Mornings in the College Chapel—Short Addresses to Young Men on Personal Religion by Francis Greenwood Peabody (The Riverside Press, Cambridge Copyright, 1896)

Gap-filling Exercise

LXIV
AN IMPOSSIBLE NEUTRALITY
John xviii. 28-38.

(PASSION DAY—FRIDAY) Part 1

The story of Friday in this last week of Jesus begins this meeting with the Roman , and certainly few persons in would be more surprised than Pilate at the judgment of the world concerning him. If Pilate felt sure of anything it was that he did not himself in the case of Jesus. He undertook to be neutral. See how nicely he poises his judgment. On the one hand he says: “I find no in him,” and then on the other hand he says: “Take him away and him;” First he his hands to show that he is innocent of the of this just person, and then he Jesus to the Jews to take him away. It was a fine balancing of a judicial mind, and I suppose he withdrew from the judgment hall saying to himself: “Whatever may happen in this case, at least I am not responsible.” But what does history think {160} of this Pilate? It holds him to be a responsible in the death of Jesus. He was attempting a neutrality which was impossible. The great wind was blowing across the threshing floor of the nation, and the people were separated into two distinct heaps, and must be counted forever as chaff or as wheat. He that was not with Christ was him, and Pilate's place, even in spite of himself, was determined as among those who brought Jesus to his cross that afternoon.