Read John 19:14-16 (ESV)
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
- What sins are clouding your judgment?
- Think about a time when you sold out to something that was popular (or seemingly enriching) ... instead of doing what was right. What happened?
- Describe in very practical ways exactly how a Christian can "abide" in Jesus. What about the internal "tug-of-war" between sin and holy living? How can we defeat temptation?
Ugly scenes! They're hard enough to write about let alone to read and to ponder. Remember what happened when the screws began to tighten on Pilate? The religious leaders labeled Jesus a threat to the country. "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be king opposes Caesar." That was hypocrisy at its best--or worst, rather. Not one of those Jewish leaders cared what Caesar thought.
Sadly, though, there are times in most of our lives when each one of us sells out to something--usually against our better judgment. Sometimes we opt for what's popular or what might advance a selfish desire... at the expense of truth. Maybe it's out-and-out denial of what's right as we observed earlier with Peter. Or maybe it's a case of going along with the crowd when we know we're making a wrong choice--as we just saw with Pilate. Whatever the case, most of us have done it.
It's usually an issue of truth versus popularity. It's a tough spot to be in. But as we'll see with Peter, it's a dilemma that Jesus will constantly help us with. It's a position we find ourselves in that He will give us chance after chance to get right.
Lord Jesus--You are God. I love you and want to serve You. Ask Him to help you live in truth. Ask Him to give you strength when you are tempted to compromise or give in to what's popular, not what's right.