April 12. Reading and Leading Up to Easter. John chapter 18.

Wednesday, April 12            John 18

The Choice

In the course of events leading up to the Crucifixion, there is a moment that stands out as a diagnosis – a gut check on the human race (John 18:39-40).

The Roman prefect Pontius Pilate was caught between his conscience and political expediency. Personally, he did not want to convict Jesus. But, politically he was pressured to put this prophet away. In an act of desperation, he brought out the worst criminal in his prison: Barabbas. Matthew’s Gospel refers to him as “a notorious criminal” (Matthew 27:16).  John calls him simply “a robber” (John 18:40).  As custom dictated, one prisoner might be released by consent of the people during the Passover Feast.  Pilate hoped the people might come to their senses and choose Jesus over this profoundly evil man.

Such was not the case.  Imagine, if you will, placing the worst criminal of modern times on display.  It might be a Charles Manson or a Ted Bundy; a Jim Jones or a Jeffrey Dahmer. It might be an Al Capone, Adolph Hitler, or worse.  So – you must choose.  Would you release them upon the world or would you release Jesus?

The people chose the criminal. Astounding as that might seem, yet we do it every day. Before us stands the blameless Son of God, yet we choose the lesser way.

Romans 1 describes the downward spiral that degrades us when we refuse to acknowledge God’s light. “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).  The result is the condoning of evil while we crucify good.

This is personal!  Each one of us is faced with the Good Man and the evil.  Who do you choose? The results are eternal.