Pilate was quite frustrated with Jesus. In John 18:34-38, Jesus offered no defense when the Jews demanded He be crucified. Pilate was used to raving anarchists and snarling murderers before him, but Jesus was gentle and showed no hint of hate or outrage. What startled Pilate even more was Jesus’ statement, “If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Jesus would not fight or hate.
Jesus lived what he taught. He had instructed His followers to “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Lk 6:27-28). In Pilate’s mean world, he had never seen godly behaviour. History claims it changed the man forever.
Hatred, cursing and mistreatment; early Christians had more than their fair share of it. We come across it today more than we would like. It’s easy to throw it back at people and walk away feeling a warped kind of victory. But that’s the way our sinful world behaves. We’ll never teach people the truth if we act that way. It’s harder to be kind to those who hate you, but it does more good to them and to you.
What would we think of Jesus if He cursed at Pilate and unleashed His disciples with their swords? We would be disgusted; it would be totally against the character of the Son of God. Why should it be any different for us?