November 13, 2017. Luke 23, John 18-19.
It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.
The crowd of accusing Jews emerge in Luke 23 and proceeded to lead Jesus right to Pilate. Pilate being the very one that was known to provoke the Jews and made their lives difficult.
Was this crowd hoping for a reward or more favorable treatment from Pilate, as they cast blame and lied about the man named Jesus?
Wasn’t this the very crowd that was chanting Hosanna (praise and adoration) to Jesus as He passed them by previously?
And yet Pilate shared with the crowd that he found no fault in Jesus.
(Luke 23:4) So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”
The crowd is quick to condemn Jesus and instead call for the release of Barabbas the criminal.
A trade of the innocent one for the guilty one.
Interesting how the change began slowly, and now all reason seems clouded with this crowd. Did the criminal Barabbas allow the crowd to feel better about themselves, or maybe their expectations of Jesus had not been personally and fully met?
It would seem impossible at this point for Pilate to go against the crowd. He only intended to chastise Jesus and let Him go. But once gain the crowd is insistent and demanded that Jesus be crucified.
(Luke 23:23) But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And these men and of the chief priests prevailed.
But the crowd became fiercer in their plot to influence Pilate. Because of the pressure from the crowd, he would chose to do nothing for the release of innocent Jesus, but passes the situation over to Herod’s jurisdiction, who was a previous hated opponent.
Jesus would be The One to go to the cross alone.
Except along the way a certain man named Simon stands out in the hostile crowd and gives a visual focus for us, as he picks up the cross of Jesus and follows along the path to Calvary. He carried the cross for a Man who suffered much, physically and emotionally.
(Luke 23:26) Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
The crowd will continue to look on as Jesus is mocked, by the soldiers as He is offered sour wine and a sign is written over Him in mockery. THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Jesus knew who He was and all that He stood for. He chose to not run away from the opposition, but willingly greeted them.
The crowd probably thought that they had the last words over Jesus’ future….but when Jesus’ purpose was completed His words would be spoken-“It is finished!”
This crowd of pleasers will be pleased to know that Jesus’ suffering was His choice and freely given because of His overall Love for all!