24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere. Instead, the crowd was starting to get angry. So he took water and washed his hands in front of them. “I am not guilty of this man’s death,” he said. “You are accountable for that!” 25 All the people answered, “We and our children will accept the guilt for his death!” 26 Pilate let Barabbas go free. But he had Jesus whipped. Then he handed him over to be nailed to a cross. 27 The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the palace, which was called the Praetorium. All the rest of the soldiers gathered around him. 28 They took off his clothes and put a purple robe on him. 29 Then they twisted thorns together to make a crown. They placed it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand. Then they fell on their knees in front of him and made fun of him. “We honor you, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him. They hit him on the head with the stick again and again. 31 After they had made fun of him, they took off the robe. They put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to nail him to a cross.
Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent. Pilate had even been warned by his wife (through a dream) not to harm Jesus. And yet Pilate listened to the crowd’s pressure to release the murderer Barabbas and unjustly sentenced Jesus to a cruel punishment and death. Pilate even tried to place the blame back on to the crowd for his cowardly actions.
Before we judge Pilate too harshly, what person can say that they have never given into the pressure of the crowd? It takes bravery and strong convictions to stand up for what you know is true in the face of strong opposition. Each one of us has probably been guilty of giving in to the “fear of man “at some point in our lives.
The best way to not give in to the fear of man, is to fear God more than you fear man. And in my experience, the fear of God grows more when I spend time in His word and meditate on how great and powerful He is.
May God continue to grow in me a healthy fear and respect for His greatness, and give me the courage to follow Him no matter what the cost.
Written by Shelley Witt