Jesus says his purpose in being here was to testify to the truth. Pilate asks what truth is.
Then in 1964, the Warren Commission investigated the assassination of President Kennedy in '63. How could this have happened? Who orchestrated it? How many shooters?
Do we really know for sure?
Ten years later, President Nixon resigned from office to spare the country the agony of impeachment. He was clearly mentally deranged and abusing alcohol, but he had authorized a plot to influence an election and a coverup following the Watergate scandal after it broke. The famed 18-1/2 minute gap in "secret" White House tapes was surely an effort to destroy the truth. And the questions asked in the special prosecutor's work were primarily this: What did the president know, and when did he know it?
We got some truth. Never the full story. We moved on.
Several years ago, we thought we could improve the "truth" of political speech by instantly analyzing and critiquing statements by candidates and office holders. Politifact. Comparing what is said to the "facts" should improve veracity. Perhaps it did for a time. But the recent election revealed something. It is possible to so totally overwhelm the "facts" with advertising that comparing daily blurts to the truth seems to make little difference. Sigh.
We can text and tweet and blurt and burp truth and untruth all over the universe. Instantly.
We've arrived at a different place. We seem less interested in the truth than how loudly or attractively or angrily it is said. It is possible to overwhelm truth with sheer volume of speech. And loudness. And negativity. No wonder people are negative. No wonder many are skeptical that such a thing as absolute truth exists.
Back to Pilate. He's not in charge. God is. Pilate's question may have been much more divinely inspired and divinely timed than he would have dared admit.
He asks, "What is truth?" Next thing he does is to go out on the porch and tell the crowds, "I find no fault in him at all." Bingo! First truth.
Then why would someone found to have no fault go through torture, crucifixion and death? It's more than a matter of a miscarriage of justice or political corruption.
It leads somewhere... Think about it. Where does it lead?