Suffered under Pontius Pilate

John Tousley

Read: Isaiah 53:5-12

He poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (v. 12)

Christians humbly and gratefully believe that Jesus, the promised Messiah, stood before Pilate as his judge, was repeatedly pronounced not guilty, and yet was sentenced to be crucified, to suffer, and to die in our place. Jesus, the sinless Servant of God “poured out his soul to death,” lifting upon his own shoulders and carrying “the sin of many” (v. 12) when we had stupidly strayed from God to follow our own rebellious ways. John Calvin, knowing our consciences as guilty-yet-forgiven sinners, taught his readers to “remember this substitution.”

A dear pastor-friend, Nick Twomey, is living out a life of gratitude. He is ever thankful for God’s gracious substitution of his only Son, in place of us guilty sinners. I have appreciated Nick’s biblical convictions and tenderheartedness, his sense of humor and ability to communicate.

In a well-written booklet entitled Wrecked, Nick tells about how he came to trust in Jesus, our Substitute. For Nick’s personal conversion, our Lord used childhood “stories of regret,” involving a stolen cookie and a wrecked car . . . followed by surprises of grace! These experiences of grace prepared the way for Nick’s trusting acceptance of God’s surprising grace to us in Christ, who suffered under Pontius Pilate and died on the cross, paying a debt we could not possibly repay. —John Tousley

Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you for surprising us by sending Jesus your Son, “who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).