesar, or the Empire.  Jesus’ kingship was spiritual.  Pilate could sense that the Council’s case was embarrassingly weak and that the solemn rabbi standing before him was unlikely to lead a revolt against Rome.  Therefore, Pilate made a critical decision that would forever change the history of the world on that day and we now celebrate it is Good Friday.

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