Pontius Pilate was the consummate politician. He had risen to the Governorship of Judea by his wits, his political savvy, and his instincts. He knew that the ruling Jews were using him to further their agenda. He saw them for what they were, just as he could see Jesus more clearly than most. Pilate could particularly discern the measure of man in his final hours, and he could only admire the Jesus that he met.
He tried all of the political maneuvering he could manage to save the life of this man in whom he found no fault, but in the end he choose the easier route, the popular response, even contrary to his own conscience. He could say he washed his hands of Jesus blood, but he would never be able to clean it off his heart.
Jesus would ultimately be the sacrifice for our sin regardless of how Pilate acted, but in that moment Pilate had a choice, just as we do each time the question is asked what shall I do with Jesus? What will you do with Him?