Jesus’ Life: Chapter 18 – The Passion And Death Of Jesus
Time: Good Friday: – Approximately 8.30am
The Jews were in no mood to accept Jesus’ scourging in exchange for his death by crucifixion. They also probably recognised Pilate’s weak leadership. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent and he wanted to do what was right, release Jesus, but he seemed afraid to contradict the aggressive demands of the Jewish leaders, chief priests and elders!
Pilate then attempted to use the traditional Passover festive custom of releasing a prisoner to his advantage. He offered the assembled crowd of Jews outside his court, the choice of having either Barabbas, a notorious prisoner, released or Jesus.
Barabbas was a rebel and had been imprisoned for murder and revolt against the state; everything that Jesus wasn’t!
Encouraged by Pilate’s inaction, the chief priests and elders mingled with the crowds and persuaded them to ask for Barabbas’ release and Jesus’ crucifixion. So, when Pilate said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” they shouted, “Barabbas”.
Pilate’s plan had failed and when he further inquired, “What should I do with Jesus,” the crowd replied, “Crucify him!” Pilate answered, “Why? What wrong has he done?” but the crowd shouted more insistently, “Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:22-23)
[Matthew also tells us that while Pilate was, “sitting on the judgment seat,” his wife sent him a message saying, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man; I have suffered greatly as a result of a dream about him today”. (Matthew 27:19)] (Matthew 27:15-23, Mark 15:6-14, Luke 23:17-23, John 18:39-40)
Am I selfish to the point of saving my own skin regardless of the impact it may have on other people’s lives?
Lord Jesus, grant me the wisdom to always do what is right, to be a leader when asked and to humbly accept what is right over all that is evil.
Prayer: Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O Good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds, Lord, hide me
Suffer me, not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
that I may praise Thee with Thy Saints and Angels,
forever and ever. Amen.