Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 15
Someone in the neighbourhood does not act normal. He always wears an old fashioned hat, shading his eyes. He often leaves the house in the middle of the night. And when you meet him during the day, he does not seem to notice anyone. Some time ago, a neighbourhood store was burglarized during the night. People said: That man must have done it. He is always walking around in the dark. And he just bought a brand new car. That cost a pretty penny. Some even said that he should be locked up in prison! But whatever the people may say, this man cannot just be put in prison. Only a real judge can make that decision. And that is good, too. For this man was a professor. Every night he was studying till late. After that, he took his dog for a walk. And he was not poor. Now we are speaking about the Lord Jesus. After He had taught his disciples for some years, He told them that He would soon die for the sins of his people. People said about the Lord Jesus: He should be put in prison. Some even said that it would be better if He was dead. Of course, it was not his friends who said that. Do you know who said that? The important and clever Pharisees and scribes. They did not like it that the people listened to Jesus rather than to them. Then they thought up and spread many bad rumours about Jesus, adding that He should die. They could say that a hundred times, but they could not make it happen. Only a real judge could do that. And at the time, the most powerful judge was Pontius Pilate. They took Jesus to him. And as a real judge, Pilate had to find out whether Jesus was a criminal. He could not find anything bad. He said to these Jews who screamed that Jesus had to die: He is not guilty. He had to let Jesus go free. Then these Jews became so angry. They called: If you do that then we will tell on you to the emperor. Pilate became scared. If they would do that, he could lose his high position. He was so afraid that he said: Go ahead and crucify Jesus. That was wrong. It may sound strange, but this happened in agreement with God’s plans. A real judge has made known to all of us that Jesus was innocent. Jesus was put to death, but all these people had heard that He was not guilty. That was terrible for Him, but good for us. Jesus did not only suffer when He was dying on the cross. His whole life was full of suffering. Think of the many times people did not believe Him. They often ridiculed Him, and they were so angry they were about to kill Him by stoning Him. But the worst of all his suffering was the cross.
Every Sunday you hear in church the name of Pontius Pilate mentioned. Then remember the suffering of Jesus, even though He had not done anything wrong.