11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other. 13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 17 [Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.] 18 But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will. ~ Luke 23:11-25 (NASB)
Heavenly Father, I read how the crowd called for Jesus’ Crucifixion and condemn them for killing the Son of God. I sometimes think somewhat better of Pilate because he didn’t want to crucify Jesus. However, he failed to stand up for right and allowed himself, the powerful ruler, to become a pawn of the crowd. What he did was worse than the crowd because he knew Jesus did not deserve to die, but he ordered the Crucifixion so the crowd wouldn’t harass him. At least some of the crowd probably truly believed that Jesus was a heretic deserving of death. As wrong as they were, at least they acted out of a mistaken belief rather than acting directly counter to what they knew to be right as Pilate did. Others, though, probably went along with the crowd just to avoid being different and perhaps criticized or ridiculed. Guide me when I am tempted to go along with the crowd rather than stand up for what I know is right. Lead me always to do Your will, no matter what it costs me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.