An unfair punishment arises. A perfect Man has been found guilty for a crime He did not commit.
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.” (Matthew 26:65 ESV)
Blasphemy. Blasphemy for admitting the truth. Blasphemy for recognizing who He was. Jesus, the son of God, being punished for being who He is.
“What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (Matthew 26:65-68 ESV)
Like an innocent kid in the hands of a group of bullies, Jesus is mocked and attacked. We’d like to say that these Pharisees are a bunch of thugs, but that’s not the story. The Pharisees were the popular kids at school. The Pharisees were the ones we normal people looked upon. They’re the role models, movie stars, and public figures in Jesus’ society.
Jesus is then taken before Pilate, the ruler who ultimately holds Jesus life in his hands. The setting consists of thousands of Jews screaming at Pilate. There’s two men standing in the middle of the room. Jesus, an all around nice guy, and Barrabas, a killer. The Jews are given an option on whether they want Jesus released, or Barrabas. They chose to release Barrabas, and kill Jesus.
Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. (John 19:14-16 ESV)
I look at this story and try to picture myself in this crowd. As a Jew, what good has Jesus done? He’s lead a rebellion against my religion. He’s teaching His followers things that go against what I believe in. Why should a guy like Him get all of the attention? Why should He be allowed to be better than me? I’ve done so many good things, what has this Guy done?
My selfish, egocentric, and sinful nature would want to get rid of anything that stands in my way. Plus I would look stupid trying to stand up in front of a crowd. I’d be screaming, “crucify Him!” just like the others.
But this isn’t right. This isn’t the way things should be.
In this big crowd of people crying out for Jesus’ death, could we cry out against the mob? Are we going to follow our flesh? Or are we going to stand up in front of the crowd?
We need to break the mob mentality and stand up against the masses.
Could you imagine if someone started to call for Jesus to be spared? Some of these Jews were cheering Him on when he arrived in Jerusalem. Maybe that one voice could raise up many.
One lit spark can start a wildfire.
Although it’d be hard to change the minds of a mob, it’s still our duty to try. God didn’t call us to stand in a world of unbelievers and hide behind the crowd. We need to be the lights of the world. We need to be the ambassadors for Christ. We need to stand up for what is right, even if it means going against the crowd. Even if it means having our peers dislike us. Even if it means getting us ridiculed, mocked, and killed.
Jesus gave everything up for us, so we need to give everything up for Him.
We have nothing to gain and everything to lose for the one we love.