Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Luke 23:18-25

Luke 23:18-25
And all at once they cried out, saying, “Take this one us, and set free to us Barabbas.”  He was thrown in the prison after some insurrection and a murder happened in the city.  And again Pilate called out to them while desiring to release Jesus.  And they were crying out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”  And a third time he said to them, “For what evil did this one do?  I found no cause of death in Him.  Therefore, after admonishing him I will release him.”  And by a great voice they urged upon him while asking for Him to be crucified.  And their voices were overpowering.  And Pilate judged for their request to happen.  And he released the one who has been thrown into prison for the sake of insurrection and murder – for whom they were asking.  And he handed over Jesus to their desires.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Today we get to see the fulfillment of the religious leaders’ desires.  Pilate wants to free Jesus because he cannot find a reason to kill Him.  However, the people yell for Pilate to reconsider.  Pilate has no reason to hold Jesus, much less crucify Him.  However, due to the mob mentality of the people and their incredible propensity to see Jesus killed in a violent manner, they win.  The anger and threatening nature of the religious leader overcomes the sensibility of Pilate.

When have you ever witnessed a victory due to mob mentality?  Why does mob mentality often win in situations?  What does this tell us about human beings?

Second Thought:

I find it fascinating that the crowd is given three opportunities by Pilate to reconsider.  The number three is a very reoccurring number in the crucifixion story.  Perhaps most poignant to this story is the story of Peter’s denial.  Remember that Peter denied Christ three times.  However, at the third denial, Peter realized his error.  He feels sorrow.  He repents.  He finds forgiveness, eventually.  The crowd does none of these such things.  They scream for Jesus’ death three times, making sure that Pilate’s opinion is overruled.  There is no repentance.  There is no humble understanding of a mistake being made.  Instead, there is only increased fervor as the mob mentality takes over.

Why do you think it is easier for Peter to come to repentance over his action than the mob?  What can this teach us about the dangers of being a part of a mob mentality situation?

Third Thought:

We should talk a little bit about the fact that the crowd wants Barabbas instead of Jesus.  Here is a known insurrectionist.  Here is a known murderer.  Here is a proven criminal.  Yet, the crowd will take this criminal rather than take Pilate’s discernment.  The crowd will listen to its own rationale rather than listening to proven reason.

Why do you think mob mentality can so readily overlook reason?  Why is it so hard for Pilate to speak against the mob?  Why do you think the crowd is willing to accept the release of a known criminal instead of Jesus?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 23:26-31
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