August 11, 2016

John 19:13-15

Pilate was feeling the heat! He was under pressure to allow Jesus to be crucified, though he frankly said he had found no basis for a charge justifying capital punishment.

As Roman governor, Pilate was expected to maintain peace in the land—and brute force was used to quell insurrection. Pilate was fearful of reports that might get back to Caesar of unrest and rebellion in the region for which he was accountable. Such reports would most certainly cost Pilate his job, possibly even his life.

Pilate faced an ugly choice. He must choose between the unfair and unjust murder of an innocent man (“I find no fault in him!”) or risk reports to Rome citing he was incompetent or even traitorous (“If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar!”).

“Shall I crucify your King?” Pilate asked. The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar” (19:15).

When we humans face a tough decision, we can take the easy way out and please those watching us or we can stand for what is right, regardless the cost. This is especially true for believers.

When next you “feel the heat” and face a dilemma with the eyes of others watching, how will you choose? Will you do as Pilate did and wash your hands of the mess? Or are you committed to doing what you know is the right thing to do? Following Jesus is seldom the easy way.