As I begin a week of reflecting on the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior, I ponder Pilate.
His words in Matthew 27:22-23 (ESV) resonate with my heart.
“Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ And he said, ‘Why? What evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’ “
This is just one of the six times in scripture Pilate declared Jesus innocent and wanted to release him. Six times! Even the thief on the cross declared, “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
Jesus was innocent of any and all crime. Pilate knew this, in Mark 14:55, we learn even the council and the chief priests could find no reason to put Jesus to death.
“The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.” Mark 15:55 (NIV)
Six times Pilate allowed the chants of the very people who celebrated the arrival of Jesus one week earlier, who now yelled “crucify him!” to override his better judgment.
How often do I do that in this life? How many times have I felt a conviction in my heart and allowed the views of others to influence me?
I know that the death, burial, and crucifixion of Jesus was an act of incomprehensible love from Our Father. I know it was the plan, but I still ask myself, “would you have supported Jesus’s release? Or would you have gone with the crowd?”
What about you my friend? What would you have done?