So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. (Jn 18:33-40)
“What is truth?” Jesus admits to being a king, but one whose kingdom is not of this world. It isn’t of this world because it is a kingdom built on truth. Pilate doesn’t want to hear any more. He shrugs his shoulders saying “what is truth?” He isn’t looking for an answer. He is shutting down conversation. This is the world we live in. It doesn’t want to know truth, so it doesn’t know truth. This world is so full of lies, and falsehoods, so ruled by the father of lies, that it scarcely believes there can be such a thing as truth. But there is truth and this is what Jesus Christ came to bring to us. There is truth and it is worth knowing. It is about the creator of this world and his disposition towards us. It is this truth through which Jesus reigns in his kingdom. And He is the Truth. He bears witness to this truth with the ultimate sacrifice. He will die to show the truth, the truth that God loves this world, loves you, loves every person on this earth enough that He has sent his son to die for each and every one of us, and would have done so if it was just you that needed saving.
Pilate seeks to save Jesus from the cross. He tries to set him free, but the crowd calls for Barrabas, a robber. Robber was the Roman term for Terrorist, or perhaps what we would term a resistance fighter. The crowd would rather have him go free. He is what they wanted in a Messiah, not some man who would speak of truth and a kingdom not of this world. They will buy into the same lies always told in this world, that there is a political/military resolution to the problems. There isn’t. That isn’t to say we don’t have any need for politics and military, but at best they are a band aid. The true resolution went to the cross.