06
Oct
14

Succumbing To The Pressure

Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate.  So the chief priests and teachers of the Law are 0 for 2.  They tried to get Pilate to condemn Jesus and he could find no reason to sentence Jesus to death.  They took Him to Herod to see if Herod would capitulate to their demands.  He would not.  So Pilate, probably growing weary of the Jews’ incessant demands to execute Jesus, calls the Jewish leaders together to tell them that he will not give in to their demands.
We read in verse 20 that Pilate wanted to release Jesus.  Ah, the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.  Pilate went to the crowd which had gathered and asked them what Jesus had done to deserve crucifixion.  They only cried louder with every passing moment as they shouted, “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21, NIV).
So Pilate gives in to the crowd.  Why?  What had him so afraid?  Was it the fear of an uprising?  Surely Pilate had enough soldiers at his command to squelch any kind of riot.  Was it just weariness with the Jews?  He did not have to give in to them!  He was the governor!  He could have said, “No!  We crucify criminals and Jesus is not a criminal!”
The inner conflict Pilate may have felt was nothing compared to the cosmic battle raging between good and evil.  It was the demonic forces of evil who were inciting the crowd.  Things were going down the way that both God the Father and Satan wanted them to.  The only difference is the desired outcome.  Satan wanted Jesus crucified to get rid of Him in an apparent victory.  God wanted Jesus crucified (see Isaiah 53:10) so that forgiveness could be made possible.  Jesus was more than just a good Man or a good teacher or a Prophet.  He was the Lamb of God who, by His atoning death on the cross, brought salvation to all who will trust Him for it.  God sent His Son to die for our sins.  Jesus was born to die and that’s what He did.  Jesus knew His purpose in life was to bring reconciliation between God and humanity.  He fulfilled it perfectly.
Luke 23:13-25 (NIV)

13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”

18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!”19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

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