Have you ever been called to jury duty? I’ve only had to serve on a jury once. It was a case of medical malpractice. I personally felt a great sense of responsibility to listen well and consider carefully everything that was put before us, because we were making a decision that would have a great impact on someone else’s life. Above all, I wanted to know the truth, and make the right decision.
In today’s read, we get to walk in Pilate’s shoes as he considers the charges the Jews have brought against Jesus. His decision will determine if Jesus lives or dies. It’s truly a study in human nature because even though Pilate is completely convinced of Jesus’ innocence, he capitulates to the crowd and sentences Jesus to be crucified. The mob overrules his better judgment, and he proves to be a weak leader, ultimately making the wrong decision to protect his own position with Caesar.
Two thoughts come to mind for us to ponder. What would we do in a place of responsibility if our livelihood, possessions, wealth and position were at stake? Would we consider the life of an innocent man of so little value that we would condemn him to death to save ourselves? Of course, the obvious answer is no; we would never think of doing something so wrong. Yet, how willing are we to put our reputations on the line for the spiritual life of our family, friends, and neighbors? Am I willing to risk what others think of me, and stand firm on the truth about Jesus? To share about Jesus?
We also see something about the character of God in the unjust outcome of Jesus’ trial. God allowed Pilate to make the wrong decision. God let the crowd have its way. Justice was not served for Jesus. Not only was He completely innocent of the trumped-up charges brought against Him by the Jews, but He was also completely sinless. Jesus had never done a single thing wrong. Not even a thought. He was the pure, spotless, blameless Lamb of God sacrificed on the cross of our wrong-doing. He was crucified for the sins of the chief priests who lied about Him, the soldiers who beat and mocked Him and nailed Him to the cross, and yes, even for Pilate’s sin of wrongful, self-serving judgment.
We know God is powerful enough to fix all the wrong things in the world. But the way of rescue may not be logical from our perspective. What seemed like the wrong outcome was actually the best outcome. Jesus had to die, and it could only happen if an innocent man was condemned. There was no other way.
What is happening in your life that makes no sense? What unjust or unfair or unbelievably horrible outcome has you questioning the goodness of God? Have faith that God is working in ways you cannot see. His justice and plans will prevail. Give Him time to work. You might see it sooner than you think.