HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
“While he (Pilate) was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him” (Mt 27:19
The Women’s Fellowship tonight was very good. We praised God with singing and dancing. We shared testimonies. Sister F has been coming to church with her three little children ‘in the rain and in the sunshine’. She is very faithful in serving God with church attendance. Last week Wednesday was her husband birthday. After the service, somebody called them to see their ‘birthday gift’. It was a new Toyota Corolla. The couple who gave it to them wants to remain anonymous. But God knows them and God will bless them! Sister O was very sick at the point of death. The doctors could not identify the sickness. She lost weight and became ‘like a skeleton’. The church and her family never lost hope. Suddenly she was healed. She started eating food and becoming stronger. She is healed now! Sister E will be 40 years old on Sunday. Sister A and her husband each had car accidents but nobody was injured. All these sisters freely acknowledged Jesus Christ as their Savior, Lord, Defender, Provider and Lord!
Then the Word came. It was about the wife of Pilate. We have just celebrated the Death and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! At the Cross, we wept for our sins. We then rejoiced with the disciples seeing Jesus alive again. The Holy Spirit brought to my memory a woman who was a witness of these events. She is Pilate’s wife. She is not named in the Bible. The only thing we are told about her in the Bible is that she was troubled seeing Jesus condemned to be crucified. She had a terrible dream, more like a nightmare, where she saw the Cross and Jesus hanging on it. It seems that she and her husband had discussed about Jesus in the past. She does not name the Lord, but calls Him ‘that just Man’. In Greek, the word ‘just’ means innocent, blameless, holy and righteous. She takes is for granted that her husband knows that she is talking about Jesus. Pilate is the high judge in Jerusalem. His wife knows that it is a crime to interfere with the decisions of a judge, especially when he seats on his ‘bench’ and the court is in session. But the dream she had that night about the Lord is so terrifying that she cannot wait. She needs to warn him immediately.
Mrs Pilate’s name was Claudia Procula. She was a high-born, Roman lady, from the royal family, well-educated and wealthy. She was the granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus. She became a proselyte to Judaism, being among the women of higher class over whom the Jewish religion exercised considerable influence. She believed in Jehovah God. She heard about Jesus and believed Him to be a man of God, holy and just. He saw that the leaders wanted to punish him for speaking the truth. In the dream she saw Christ crucified. She sent a note to her husband warning him not to condemn Jesus. She is a good prudent godly wife married to a difficult man. She tried to touch his conscience. She tried her best to help her husband, so that he will not do a terrible mistake that he will regret later. What she did not know, is that her husband was too weak against the pressure of the crowd. He needed the job and could not afford a riot in Jerusalem. He loved his job and position more than he loved Jesus or his wife. Her warning failed to change the situation. Many educated women in Rome had a lot of influence behind the scenes. But in this central moment of history, when his wife warned him, Pilate didn’t listen. It is pride when a man does not listen to his most trusted friend in the hour of his greatest need.
Try to imagine this highly emotional drama. Pilate was face to face with Jesus. He was the Roman Governor of Judaea and the High court judge. The Pharisees wanted Jesus dead. Pilate correctly read their minds. “He knew that they had handed Him over because of envy” (Mt 27:18). He thought that it will be easy to free Jesus. There was a tradition that the Governor should show mercy and free one prisoner who was condemned to die. Pilate asks the people to choose between Barabbas, a murderer, and Jesus. Pilate was shocked that the multitudes were so easily deceived to ask for the murder of an innocent man. To add to the stress, his wife sends this note warning him not to kill Jesus. He tried once more to plead with the people asking them ‘what evil has Jesus done?’ But the crowds ‘cried all the more saying: Let Him be crucified!’ When he saw that he was not prevailing against the angry crowd, afraid that a riot might start, Pilate handed Jesus to them to be crucified. He washed his hands saying: “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it” (Mt 27:20-24). Pilate joins his wife by calling Jesus ‘a just Man’. That is all he could do for Jesus. Pilate was a soldier. He was courageous on the battle field. But face to face with Jesus, he proved to be a coward. He missed his destiny moment and the hour of his visitation! In Switzerland, near Lucerne, there is a mountain called Pilatus. It is said that soon after that Pilate lost favor with Rome and was banished to that mountain as a punishment “for his crime against Christ”. He and his wife are buried there. ‘Kings and kingdoms shall pass away, but there is something about Your name, Jesus!’
In conclusion, Pilate’s wife stands among the godly women in the Bible who feared God. Despite a difficult marriage and terrible circumstances, she did the little she could to honor Jesus. She did not know that it was God’s will to sacrifice His Son for the salvation of many, including herself and her husband. Praise the Lord!
(Bellow a painting by Antonio Ciseri, showing Pilate’s wife going away sad, after failing to convince her husband not to condemn Christ)