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Pilate Hands Jesus Over to be Crucified

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To illustrate the principle of substitution, George Sweeting, Chancellor of Moody Bible Institute, told of a series of tornadoes that caused extensive damage in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Nearly 100 lives were lost. Prior to the storm, a man named David Kostka w … More

Substitution

 

Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but the crowd continued to demand His death; so he sentenced Him to die (vv. 13-25). Today we might say that he did what was politically correct. No doubt Pilate did not want to risk losing his job, and as we have indicated previously, it was a bit shaky. As a career politician, he knew the importance of compromise and he saw Jesus as more of a political threat than as a person with rights and dignity. Keep in mind as you read this portion of Scripture that Jesus was not crucified because evil men decided to get Him out of the way. He was crucified because it was in God’s plan and was an appointment made in heaven that could not be changed (Acts 2:23).

Herod put Jesus through an interrogation but did not issue an official verdict about Him (v.15). He did make it clear that he did not find Him guilty of any crime worthy of death and sent Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate openly said - “I find no fault in this man,” and yet he permitted Him to be beaten and soon condemned Him to die (v. 14). Pilate wanted to be popular and was not concerned about what was right. He was more concerned about reputation than about character.

Barabbas had been part of a rebellion against the Roman government (Mark 15:7). As a political insurgent, he was no doubt a hero among some of the Jews. It is ironic that Barabbas, who was released, was guilty of the very crime Jesus was accused of (vv. 18-25).

Application

 

I must never look for an easy way out of a situation I may find myself in. The only right decision is the truth. Only in standing for the truth can one hope to prevent injustice. The only way I can make a right decision is to always take a stand for the truth - no matter what it may cost me.

Luke 23:13-25 (English Standard Version)

Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him." But they all cried out together, "Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas"-- a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him." But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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