Discover His heart: In silence, He went to the cross as a sacrifice for our sins
What is it that causes politicians and just about everyone elected or appointed to positions of power or responsibility to suffer from amnesia. I’m baffled by this. Perhaps the new mantle has hit them on the head and caused them to forget the values and beliefs they held for decades. I’m not sure. Some have suggested that once the new position is attained, these leaders will do anything to stay in power. Our reading today is not only about the crucifixion of our precious Lord, but also about a politician whose political ambitions played right into the hands of the mob.
Pilate was a politician. Some would say he could not help himself in the decision he made to crucify Jesus – how would a riot look on his record? Governor of this dusty little community on the other side of the Mediterranean from glorious Rome was definitely not his dream job, but more than likely he considered it a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Complaints and riots regarding his handling of this little Jesus incident, as he saw it, would not look good on his record, so he caved.
Pilate asked, “What crime has He committed?’ But the mob roared even louder, ‘Crucify him!’ So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.” (14-15) And politicians have been caving ever since, failing to stand for truth because of how it might affect their poll numbers and their vote at the ballot box. But for the record, neither Pilate nor the mob, not even the religious leaders, took the life of Jesus. “He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.” (I Timothy 2:6) The leaders on that day only thought they were in charge, and this is true today as well.
There is another leader mentioned in Chapter 15 who handled the crucifixion of Jesus in an honorable way. Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Jewish high council, the ruling body of the Jews. “Joseph took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body… bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it…laid it in a tomb.”(43-46) In doing this, Joseph took a stand against his peers, the very men who crucified Jesus. Apparently, showing proper respect and honor to the Son of God was more important to him than his reputation, or for all he knew, even his life!
I want to be like Joseph, not Pilate. I want to honor Him and stand for Him regardless of what my neighbors and fellow employees may think, regardless of what persecution may come in the future and regardless of the cost. I want to be willing to take a risk to give honor to the Lord. I don’t want to cave.
Moving Forward: Today I will honor the Lord before others, regardless….
Tomorrow @ 2 Corinthians 6-8