Making the Tough Choices – John 19:12
After a long rest, I logged into my gospel notes to find I hadn’t been here since December 31st. Just about three full months since I’d dug into the Word to let it speak to me. That’s horrible. It’s mortifying. To not participate in something that has brought me so much joy, peace, and enlightenment is heartbreaking.
Winter is hard for me. It was last year too. There is something about the warmth, the sun, the renewal of the warmer months that draws me to my studies and writing—seeking the Truth and finding some Light to share. I also have stopped ‘pushing’ myself too much. I see God motivates me into the things I should be doing at His time. Sometimes rest and downtime brings particular perspective and closeness.
As I opened things up today, I found I left off at John 19. Jesus has been arrested, and Pilate is put in this precarious position. The Jewish leaders want Jesus crucified, but Pilate knows He is innocent. He tries multiple times to get out of this. To force the responsibility back to the Jews. To bargain with them for other justice. To try not to be involved in this horrible act, but each of his attempts fails.
I must be careful to be precise. Pilate’s attempts to get the Jewish leaders to agree with him and save Jesus fails. His efforts to make them responsible for their own choices also fail, but in the end, Pilate is still accountable for his decision to proceed with the crucifixion.
He didn’t have to do it. He could have stood his ground and said, “This man is innocent, and I will have no part in this.” Had he done so; we would have a different outcome today. He didn’t make this choice because it was fraught with a whole host of other complications. He was afraid the Jews would turn on him, making his job more difficult. The life of one man versus a life of misery for himself is not as difficult a choice as one might think.
Isn’t this the way of the world even today? Leaders making choices that make their life easier when that choice may not really be the ‘right’ thing? Or those moving with the populace opinion of one group, while there are others that suffer.
When we consider people we ‘really’ respect, they usually stood against the tides of the majority and made things better. The way of the real leader isn’t always easy. In fact, rarely so, but they are the real difference makers.
John 19:12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar.”
These are heartbreaking words, and such a difficult choice. Most would agree that killing an innocent man is never really ‘right.’ In this case, God ensured it was the very best plan of all.
Today, right now, our leaders are making tough choices. Let’s pray that they choose what is best, even if it makes their job harder.
Dearest Heavenly Father (Mother), please touch every leader of the world with your wisdom, strength, and courage so that they might make the choices that help us all. Please keep us safe and heal the world. We need you now more than ever. In Your Holy and Mighty Name…