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The Temptation of Pilate

June 6, 2018

“And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed,” (Luke. 23:23, KJV).

The people had brought Jesus to Pilate. During his trial Pilate saw that Christ was innocent. He said, “I find no guilt in this man,” (23:4b). After finding out Jesus was from Galilee, he sent Him to Herod who also questioned Him. While Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus, they did not find Him guilty, and returned Him to Pilate. After examining all of the accusations, Pilate comes to this conclusion, “Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him,” (23:14-16). All of the reason and evidence showed Pilate that Christ was innocent and did not deserve death. In other words, he was not convinced to put Christ to death for any rational or evidential reasons. Why then does Pilate ultimately send Christ to the cross? Luke tells us, “And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.” Pilate sent Christ to the cross because the people kept loudly and adamantly demanding that he must do it.

The CSB translates this verse, “But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that he be crucified, and their voices won out.” We must be on guard against this same temptation. Those with false views in our contemporary day are experts at being instant with loud voices, keeping up the pressure, and ensuring that their voices win out and prevail. It can be difficult when so many people are saying the same things, and are so aggressive mocking and insulting anyone who disagrees with them, to not do what Pilate did. We can easily give in to the acceptance of certain behavior or of a mode of thought being expressed not because of any reason or evidence, or any convincing expositions of Scripture, but simply because of the insistently loud voices of those who want their way. Perhaps we keep hearing people say over and over that their way is “biblical justice” or the only way to truly love people. Brothers and sisters in Christ, do not be influenced simply by loud voices and persistent pressure. Only let that which is consistent with the Scriptures influence your view. Do not take thought for how many people are saying something, or how loudly or often they are saying it. Do not even take thought for who is saying it. The only consideration that can influence our thinking must be whether or not the view is consistent with the Word of God laid down in the Scriptures. Brothers and sisters, we must be on guard against the temptation of Pilate.

May God bless us to only believe something due to it’s accordance with the Word of God. May we not give in to pressure from the multitude. May God strengthen us to stand strong for His Word in a day of extreme pressure and where the voices are winning out simply due to their amplitude and persistence, and not because of reason.

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