Scripture

 

Vs 14 Jesus gave Pilate no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

 

Vs 15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.

 

Vs 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

Vs 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.

 

Vs 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus

 

Vs 24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd …

 

Observation

 

The religious leaders took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor, to have him killed.

The religious leaders also “persuaded the crowd” to pressure Pilate.

Pilate accommodated and acquiesced by “releasing to the crowd” Barabbas and sentencing Jesus to death.

While this greatest travesty of injustice took place, Jesus “gave no answer” and Pilate “was amazed”.

 

Application

 

While the story of Jesus’ prosecution and crucifixion is often told, what strikes me today are the motivations of the parties involved.

The religious leaders were motivated “out of envy” to “destroy” Jesus.

And when Pilate “could gain nothing”, he was entirely willing to have a person killed to quell a potential riot.

Both were entirely motivated by self-interests

 

And the word “notorious” stand out to me in the description of Barabbas.

The crowd was easily persuaded to cry out for this “notorious” person.

They wanted to be near to power.

 

The religious leaders and the Roman leaders were motivated by threats to their power.

The crowd wanted to embrace a “notorious” power.

Interestingly, it was the religiously powerful that had the most persuasive power.

Pilate “washed his hands before the crowd” and allowed an innocent man to die.

The crowd also was “persuaded” to destroy Jesus.

 

The religious leaders were doing the most persuading, and they were motivated by “envy”.

What a terribly consequential trifecta: “religion”, “leadership”, and “envy”

 

The only silent in this was also the only one with true power … Jesus.

And in response to this silence, Pilate was … “greatly amazed”.

Prayer

 

Gog, thank you for your Word.

Help me to be “greatly amazed” by it more than anything!

Strike any hint of envy from me immediately

May any persuasive I am a part of lead to others being greatly amazed by You!

Help me to know when to be silent and when to persuade

In Jesus name

Amen

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