“Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered a terrible nightmare about him last night.””
Amongst all of the details of Jesus’ judgement and crucifixion narrative, we find this interesting scripture that can easily be overlooked. Although we cannot fully understand it because there is no mention of it anywhere else in scripture, we can draw some conclusions based on what we do know.
Firstly, who was the dream from? God or the enemy? Was God giving Pilate a second chance to prove his integrity or was the enemy trying to prevent prophesied scripture coming to pass, regarding the way Jesus had to die? Whoever it was from, what can be concluded, is that it deeply troubled Pilate’s wife as she knew Jesus was an innocent man.
Secondly, what was Pilate’s reaction to the dream? As far as scripture says, nothing. He didn’t do anything about it at all. It may have re-affirmed his belief that Jesus was an innocent man, yet he didn’t act upon it at all, but rather instead, as found in the following verses, we read he released Barabbas, a convicted rebel.
Finally, what if Pilate did listen to his wife’s dream and released Jesus? If he did, the only person he would have appeased would have been his wife. Jesus came to the earth for the very purpose of being crucified for our sins. It had to happen. Jesus had to lay down His life for us.
Perhaps Pilate’s wife’s dream did play a bigger part in Jesus’ crucifixion than we can understand. However, what we do know, is that it was God’s will for our sins to be placed on His Son, for our sakes. What we do know, is that Jesus did die for us and because of His sacrifice we are free from the bondage of sin. Whatever the purpose of Pilate’s wife’s dream, we can rejoice in knowing that the ‘what if’ questions don’t have to be answered because Jesus ‘completed’ what He was sent to do. Let us rejoice in Jesus’ victory and endurance to and on the cross.