Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!” Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!” Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!” And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!” So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified. Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. —Matthew 27:21-31

Worldliness and religiosity is against the Lord of this world and the Lord all of creation. Look what they did to the King of the Universe. They asked for a murderer instead of the pure, spotless Lamb of God. They demanded the innocent one to be crucified as a condemned criminal. They were responsible for the blood of the innocent Son of God. They flogged the guiltless Son of Man. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on His head. They placed a reed in His right hand as a scepter. They knelt before Him in mockery. They mocked Him as King of the Jews. They spit on Him. They struck Him on the head. They led Him off to crucify Him. They… we were guilty of treating the King of kings and Lord of lords like this because of our filthy sin which, in the plan of God, He would be sacrificed for.

Praise “God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6). We who were formerly in “the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26). Rejoice fellow follower of Jesus for the mercy and grace God has shown to us through His Son. Yes, rejoice!

Dear Father, thank You for allowing me to know Jesus and to be set free from sin, Satan and death and to a relationship with You through Your Son. May I live faithfully for Him out eternal gratitude. Yes, may it be so!

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