Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Mark 15:15
Listen: Mark 15
We often forget that the characters in the Bible had real personalities, motives, pressures and aspirations. While Pontius Pilate was in charge politically in the region, his authority actually came from Rome. He was appointed to keep the peace and rule the area. His job, and possibly his life, was on the line if word spread to Rome that he allowed an uprising to take place on his watch. When Jesus was brought before him, Pilate was in a no-win situation. He had pressure from the chief priests and the crowd to crucify a man he knew was innocent. He also had pressure from Rome to pacify the situation before it could escalate out of his control. He knew the right thing to do, but the pressure was too much.
Reading this story, we see Pilate as a weak figure who couldn’t withstand pressure. In truth, we are often no better. We have all succumbed to pressure and done things we knew we shouldn’t simply because it was easier. In the pressure to close a sale, we chose to hide the truth about the specs of our product. Desiring to fit in, we made fun of someone we knew didn’t deserve it. Needing to get a job, we bent the truth a bit on our resume. Whatever our situations, we have all acted in ways we are not proud of when we were under pressure.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Consider the way Pilate buckled to pressure in this story. Can you think of a way that you have buckled under pressure? Take a few minutes today and pray a prayer of confession about ways you have buckled under pressure. Say something like this, “God forgive me because I can be selfish just like Pilate. When I did ______, I avoided the right thing because I preferred to do the easy thing. I avoided the right thing because I didn’t want to deal with the ramifications of doing the right thing. Please forgive me.”
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