“Why? What crime has he committed?” This very question shows that Pilate is convinced of Jesus’ innocence, but it attested also to Pilate’s cowardice. He was genuinely frightened by the anger and the cries of the crowd and the priests, but had not the courage of his convictions to resist them. We find from Luke 23:22 that he resorted to suggesting a milder punishment— “I will chastise, Him, and let Him go;” but the suggestion itself showed his weakness, and therefore fearing public disgrace, loss of status and ultimately loss of power he caved in to their demands.
Neither Pilate nor his prosecutors could find that he had done any wrongdoings. Had he done any against God? No: he always did those things that pleased God. Had he done any against the authorities? No: as he did himself, so he taught others to render to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s. Had he done any against the public peace? No.
Having no case against Jesus, Pilate urged him to clear himself, the Jews however were so bent upon the death of Jesus, that Pilate knew it would be dangerous for him to refuse their request. Pilate’s struggle shows the power of conscience even on the most powerful of men.
With this in mind, we must keep God at the forefront of our decision making; we must let him guide us. In doing so we will listen to the still, powerful voice of reason and do what is right and not be swayed by the baying voices of the crowd. Not an easy thing to do but then who ever said being a Christian is easy?
Prayer: Gracious God, Grant me clarity of thought when weighing up any tough decisions. Guide me to act appropriately and wisely.
Action: Listen for that still, powerful voice of reason and do not rush in to making a major decision without considering all the possible consequences. Avoid simply trying to please the crowd.