Daily Devotional: Day 185
“But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He [Jesus] be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested” (Luke 23:23-24, NKJV).
How you behave under pressure says a lot about your true self. When you face pressure, your principles and values are tested. When everything is going smoothly, it’s easy to make noise and about your values and beliefs. But who you truly are, and what you truly believe, become evident when you come under pressure. In 1 Peter 1:6-7, the Bible says that the genuineness of a Christian’s faith is known during difficult times.
In today’s Scripture reading, you notice that Pilate handed over Jesus to be crucified. By his [Pilate’s] own admission, Jesus was innocent. After examining Jesus and the accusations brought against Him, Pilate declared, “I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him” (Luke 23:14, emphasis added). As governor of the Roman province of Judea, Pilate occupied a position of trust. As the presiding judge over Jesus’ trial, he examined the facts and determined that Jesus had done nothing wrong. The next logical step – in accordance with the rules of justice – was to let Jesus walk. But Pilate hesitated. He presided over a horrible miscarriage of justice. That day, Pilate showed that being innocent was not enough for you to be set free; in addition to being innocent, you needed the crowd on your side. Jesus didn’t have the crowd; therefore, He stood no chance. So much for “I have found no fault in this Man.”
What happened to Pilate? The answer is in today’s reading. When the crowd noticed that Pilate was inclined to set Jesus free, they insisted and demanded that Jesus be crucified. Now notice what the Bible says next: “And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.” What prevailed that day was not the truth, but the voices of Jesus’s accusers. Pilate succumbed to pressure by giving orders for the Innocent Man to be crucified. His values, principles, beliefs and integrity – as a person and as a governor – were severely tested, and he was found wanting.
Initially, Pilate declared his belief that Jesus was innocent. But when he came under pressure, Pilate’s true self and his true beliefs became evident: He had no integrity. He was a coward. He was a hypocrite and double-minded. He only believed in justice if it was expedient. With his mouth, he declares you innocent; but with his gavel, he sentences you to death. If he had not come under pressure, we probably wouldn’t know the real Pilate. That is what pressure does. It forces your true self and your true faith to surface. Like Pilate, we all come under pressure to stand for or abandon what we believe. Let’s pray for the strength to remain faithful under pressure.
May the Lord command His blessings upon you today. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Luke 22:54-62