• New Hope Church

2021_06_23 Insight Post- Rusty Coram

This week's reading- Mark 15

One thing that many discover from reading the Bible is you could read the same story 56 times but, for some reason, the 57th time will capture your attention like it was brand new and you hadn’t read it many times before. I believe God often does this as we read. An example of this for me is in Mark 15:12-15, “Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!” 15 So to pacify the crowd, 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.”

As the appointed Roman Governor, Pilate was in the position to enforce justice. He clearly knew that Jesus was innocent, and deserved to be set free, but Pilate had an agenda that took priority over truth and justice – self-preservation and advancement. To do what he knew was right, would mean upsetting an influential constituency that could further arouse the growing mob. Not wanting to have to deal with the conflict and risk his superiors thinking he was incompetent, Pilate decided to sacrifice Jesus to “pacify the crowd” and prevent further unrest.

There are times that to do what is right creates conflict, not peace (I will be teaching more about it this weekend). Peace that requires compromising truth, is not that kind of peace that God endorses. The Bible is clear that we shouldn’t be looking to stir up conflict, “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) BUT there are times when living a holy, and God-honoring, life will put us in opposition to those on a different path and there will be discord. We need to ask ourselves where we stand... Am I willing to stand up for what God says is right and honorable if it will put my reputation, social standing or even my life at risk? Am I willing to potentially alienate my circle of friends by speaking and acting as God wants me to? Or do I choose to “go along to get along” keeping the peace at the expense of honor and integrity?

It is easy for me to be critical of Pilate, but as I read Mark 15 this go round, God reminded me that rather than simply being critical, I need to examine myself and make sure that I don’t fall into the same trap Pilate did.

Rusty Coram

Senior Pastor