P is for PILATE
New Testament scholar Brooke Foss Westcott observed; “Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or we grow weak, and at last some crisis shows us what we have become.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the life of Pontius Pilate.
NAME: “Armed with a Dart”
DATE: 1st Century AD
IDENTIFICATION: 5th Roman procurator of Judea; ordered Jesus’ crucifixion
STORY LINE: Pilate knew Jesus was innocent; ordered Hi death anyway
READ IT IN THE BIBLE: Mathew 27: 11-26; John 18:28-19:16
Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea and Samaria from AD 26-36. His lack of character is well attested by Tacitus, Josephus, Eusebius, and Philo. But nowhere is there a clearer picture of the kind of man Pilate was than in the Gospels.
Because the Jewish authorities could not execute a person without Rome’s approval, they brought Jesus to Pilate for sentencing. Pilate questioned the Savior and concluded. “I find no fault in Him at all” (John18: 38). But the mob wanted blood so Pilate scourged Jesus, the soldiers mercilessly beat Him, and Pilate again presented Him to the mob saying, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him” 19:4). When the mob yelled “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate responded again, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him” (196). Finally, Pilate washed his hand and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person” (Matthew 27:24).
Pilate knew what was right but didn’t have the backbone to do it. Reputation is precious, but character is priceless. How much character will your family and friends see in you today? Ask God to give you the strength to do what you know is right. Everyone will appreciate it.
—Dr. Woodrow Kroll