I am disturbed. My mind is weary. I feel rotten. Never have I felt this wave of guilt before.
This morning, a council of elders and chief priests presented a man before me. They said that he was misleading the people with wrong doctrine and deserved to be punished. They accused him of subverting the nation and hailing himself as the ‘King of the Jews’. They were adamant that this man had to be disciplined through severe measures. Accusations were hurled at him but he did not flinch. He just stood there in all humility and did not even try to fend for himself. The question was, what was it that he did to acquire so much hatred from these people. The whole thing had a foul scent about it and I honestly did not want to have any part in it.
Since he was a Galilean, I sent him to Herod because he was under his jurisdiction. Herod on the other hand humiliated, ridiculed, mocked and sent him back to me wearing a royal robe. Now, I had to deal with this problem again. I told the people that I found no basis for the charges that were piled up against him and that I would flog him and let him go. I tried and I tried to get the people to see this man’s innocence, but they simply wanted to crucify him. They wanted Barabbas, a criminal sentenced to death for murder to be set free. My hands were tied. As heavy as my heart feels, I had to do what the people asked of me. So, I washed my hands off this matter and gave him up to be crucified.
He had done nothing but good for the people of this nation. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, brought people back from the dead, calmed the storms and gave hope. Why did he deserve this!?
They flogged him till he couldn’t walk anymore, placed a crown of thorns on his head, tore up his clothes and paraded him through the streets with a cross on his shoulder. It was brutal. They sneered, laughed, mocked and hurled insults at him. He remained calm and bore it all. No anger, no hatred, no promise of retaliation. They nailed his hands and feet to the cross and his whole body hung there; going through excruciating pain and torture. The guards tormented him until he was in agony. His bones cracked; blood and water oozed out of his body. He died of suffocation, exhaustion and cruelty.
You and I, We are like Barabbas. We deserve to die. The wages of our sin is death. But Jesus, the son of God decided to take our place. He died so that we might live. He bore the punishment for our sins on that cross. He thought of all the nasty things that we have done and would do, and bore the cost of it all. We don’t have to rot in hell now. Jesus has given us a new chance and eternal life with God the father in heaven. Imagine the kind of love he has if he wanted to go through so much just for a sinner like me. I wish I could have saved him but the truth of the matter is, he was saving me even when I sentenced him to death.
Today, he’s calling out to you. He wants to give you a clean slate and a right standing with God. Maybe you should give him a chance 🙂
– Pontius Pilate, A Forgiven Sinner.