It is interesting that Pontius Pilate of all people gets immortalized in both the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.
Jesus knew his life was on the line. If there was a time to preserve it, this was that time. He was in trouble for who he was, as much as for what he was doing. Imagine if he had told Pilate that in exchange for his life he was ready to stop what he was doing that got him here. If Jesus meant it, it would have been an abandonment of his entire three-year mission and a repudiation and invalidation of his message about the Kingdom of Heaven. Just to save his own skin — which isn’t to say that any of us wouldn’t do far worse. Picture 40-50 years later a young lad of about 12, walking up and asking, “Didn’t you used to be that Jesus of Nazareth they still sometimes talk about?”
Or what if Jesus said to himself that it was justified to lie to Pilate so that he could keep up his mission underground? There’s a chance that eventually he would have been back in front of Pilate or his successor. But wasn’t it worth the chance?
But once again, this was less about his activities than about his identity. The escape routes available to him would have been a denial of his identity.
When his life was on the line, Jesus chose to speak about the Truth, not to deny it. Either of the aforementioned avenues of escape would have denied the truth of who Jesus was and is: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He wasn’t about to choose a way that denied the truth in order to spare his merely biological life (bios). He freely chose a way that acknowledged the truth of his identity and therefore did not violate his non-biological life (zoë).
And in doing so, his free obedience to that truth about his relationship to God the Father undid Adam’s disobedience … and it secured our shot at salvation.