October 25, 2013
READ: Luke 23:20-25
The mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed (v.23).
Home ground advantage is no myth. According to Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim, in their book Scorecasting, the home team wins more often than the visiting team. Why? The writers state: “Officials’ bias is the most significant contribution to home ground advantage.” The officials respond to the pressure from the fans because they don’t like to get booed. When the contests are close, the officials tend to make calls that favour the home team.
Aware of Jesus’ innocence and desiring to set Him free, but fearful of disappointing the crowd, Pilate actually caved in to the wishes of the crowd: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21). He asked the crowd to name Jesus’ crime, but they could not. So he repeated his verdict that Jesus had done nothing wrong and did not deserve a death sentence. Pilate wanted to have Jesus flogged, but the crowd insistently demanded that He be crucified (v.23). The crowd won. Pilate decided to grant their demands rather than the righteous demand of justice. In the face of public outcry, Pilate crumbled. He failed to take a stand for justice, but instead gave in to the crowd so he wouldn’t disappoint them and have to face their loud and angry disapproval (vv.24-25).
Unlike Pilate and the officials, believers in Jesus must take a stand for what’s right no matter how much noise the crowd makes. With the Bible as our guide, let’s develop non-negotiable values in our lives and determine ahead of time the core spiritual convictions that we’ll never compromise. If we prepare in this way, the next time we’re placed in a position to make a tough call, it’s more likely we’ll push for justice and truth that will ultimately bring glory to God. —Marvin Williams
Read Matthew 26:69-72. Given his experience with Jesus, why do you think Peter didn’t take a stand for what was right?
How have you caved in to the noise of the crowd instead of pleasing God with the right response? What will give you the courage to take a stand for Jesus?