Matthew 27:22 - Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?"
"What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" That was the problem facing Pilate that whole Good Friday. Shall I set Him free, seeing He is an innocent man? Shall I send Him off to Herod, and get Him out of my jurisdiction so I don't have to deal with His case? Shall I hand Him over to the doubtful mercies of the crowd, in the hope that His old popularity will save Him? Shall I scourge Him to work up the sympathy vote? What shall I do with Jesus?
Pilate knew a political hot potato when he saw one. His career was already in trouble before Jesus arrived on his doorstep—Pilate's old mentor Sejanus had fallen from power, and anyone associated with him was at risk. The last thing Pilate needed was for the Jewish leaders to send bad reports of him to Rome.
But Pilate wasn't comfortable just condemning the innocent Jesus either. Some of the reason might have been a drive for justice. Some of it might have been an understandable desire to annoy the Jewish religious leaders, who had been a longstanding thorn in Pilate's side. But much of it seemed to be due to how Jesus handled Himself—how He spoke and what He said. It bothered Pilate. When the leaders said, "He claims to be the Son of God," Pilate was half-inclined to believe it. There was something very unusual about Jesus!
We all know what Pilate decided in the end. But what about us? What will we do with Jesus, this Man who claims to be the Son of God? We face this question every day, as we live our lives in a world hostile to Jesus, making choices in what we say and think and do.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen our faith in Him who laid down His life for our sake. May He give us the joy of following Jesus faithfully and sharing His story with others.
THE PRAYER: Father, strengthen our faith and trust in Jesus our Savior, and let all our decisions, let all our words, let all our thoughts be made according to Your will. Amen.
What do you do when you're trying to avoid making a decision?
What other "options" besides trusting in Jesus have you had in your life? These might be other faiths, or just other ways of trying to cope with the world.
If you're willing, share about the last time you had to choose between Jesus and an easier way out of a hard situation.
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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