February 12th Bible Reading

easywayExodus 34:1-35:9, Matthew 27:15-31, Psalm 33:12-22, Proverbs 9:1-6

Pilate found nothing deserving of death in Jesus. He wanted to let him go. Pilate’s wife wanted Pilate to let him go. Pilate was the Roman governor ruling occupied Jerusalem, and he did not want trouble in his territory. The most powerful of those he ruled brought Jesus to him wanting the death sentence. He was in a sticky situation, so he decided to use Jesus’ popularity with the people against the Pharisees. He had a custom of releasing one prisoner at the people’s request during the Feast. It had only been around a week before that shouts had filled the city as Jesus came in riding on a donkey. A spontaneous parade took place as people laid down their clothes and palm branches so that even the donkey’s feet would not have to touch the dirty street. The people had loved him. The Pharisee’s were using made up charges against Jesus and obviously were motivated out of jealousy. Pilate’s plan was brilliant. He could let Jesus go and it would not be his decision and therefore stir up trouble for himself with those who hated his rule already. All he had to do was use the custom he had done so many times and let the people of the city free Jesus. If they gave him that parade, they would certainly choose to set him free.

People can be so fickle. The Pharisees “persuaded” the crowd to ask for Barabbas. This crowd had to have at least some of the people who welcomed him as their king just a few days before. The answer was not what was expected. They asked for the wrong man. This stunned Pilate and he asked one question too many. “What shall I do with Jesus?” At that point he lost control. Some of those same people who had welcomed Jesus were now crying out for Jesus to be killed in the most painful way they could think of.

The easy way out rarely is.

Brandon Clark
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