John 19. 12-16 cont.
12 From this Pilate sought to release Him; but the Jews cried out saying: “If you release this man you are not a friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
13 The Pilate hearing these words brought Jesus outside and sat on the judgement seat in a place called the Stone Pavement, which in Hebrew is Gabbatha.
14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover, it was about the sixth hour; and he said (says) to the Jews: “Look your king.”
15 They then cried out: “Take Him away, take Him away; crucify Him”. Pilate said (says) to them: “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered: “We have no king except Caesar.”
16 Therefore, He handed Jesus over to them so that He might be crucified. Then they took Jesus.
We have something of a preoccupation with time. I was brought up to be punctual, something that was instilled into me through being born into a railway family.
Being late was never an option, without a very good reason. This has been true throughout my ministry and during my time as a driving instructor.
John tells us that it was the sixth hour when Pilate said to the Jews: “Look your King”. This would have been around 12 noon. However, Mark’s gospel records that it was the third hour (most translations). It would appear that there is a three hour difference.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible tells us that the Jewish day was divided into four divisions of three hours:
6-9 am – known as the third hour;
9-12 am – known as the sixth;
12-3 pm- known as the ninth hour;
3-6 pm – known as the twelfth hour.
Jesus was crucified around 12.00 am, and it is suggested that a few minutes before twelve would be described as the ‘third hour’, whereas any time after twelve would be described as the ‘sixth hour’. Since they did not have the advantage of our exact clock timings it is easy to see that Mark could say that Jesus was crucified in the third hour (just before twelve noon), and John could write that He was crucified in the sixth hour (just after twelve noon).
Pilate instigates the crucifixion of Jesus by being ironic as he presents Jesus to the Jews: “Look your King”.
Pilate may have thought Jesus was innocent, but that did not prevent him from mocking Him and ridiculing Him.
There are many voices in today’s’ world that mock Jesus, and who refuse to accept His kingship. Let us make sure that we always give King Jesus His rightful place in our life. Let us all realise that it is always the right time to do this. Every minute of time is a minute to hail Jesus as our King.
There is an old song by Don Moen, which says:
Jesus, we enthrone You, we proclaim You our King.
Whatever time of day or night it is let us lift up Jesus as our King.