The chief priests and Pharisees wanted Jesus out of the picture. He threatened everything their appetites desired. They could have taken Jesus into an angry mob for him to be stoned, as Stephen but that didn't serve their purposes. They didn't want the scandal of that resting at their front door. Instead, they would use the justice system of the Roman government for their own gain.
Jesus was delivered to the Praetorium, where Pilate sat in power. Instead of going in to Pilot to make their case, the Jewish leaders stayed outside so they could go to the Passover. They didn't want to defile themselves by publicly participating in the death of the Son of God yet they would defile the Passover? They had the gall to hide behind a sacred ritual. They presumed to celebrate all that the Passover meant by plotting to kill the very one whose blood would be applied to the doorposts of humanity.
I look for my own sinful incongruities. Am I hiding behind what is sacred? Do I defile the very things I say I believe in by acting in ways that contradict them? Do I mock the crown Jesus wears with an insubordinate attitude toward His Father? Do I call Jesus 'Master' and then use Christian freedom recklessly?
Jesus put his life on the line to win our freedom. He faced his accusers. Across the world today, there are believers facing persecution because they have stood to align with Jesus before their tormentors. Do I have what it takes to be one of them?
Jesus, I’m sorry you stood there all alone before Pilate. Amen
For more from Christine Wyrtzen and Jaime Wyrtzen Lauze, please visit www.daughtersofpromise.org