The story of Pontius Pilate is one that most of us know about through movies and other popular resources but very few know of the significance of this man and Christianity. Pilate is, by all measures, one of the best examples that I can give needing to clean their own backyard. Pilate was the governor of Rome at the time of Christ’s ministry on Earth and while Christ was peaceful and brought joy to the world, sadly, not everyone was happy to see Him or hear what He had to say. Sounds much like the world in which we live today.
Although Christ had done nothing wrong, the Jews hated Him because He claimed to be the Messiah. When the word spread and it did so quickly, He was trusted and believed by many but He was also hated and cursed by many. After some time, many influential people gathered together to bring Christ to “justice” for blaspheming and during His last supper on Earth which He spent with His disciples, Christ foretold of someone betraying Him. Sure enough, it came true as Judas Iscariot would sell out Christ.
The mob would bring Christ to Pontius Pilate for, let’s be honest, revenge. They saw Christ as a phony and wanted Him to suffer and die because of His claims. Although Pilate wanted nothing to do with the situation, he heard the arguments against Christ and concluded that he could find no fault in Christ. While Pilate could not find fault with Him, he was fearful of possible uprising from the chaotic crowd and Caesar so he gave an ultimatum to the crowd: to let a prisoner by the name of Barabbas go free or for Christ to go free.
Pilate was surprised when they chose to let Barabbas, a known killer and bad seed, go free. Pilate stated that the claims against Christ were baseless which is found in Luke 23:14 and Luke 23:18-22 tells how Pilate appealed to the crowd three different times to choose sensibly. Although Pilate knew that Christ was being railroaded and that the accusations against Him were baseless, he allowed for an innocent man to die and a murderer to go free.
It was custom during this period of time for a Jewish prisoner to be set free before Passover and this was done as goodwill toward the Jews. Pilate could have released Jesus and sat Him free but Pilate was fearful and his actions show this. The biggest lesson for remembering Pilate is that, in life, we have choices to make: we can either do our best and live for God or we can be Pilate and allow for others to lead and guide our decisions. We should choose wisely and allow for God to work through us.
Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:”–Luke 23:14