Pontius Pilate

 At the height of the drama of the Easter story you’ll find Pontius Pilate.

After Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested, he appeared before Pilate who would decide his fate. Each of the Gospel writers records Pilate questioning Jesus and then finding that he didn’t commit any crime worthy of death. So then why was Jesus crucified?

Jesus’ fate was in Pilate’s hands, but when he presented Jesus to the crowds for possible release (one pardon was customary at the Passover celebration), Pilate chose to listen to the crowds. He let the pressure from those around him influence his decision. He even chose to ignore his wife who told him to “have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”

But Pilate couldn’t follow through with what he knew was the right thing to do. Luke 23:23 says of when the crowds who were crying out to Pilate, that “they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that [Jesus] should be crucified. And their voices prevailed.” Pilate listened to the voice of the masses instead of the voice of God. And he made the wrong choice because of it.

In this season, are the wrong voices prevailing in your life?

Though we’ve never had to decide the fate of the incarnate Jesus, we do experience internal struggles. Our flesh battles against the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work. We know what we should do, and we even have godly counsel tell us what they think we should do, but we give into the shouts of the crowds. Our eyes are on the here and now and not the promise of resurrected Jesus. Resurrected Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:20 “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

He is with us always. He’s with us when we’re in Pilate’s position — burdened with a weighty choice. He’s with us, the voice of God always louder than the voice of the masses.

The question to ask yourself this Easter is: are you listening?

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