Pilate has just asked the crowd what he should do with Jesus. And they have called for him to be crucified. So now, Pilate makes the fatal decision.
"Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified". – Mark 15:15
It’s true to say that Pilate condemned Jesus to death in order to satisfy the crowd and, as a result, rightly judged Pilate for committing a horrendous injustice. Let’s look at the background of Pilate’s decision.
He had been sent by the Roman Emperor to Judaea with one job to do: to keep the Jews quiet and avoid insurrection. To do that, he didn’t only rely on his Roman soldiers. He also relied heavily on the support of the chief priests in Jerusalem.
He had a deal with them. He let them keep their powerful economic positions, and they would help keep the Jews quiet for him. In other words, they scratched his back, and he scratched theirs. They helped him achieve his mission in Judaea and made him look good in Rome.
After all, Pilate’s goal was to be promoted out of Judaea, which was a very undesirable posting, and be able to achieve more powerful positions in Rome. In the face of a clamouring crowd, it was easy for Pilate to give in to the demands of the chief priests who wanted Jesus crucified.
In life, it’s always easy to satisfy the crowd. It could be the crowd you live with. It could be your friends. It could even be a religious crowd, as in the case that Pilate faced.
But Christ wants to give you your own identity so that you will focus on what has eternal value and do what is right. Spend some prayerful time alone and ask yourself, “Who am I?”
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*The Incredible Journey* is a donor-funded ministry passionate about communicating our bold vision of sharing the good news of Christ and preparing people for the soon coming of Jesus. We are devoted to giving Biblical answers to life’s questions through television, the Internet, social media, Bible Centre, evangelistic ministry and Christian living and faith-sharing resources.
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Gary Kent is the speaker for *The Incredible Journey* media ministry. He holds a B.A. in Theology, M.A. in Ancient History & Archaeology, and M. in Divinity. He is an archaeologist who has excavated numerous sites throughout Israel and Jordan. As an internationally-acclaimed speaker and TV presenter, he has spoken and produced numerous documentaries on subjects including the Bible, Bible prophecy, world events and natural health. His passion is to share the good news of Jesus’ imminent return.
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