Today’s Reading: John 18:31(NIV)
31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” the Jews objected.
Pilate was in a sticky situation, and he knew it. Deep down inside, Pilate did not believe that Jesus was guilty of any crime that would certainly warrant his death. He may have even wondered whether it was possible that this man was truly the Son of God. He wanted nothing to do his sentencing and he tried to find several ways out.
One day, each and every one of us will have to deal with Jesus. We’re going to have to decide for ourselves who He is and what we will do with him. Place yourself in Pilate’s shoes for just a moment, and try to think like a Roman politician.
Jesus was obviously a pawn held captive within a political power play. Pilate had listened to the constant ridicule of Christ from the religious leaders in Jerusalem. He knew they wanted this man executed. And it was common to execute non-Roman citizens by crucifixion. Still, Pilate wanted some sort of concrete evidence before he sentenced a man to death. He tried to find some wiggle room to get out of making this final decision. Pilate tried to place judgment back in the hands of the Jews. He said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” No wonder the Jews pushed Pilate for a judgment. The law would not allow the Jews to execute Christ.
What would you do if you were Pilate? How could you have kept Christ alive while keeping peace with the crowd? Could you have rendered a verdict contrary to the thoughts and opinions of your political peers, knowing they would probably turn on you if you crossed them? Would you choose to risk your own life, your family’s safety, and even your political future, to save an innocent man from being murdered? Jesus was no ordinary man, and Pilate knew it. This one decision would impact the rest of his life.
When we decide who Jesus is, and whether to accept or reject Him as Lord of all, that choice will affect every aspect of our lives; today, tomorrow and forever more. What will you choose to do with Jesus? Who is He to you?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding
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