Did Pilate proclaim Jesus to be God?
There was a message nailed to the cross of Jesus. It's not easily seen, but it's there. What did Pilate write? He wrote more than what you know. Did Pilate intentionally write the message and have it nailed to the cross?
Of course we know what's really important. Nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ was every sin we have committed, or ever will commit. Jesus took upon Himself our sins and paid for them with His blood, opening the way of salvation for all who come to Him in faith. But there is also another message, nailed to that cross. It was written on a piece of wood, placed above the head of the Lamb of God, and it proclaimed Jesus not only to be The King of the Jews but also to be the Great I Am.
A Hidden Message Written in Wood
This message is a remez. A remed, in Jewish hermeneutics (study of Scripture), is the hint of a hidden message or a deeper meaning. It's something "below the surface" or "behind the words" that reveals another message or a deeper understanding. We find a remez in the piece of wood that Pilate commanded to be nailed to the cross of Jesus. It's really amazing what Pilate commanded to be written on it.
The Scripture tells us that Pilate asked Jesus the question, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" We are also told that Jesus confirmed Pilate's words with, "Thou sayest it" (Luke 23:3). Next we are told that Pilate offered to release one of the prisoners to the people and he used the title "The King of the Jews" in referring to Jesus:
"But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" (John 18:39)
The Jews did not accept this offer, but instead cried out, "Crucify Him" (Luke 23:21). So Pilate sentenced Jesus to be crucified.
It was customary for the Romans to put a sign on each cross. This sign labeled the person being crucified with the crime for which they had been charged. The sign was called a titlon and it was an official announcement from the presiding government official. Pilate wrote the inscription and had it nailed to the top of the cross of Jesus.