PILATE WENT AGAINST WHAT WE KNEW TO BE RIGHT
MARK 15:10-15 NKJ
10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?"
13 So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!"
14 Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?"
But they cried out all the more, "Crucify Him!"
15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
Pilate knew. He knew that Jesus was no ordinary man. He knew Jesus was certainly no criminal. Jesus would not answer His accusers so much so that Pilate marveled. Pilate's wife even warned Pilate about Jesus and had dreamed about Him to the point where she was troubled.
And Pilate knew that the religious leaders were envious of Jesus. Their wrong motive was visible even to a man with questionable motives himself. Of course, it does take one to know one.
So, Pilate knew Jesus was special. Knew Jesus was not guilty and knew Jesus had been railroaded into a death sentence by envious leaders. So why did Pilate make the wrong decision? Why did he cave in?
Verse fifteen gives us the answer. Pilate wanted to gratify the crowd. In Matthew's gospel, we see that Pilate was afraid of a tumult from the crowd. Another word is uproar. The crowd was not having Jesus released, and Pilate gave in to their pressure. Even though he knew better.
This fear of people is a serious detriment to us doing the right thing. And I'm not just talking about a fear of an uproar. I am talking about the fear of making people unhappy. The desire to appease or please the crowd has ruined many good decisions by people who knew better. People who wanted to do the right thing but were too concerned with what others would think.
I have seen this fear of people put a serious hurt on many marriage relationships. Too often, a couple is still way too influenced by relatives or parents with an agenda. There is no finger-pointing coming from me. I have been too concerned with the crowd at various stages of my life. The Proverbs said that the fear of man brings a snare. But if you put your trust in the Lord, you will be safe (Proverbs 29:25). There is our answer. The more we trust the Lord, the less we are moved by the fear of people.
Dear Lord, help me, strengthen me to overcome the fear of man. I trust You and desire to please You more than to please people. Help me do what I know is right.