The Last Kiss!
Merciful, Loving Lord, I praise You today for who You are and all that You are, a great and wonderful God.
Read LUKE 23:13-25
 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people,  and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.  Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death.  Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”  With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!”  (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)  Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again.  But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”  For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”  But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.  So Pilate decided to grant their demand.  He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did Pilate do right and wrong here?
Books and coffee under one roof is a wonderful attraction for me! With a latte in one hand, I surveyed the table of self-help books with the other, and picked out The Disease to Please. It’s aimed at those who struggle to draw the line between their own conscience and the demands of others. Maybe Pilate suffered from this people-pleasing syndrome.
After further interrogation, Pilate found Jesus innocent of all charges and wanted to let him go (15-17). A Passover custom, however, allowed the people to choose a prisoner to be released from impending crucifixion. Would it be Barabbas or Jesus? Many in the crowd hated Jesus, not least the chief priests and elders who felt he undermined their authority. Even though Pilate repeatedly disputed the wishes of the crowd, he eventually gave in to them (18-24).
Ignoring his conscience, Pilate surrendered Jesus to the will of the people (24). He did not have the courage to go against popular opinion. The fear of man is not an unfamiliar place to be. We can be trapped into going against our own sense of justice; still, it takes a brave heart to act rightly.
Are you facing a situation where you must go against popular opinion? Ask God for help.
Lord, grow in me, I pray, the strength and will to do right regardless of what others may think or say.
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