Wishing To Satisfy The Crowd

In The Word

Read: Mark 15:1-21



Jesus Before Pilate

15 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate.

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”

But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbasinstead.

12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.

13 “Crucify him!” they shouted.

14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Walking In The Word


Fulfilling what Jesus had plainly told the disciples (Mark 10:32-34), He was handed from the chief priests to the Gentiles to be mocked, spit on, and scourged. The Jews did not have the authority to put anyone to death, so they needed to convince Pilate to do it for them. (John 18:31) Pilate, the Governor of Judea, was a soldier first, and then a politician. He represented the authority of Rome.

Pilate found no evil in Jesus, and he knew the chief priests were trying to manipulate the situation. In Matthew 27:19, Pilate received confirmation that Jesus was righteous when his wife tells him of a dream, and warns him to have nothing to do with that righteous man. God can speak to us through people and through dreams, even ones who are unbelievers. We should listen.

Ultimately, Pilate chose to please the crowd. He was more concerned with what people thought than he was with doing the right thing. (James 4:17) Deciding to follow Christ, to walk in His ways, to follow His teachings, to do the right thing, is not easy. (Luke 14:27) It requires us to take a stand knowing that it may not be popular. But we can take assurance knowing that the world hated Jesus, and will hate us when we follow Him. (John 15:18-25)

“Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

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