Friday, March 25, 2016


Recently I read the story of Jesus before Pilate. It was early on Friday morning of Holy Week. The religious leaders had arrested Jesus, tried him, and found him worthy of death. Because execution was forbidden for Jews, they took him to stand trial before Pilate.

After questioning Jesus, Pilate was convinced of his innocence. However, the religious leaders had aroused the crowds, and Pilate was afraid of them. "What shall I do with Jesus?" Pilate asked the people. "Crucify him!" they cried. Ignoring his own convictions and his wife's pleas for Jesus's life, he washed his hands of any guilt and released Barabbas, "the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one [the crowds] asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will" (Luke 23:25).

What a chilling thought, that the holy Son of God would be surrendered to the will of an angry mob.

I noticed a handwritten message in the margin of my Bible, pointing me back a chapter to Luke 22:42. We see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night, just hours prior to his trial before Pilate. Hear him pray: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Jesus was able to survive the experience of being surrendered to the will of the crowd because he had already surrendered himself to the will of the Father.

This is how we, too, can be equipped for those experiences where we seem to have no control of our situation. Perhaps it is illness or a broken relationship, or maybe it is financial strain or the grief over a loved one's death. If we have submitted ourselves to the Father's will we can rest in His loving hands. Surrendered to God, we need not be afraid of "the will of the crowd" concerning us.

In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me? 
Psalm 56:4

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