We celebrated the Lord’s Supper yesterday at church. In my devotional time during the past several days I have been reading about Jesus’ last moments in a human body, and it made me appreciate the bread and wine even more. Jesus is not just some character in a book, or some guy who lived a good life thousands of years ago. He’s as real as he was the day Judas betrayed him. And our response to him is as important as Pilate’s response to him was.
Read Mark 15, Matthew 27, Luke 23, and John 19. See how Pilate, a powerful ruler of the people, washed his hands of the whole thing when he chose not to defy popular opinion. He knew Jesus wasn’t guilty of anything. But the crowd shouting for Jesus’ death was loud and strong. Pilate figured there was nothing he could do, so he just sat back and allowed Jesus to be mocked, beaten, and eventually killed.
Hold on before you get too critical of old Pilate. Is Jesus any less mocked, beaten up, obliterated from our society than he was in Pilate’s day? Isn’t popular opinion today just as loud and strong against God’s Truth as the people shouting, “Crucify Him” were back then?
Is Jesus the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the only way to the Father or not? Does sin, as spelled out clearly in Scripture, anger and disgust him? Are the wages of sin death? What is our response when popular opinion says we should be tolerant of all beliefs, that there are multiple ways to God, that evolution is a science, that homosexuality is not a choice and should be honored, that drunkenness is a party, that abortion is not murder, that Christians who speak against sin are haters?
I could go on. And so could you. God is asking me what my response will be. Will I, like Pilate, wash my hands and say, “Oh well, there’s nothing I can do”?
If I do – if we do – I believe Jesus will be obliterated from our society and we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves. I was reminded at church yesterday, and again this morning as I spent time in God’s Word, that Jesus endured a lonely and painful death because he loves me. What is my response to so great a love, so great a salvation?
Pilate let popular opinion prevent him from taking a stand. Will I?
Father, I pray for your people. May we each spend time in your Word and in prayer, asking you what you would have us do in response to popular opinion that dishonors you. May Christians stand in love and in Truth against Satan’s lies. And may those who are holding this popular opinion be drawn to the Savior because your people didn’t wash our hands of the whole thing. God, you are powerful. May your power be seen in your obedient servants.