by MADDIE JANNEY
I ask myself this morning: Am I truly committed to Jesus? I verbalize my devotion to him, but I also have a habit of giving in when I’m in a rough patch.
We see Pilate facing this same dilemma. He knows the truth. He knows it enough that he pleads and defends Jesus’ innocence three times over. But as much as he knows the truth, he also recognizes the unpopularity of his perspective. Each time he stands up and speaks out on Jesus’ behalf, the voices of the crowd become louder and more demanding. So he gives up, he gives in, and he hands Jesus over to their will.
As saddened as I am to read this part of Jesus’ story, I can’t say that I don’t connect at all with Pilate. The voices of the accuser can be loud, overwhelming, and, dare I say, tormenting. Whether those voices are peers mocking Jesus (or my faith in him) or the voices are in my head telling me to worry and doubt and be afraid, I have often given in to what they’ve had to say. I have often handed Jesus over to them…
But when we instead defend Jesus, when we proactively pursue him, it scares the enemy. He feels the need to shout at us louder, get in our way, and distract us from being able to defend him any further – just like we see the crowds doing to Pilate. But while Pilate allowed the voices of the crowd to win out in this moment, we must remember that soon after this Jesus won out for the rest of eternity. And because he lives in us, we, too, can silence the voices in our lives that tell us otherwise.
The John M. Perkins Story