Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Jn 18:31). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Pilate does what we all wish we could do when faced with a serious moral dilemma–we punt it to the next person. We did this in small matters all the time–the child asks his father if he can do something, and the father tells the child, “Go ask your mother.” But we also do it in regard to larger, more difficult and moral questions. Pilate doesn’t want to take responsibility for the decision that is only his–whether to put Jesus to death or to release him. Perhaps we can sympathize with Pilate’s position, thrust in the middle of a conflict that was not his immediate jurisdiction, he faces the hard choice of executing an innocent man or angering the mob, which could lead to revolt. But the time for decision would be forced upon him before too long. As disciples we too, may be tempted to put the moral question to someone else rather than to suffer for our convictions. May God grant us strength to carry our cross for Jesus’ sake.
Lord, help me to see things as they really are so that I may make a true and godly decision in the face of spiritual testing. May I carry your cross with firm resolve, rejoicing in your promise to be with me. Amen.
Gracious Father, it is so easy to pass the buck on difficult questions. May I have the courage of my convictions and follow your example of faithfulness, even if it leads to suffering and the cross. Amen.