Luke 23 v 1 – 25 “Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Please note that this ”Thought for the day” will appear erratically for the next couple of weeks due to commitments over the Christmas season.
Today we pick up again on our December theme of “An Uncommon King.” This is Jesus Christ our Lord. From the birth narratives, we move immediately to his crucifixion, for He is the king who was born to die. His death was the purpose of His being born and all events in his life led up to this moment of ultimate rejection by the people and then finally to the inability of Pontius Pilate to stand up to the furious demands of the people let by the “chief priests, the rulers and the people.”
Falsely accused, hated, rejected, shouted at ,our Uncommon King moved on to his destiny. But let us look for a moment at the man who finally handed him over to the crowd, Pontius Pilate. Who was he?
He was the 5th ruler of the Roman Province of Judea from AD 26 – 36. He served under the Emperor Tiberius. He was a harsh and brutal man and was finally sent back to Rome to be replaced by a man named Marcellus.
If you read the Gospel account above, it is evident that Pilate was reluctant to hand Jesus over to be crucified. There is no time in this blog to say all there is to say about Pilate. At the end of the day it was all the same to Jesus and Pilate. Pilate gave into the pressure and Jesus was flogged and crucified.
Referring to this bible passage, Bishop J.C. Ryle comments in reference to Pilate and Herod. Pilate and Herod had not much in common and were at loggerheads until this incident when they became friends. Ryle says “men of the most discordant opinion can unite in opposing truth. Teachers of the most opposite doctrines can make common cause in fighting against the Gospel.”
Do not be surprised by the incessant din made by the world in opposition to the Gospel. It will always be that way. Think of the differences in the following two statements.
a) Jesus’ words to the dying thief – tell you the truth, “today you will be with me in paradise”
b) The Apostles creed, recited weekly by millions of Christians ….crucified by Pontius Pilate.
What a way to be remembered.
Meditation: Never heed the crowds, nor give in to so called popular opinion. Stand by Christ. He will always finally triumph.