Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again… 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.” But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 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. —Luke 23:20, 22, 23-25
I was watching a live feed of the Baltimore riots. We are talking about a mindless, mob mentality. How many of these people are really protesters? Or are they just becoming part of a mob and following it? A mob has a few agitators inciting a group of people to do what they desire. Property damage, hurting others, attacking police and starting fires are not part of a protest; it is a destabilization of society. Who really is behind these protests?
The verse above in context shows us that the destructive mob mentality isn’t anything new. Jesus was absolutely innocent, but that did not matter. It took only a few to incite the crowd to yell for Jesus’ crucifixion so the few would get their way (Mark 15:3, 11). Three times Pilate stated that he found no reason to execute Jesus. He had found Him innocent. But the mob persisted and Pilate gave in to them and had Jesus crucified.
Fellow followers of Jesus we need to be aware. The people and government in Jesus day and through the ages have arrested those who were Christians and innocent to have then executed. Why? Because those who truly follow the Lord Jesus Christ will not be a part of the world’s wickedness. Instead, they stand for the Truth and expose wickedness. The darkness does not like the light doing this and so the darkness tries to snuff out the light. This is how Jesus said it would be (Matthew 24:9; John 15:18-25; I John 3:13). So, don’t be surprised when it happens.
Dear Father, please help us to stand for the truth, live the truth and bear witness to the truth whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. May we do so in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.