Tuesday, March 27
Day 37—Read Mark 15
“Wanting to satisfy the crowd…” – Mark 15:15
Those words describing Pilate’s decision to crucify Jesus are most interesting. Historical accounts of the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate, color him as more of an antagonist of the Jews, showing little regard to their customs and paying only marginal respect to their traditions. So, why would Mark’s Gospel, and the other Gospels for that matter, paint a more contrasting picture of the governor?
I suspect the differing view of Pilate and his interest in Jesus was peaked in part due to Jesus’ demeanor during the encounter between the two. Pilate’s distaste for the Jews was no secret, as was his disdain for any insurrectionists among them, and there were several.
But this Jesus, this rebel, this king… He was different, quite unlike any other person Pilate had met. The thunderous cacophony of accusations surrounded and sought to seduce Jesus – “Defend yourself!” But His silence would speak for Him, declaring the unmistakable truth of innocence. Even after Jesus’ death, the record of Pilate’s decision to release the body to Joseph is uncharacteristic as it was customary to leave the condemned alone, even after death. As monstrous as Pilate was, he had met his match. Thus, Pilate’s sentencing Jesus to die was not his concession to the crowd, but his unrepentant confession of guilt and his attempt to slay it by killing the only one able to rescue him from its grip.
Today, we are surrounded by the noise of an infinite number of voices employed by the Great Deceiver, voices laying charge against you, and most certainly against the One in whom you have hope. To “release Jesus” means He is free to do His will, possibly at great expense – perhaps costing you a reputation, a reversal in direction, a relationship needing restored. Free him. Declare His name as Christ your Messiah, your Savior, and find the freedom for which you seek.