As soon as it was morning, the chief priests had a meeting with the elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin. After tying Jesus up, they led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate. So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You have said it.” And the chief priests began to accuse Him of many things. Then Pilate questioned Him again, “Are You not answering anything? Look how many things they are accusing You of!” But Jesus still did not answer anything, so Pilate was amazed. At the festival it was Pilate’s custom to release for the people a prisoner they requested. There was one named Barabbas, who was in prison with rebels who had committed murder during the rebellion. The crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do for them as was his custom. So Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release the King of the Jews for you?” For he knew it was because of envy that the chief priests had handed Him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead. Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the One you call the King of the Jews?” Again they shouted, “Crucify Him!” Then Pilate said to them, “Why? What has He done wrong?” But they shouted, “Crucify Him!” all the more. Then, willing to gratify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. And after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.
This passage is frightening because it is so reflective of what humans are capable of when a crowd is formed, when we allow our thoughts to go from our own individual thoughts to the thoughts of one angry or excited body of people. It is not uncommon. We can see it at any sporting event, concert, political gathering and even in church.
There is such evidence here of the brokenness of us all. Here we see a controlling, authoritative organization (the religious leaders) who have a predetermined goal. They are not interested in truth. They want only to rid themselves of Jesus and his disruptive teaching. They want to maintain the status quo and their elevated place in it. They have made God in their image and are unwilling to humble themselves and learn who God really is.
Sadly, I wonder how often I do the same? Where have I closed my mind, my heart to the truth of who God is because it is just easier to make Him into the God I want Him to be. Where have I let my desire to be accepted push away my ability to think clearly, to open myself up to God's truth rather than my own truth? Where do I need to humble myself? Where is pride blocking Jesus from my view?
Jesus, please forgive my pride. Forgive me for not letting you be you. Fill me with your wisdom and revelation. Help me get out of your way.