Carole Crossley is the author of a daily devotional book entitled ‘Are you Listening.’ Carole has kindly agreed to share on our website; exploretoinspire.uk a number of her devotions for your encouragement (2019 Jesus Joy Publishing used by permission) and if you would like to order a copy of Carole’s book, go to ‘Are you Listening’
This devotional is about PILATE one of many Bible Characters that she has shared over the months and we hope you enjoy it.
It was so early that the dawn was only just breaking. The unwelcome hammering not only disturbed my slumber, it caused fear in the pit of my stomach. To be awoken, in such a manner, well suffice it to say, it had never happened before and I was quite alarmed by it.
I am an official, someone who commands respect. My authority usually protected me from any intrusive behaviour. No one would dare to deliberately awaken me, unless there was something really urgent that needed my attention.
I lived in times when such an event at the very least unnerved me; at best it made me feel suspicious.
Being unaccustomed to visitors at this early hour, I hastily decided to be the authoritarian. I could easily change to humble servility, if the circumstances demanded it, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for the spectacle that greeted me.
There stood a man dressed in a white robe which covered His entire body, allowing only the peasant-type sandals to show beneath.
Head bowed in submission, hands tied tightly behind His back, there was no resistance at all. The man, who stood so quietly in front of me, had an amazing presence! Without speaking a word and without looking up at me, he had an aura of so many things – authority, gentleness, vulnerability, sadness, understanding, empathy, and much more – all so tangible that I could touch them. I sensed that this was no ordinary man.
The shouting interrupted my thoughts and I was instantly brought back to the present. A variety of angry men stumbled into the entrance towards me; there was the Chief Priest, members of the Sanhedrin as well as the Guards. They pushed the quiet man towards me. On enquiring as to the charges, I was told that He was called Jesus and claimed to be the King of the Jews. The chief Priests had also accused Him of many other things.
I was astounded to learn just how many accusations there were against Him. The quiet man said nothing! He spoke not a word in His defence. He humbly accepted the charges and the rough injustice of His treatment.
It was more than unusual to me. My experience had taught me that a prisoner would say or do anything in the hope of gaining release. Never, ever, before, had a prisoner not tried to jump to His own defence?
The custom at that time of year was that a prisoner, chosen by the people, could at their request, be set free.
The uneasy feelings I had about the quiet man continued to grow. Having found that He had committed no crime – even though I have to admit that would normally not have bothered me – I somehow felt loathe to charge him, even with a trumped up charge.
I went out on the balcony. The crowds were swelling in numbers despite the relatively early hour. I was deeply surprised and horrified at their answer, when I asked them who should be set free.
I fully expected the name of Jesus to be shouted loudly. But it wasn’t. Barabbas! The name was screamed in defiance.
As I gazed down at the seemingly out of control mob, I was astounded when I visualised a pack. They moved as one, they yelled in frenzy, unconcerned about the torment of the condemned man. They who would feel no pain, who would experience no suffering, cared nothing for the consequences of their mob-like actions; or the injustice of the situation.
I quickly questioned their decision. It was the Passover feast and it was because of this that the law stated we could release a prisoner – any prisoner, regardless of offence, who happened to be the people’s choice.
Just then I received an important message from my wife. I held great store by her wisdom; the gods often spoke to her in dreams. This day was no exception. “Have nothing to do with that innocent man’s life.”
The message created great fear in me and it crawled up from the pit of my stomach. I hoped the crowd would change their incessant chanting. What could I do? I asked again, “What shall I do with the prisoner Jesus?”
The ferocity of the crowd astounded me. “Crucify Him!” The quiet man made no sound; I wondered if He could be in a trance. Why did He have no reaction?
“Crucify Him, Crucify Him,” -the sound was like thunder. It increased in volume, it reverberated around me and I wanted to cover my ears. The quiet man had no reaction. He made not even a movement. He seemed unaffected, almost as if He had seen this scene played out before Him at some previous time.
It was by chance that I discovered that Jesus was a Galilean from the region which was ruled by Herod, my enemy. My wife’s words returned to my thoughts. “Have nothing to do with that innocent man.”
I would send the quiet man to Herod; let’s see what he would make of Him.
Herod had long wanted to meet with Jesus, having tried many times to see Him. The reputed miracles He had performed had Herod intrigued. I had no idea at the time but my actions in sending Jesus to him, caused a healing of the rift between us. As a result, we overcame our disputes and that day we became friends. Herod could find no fault in Him either; at least he was no threat to the kingdom.
It wasn’t long before Herod became bored with taunting and making fun of Jesus and he decided to return Him to me.
I gazed down on a rabid, ferocious, blood thirsty, pack of poisonous people! The crowds, if anything, were even more determined to have the quiet man crucified! I deliberately went to the bowl and washed my hands, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s death. Let his blood be on your hands.”
The name of the thief and murderer Barabbas was yelled and chanted so loudly that the stones around me began to shake. He was the crowd’s choice. I could do nothing more, I had to release him!
That was something I didn’t want to admit even to myself. I pulled myself together. I was Pontus Pilate!
The decision was made. I turned Jesus, the King of the Jews, over to the guards to be flogged and crucified.