Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26–36. He served under Emperor Tiberius. Essentially he was a Governor in the Roman empire. He is the highest political authority in Jerusalem at the time.
Jesus is standing before him. It is a life or death conversation. The Jewish high Priests want him crucified and out of the way. Pilate is trying to find a way out. He is hoping Jesus will help him out of this dilemma.
Pilate told them he couldn’t find anything wrong with him. The Jews answered, “We have a law, and by that law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
So there Jesus stood. Pilate seeks to interrogate him again. Jesus doesn’t answer. Imaging that. No answer. Just stands there.
Jesus will not be interrogated. Is it then unusual that when I cry out “Why God” I hear birds chirping. Jesus is the Son of God. I need to understand that. If I am not getting an answer then maybe I need to focus on who is in charge. It isn’t me! Who am I to question Jesus? I am to pray, May your will be done.
Pilate tries another approach. He now pulls out the “authority card”.
How did that work?
Jesus lets Pilate know that Pilate has no authority over Jesus. None. Not a bit. The only authority Pilate has is given him by God. (Note: a lesson for our partisan politics).
When Pilate heard this, he became even more scared. He went back into the palace and said to Jesus, “Where did you come from?”
Jesus gave no answer.
Pilate said, “You won’t talk? Don’t you know that I have the authority to pardon you, and the authority to—crucify you?”
Jesus said, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That’s why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault.”
Source: John 19:8-11