Jesus Condemned to Death (Luke 23:13-25)

Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”

18 With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.  (Luke 23:13-25)

Learn it:

            We now read about the verdict that Pilate gives after examining the accusations made against Jesus.  Pilate finds no basis for their charges!  Yet the crowd continues to ask for him to be crucified and the murderer Barabbas to be released.  Pilate is caught in a tough position.  He has the power to release Jesus even if the crowd wants him crucified.  Pilate is a politician and he likes his position of power and he needs people to like him.  Does he administer justice, or does he keep the people happy?  He makes three attempts to sway the people and even offers to punish Jesus, but nothing satisfies them.  Only the cross.  Pilate finally gives in to their demands and in doing so plays his part in God’s plan. 

Live it:

            Throughout this process Jesus is silent.  He humbly accepts the will of God for him to go to his death.  We see there is no justice in this trial that Jesus faces, and it makes his sacrifice more beautiful.  Not only does he willingly go to the cross, but he takes the place of Barabbas.  He is a man that deserves death on the cross, yet Jesus takes his place.  It is the same in our lives as well.  We all deserve death.  We are sinners who have done or thought terrible things.  Jesus went to the cross for us.  He experienced the pains of death so that we could be freed.  Since he sacrificed his life for us, that calls us to give our lives back to him.  Thank Jesus today for the freedom he has given you.  Praise God that he took our place!   

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