Reading: Matthew 27:24
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
He knew! Pilate knew that Jesus was an innocent man. He did not fail Jesus for a lack of judgment. Pilate was a very wise ruler; a skilled politician.
There we find the roots of his failure. Pilate, knowing what was right, chose to do what was expedient. He weighed the value of a troublesome prophet against the prospect of political unrest. He maneuvered with the skill of a dancer to place responsibility on the heads of the Jewish leadership, symbolically washing his hands of all guilt. But time has not exonerated the governor. He left an innocent in the hands of violent men. He fed the wolves so that they would not devour him. His clever dodge numbered him forever with cowards. Will we be found numbered there?
Pilate stepped back in the face of mob violence. We shrink back at the prospect of embarrassment. Pilate could claim that he had prevented a great catastrophe that dark Friday. We have no claim to hide behind. Pilate could site public safety, ethnic relations, political sensitivity, the will of the people – but we can only site ignorance or cowardice when one is left in darkness who could have known the Light.
In our silence, Pilate looks almost … noble.
Reposted with permission from onehope.net.