It’s so important for us to be our “own person,” to know ourselves and commit to what we believe in. And important that our beliefs come from a thoughtfully informed conscience, not the politically expedient trend of the day.
Each of us acts based on the sort of truth we allow ourselves to accept–genuine Truth or a concocted, self-serving truth.
During Holy Week, we were reminded of the kind of truth Pontius Pilate accepted. Pilate took the word of a crowd as Truth, even though he thought Jesus was innocent. Then he washed his hands of the situation.
Pilate was a material man. He knew what was right and may have been anxious to do it–as long as it did not interfere with his own interests. He would gladly have acquitted Christ if the crowd had called for it. But once his own position was threatened, he gave in.
Pontius Pilate ignored his conscience. He would not listen to good advice of his wife. He chose his political career over what was right. He chose political expediency over integrity. And worse, he failed to recognize the truth even when Truth was standing right in front of him.
It’s often hard for us to step out of our comfort zone and be courageous enough to stand up for what WE believe in. When the opportunity arises to express our faith in the Truth of Jesus Christ, will we speak up? Or will we be quiet and follow the voice of the crowd?
John, Chapter 19:1-16
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid,and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him. So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.* And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!”
They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.