Torn in Two
Lord, may Your Word awaken my heart. Let my heart burn with Your truth and my life reflect You to a world in need.
Read Matthew 27:11-26
 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.  When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.  Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?”  But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge-to the great amazement of the governor.  Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.  At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas.  So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”  For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.  While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”  But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.  “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered.  “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”  “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”  When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”  All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”  Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat fueled Pilate's decision?
In this passage we see that Christ is deemed “innocent” by those who examine him. The verdict of the Roman governor is fascinating. Even an earthly ruler like Pilate can see that Jesus Christ is unique. His silence before his accusers leaves Pilate in “great amazement” (14). What’s more, Pilate’s wife has a dream that persuades her of Jesus’ innocence (19), and she urges her husband to release him. But, however convinced of Jesus’ innocence Pilate might be, he fears going against the crowd, who are all baying for Jesus’ blood. There are some interesting contrasts here. The silence of Jesus is contrasted with the shouts of the crowd–they are screaming for punishment, for execution. And the strength of Jesus is contrasted with the weakness of Pilate as he tries in verse 22 to negotiate with the crowd, asking them, “What shall I do with Jesus?” Pilate is torn in two directions. Eventually, expediency wins out over justice and innocence.
Consider that question: “What shall I do with Jesus?” Ask the Lord to help you surrender completely to Christ as Lord.
My precious Savior, strengthen my resolve to obey You regardless of the consequences or cost.
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