Luke 23:13-25 New International Version (NIV)
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”  [a]
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will. *
The chief priests (which probably included the high priest), the officers of the temple, the Jewish rulers, the church elders (Sanhedrin), and ordinary people were all in frenzied agreement to condemn a man to death. The only person in this passage judging Jesus to be innocent of the charges brought against him was Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Roman prefect under Emperor Tiberius. What would I have thought if I was an out-of-town Jew attending the Passover in Jerusalem and witnessing this public trial? Would I have listened to my Jewish elders, the chief priest and citizens of Jerusalem? Or would I have agreed with the Roman governor? If I didn’t really know who Jesus was or what he was accused of, I probably would have sided with my Jewish brethren and against the Roman governor. But if I knew who Jesus was, or if I had a close relationship with God and His people I may not have clamored to have Jesus crucified.
Dear Lord, please help me always know the joy of your company. Please smooth my paths before me and help me to walk in them. Please open my eyes to see your hand at work in my life. And please grace me with a lifetime of intimately knowing you, your Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.
* This scripture passage is the NIV version of the bible (Luke 23:13-25) found at biblegateway.com. The original fifth prayer for Stations of the Cross was at jaynechaseloseke.com on May 25, 2014 and at Faith Bible High School.