In his second letter (2 Peter 3:16), Peter tells us that some of scripture is difficult to understand. We know this to be true by experience. But when we encounter a difficult scripture, instead of just giving up and moving on to something easier or more familiar, we need to pause, pray and ponder what it might mean. It is by such “study” that we learn better how to discern the word of truth and draw closer to knowing God. Consider Matthew 27:19.
Found only in Matthew, this verse seems to “come out of nowhere” and to be disconnected from the rest of the narrative. So, we begin to ponder, and the best way to “ponder” is to ask questions.
What about dreams? God has communicated through dreams almost from the beginning. Joseph (son of Jacob) had his dreams which caused his family to rebuke him. But not only did He give dreams to His own people, but He also sent dreams to others: Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and the magi come to mind. Pilate’s wife is a Roman and a pagan. It would be safe to assume that this dream came from God. It is in keeping with the flow of the Bible. Also, the dream caused her to suffer greatly (many things) “because of Him,” i.e. Jesus. For those of you who dream, we know some can be very disturbing, causing the dreamer to awake with terrible feelings. We could probably say Pilate’s wife had a nightmare about Jesus.
Why does she call Jesus “that righteous Man”? Had she been observing Him from a distance, or was this revealed in her dream? We may not know this answer, but she is convinced He is a just Man.
What about the timing of this dream? That it came on the eve of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion is no coincidence. And Her message comes to her husband as he is about to make a judgment about Jesus. Another possible coincidence? Here’s my assessment.
Her dream was a message from God for Pilate to persuade him to render a just verdict for Jesus in this trial for all time. Obviously Pilate ignored this message. What do you think?