What motivates and animates certain people is often readily discernible. Even if I disagree with an individual’s action or position, if I can deduce what is driving them, why they are choosing a particular course of action, at least I can understand where they’re coming from. Even though his actions were cowardly, self-serving, and the path of least resistance, I can understand why Pilate did what he did. The need for the fulfillment of prophecy notwithstanding, Pilate was a politician, and he did what politicians have always done; he took the easy way out. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent. Of this, we are certain based on the Biblical retelling of how the entire drama unfolded. Pilate held no grudge, had no particular animus toward Jesus, but he knew that if he meant to keep the peace, he’d have to give the Pharisees their pound of flesh while coming up with a scenario he could live with. Pilate was far from a righteous man, yet he possessed enough awareness to discern right from wrong, and sentencing Jesus outright was not an option for him. As such, Pilate devised a plan. He would allow the people to choose who would be released at the feast. From the way he presents his plan, there was no doubt in Pilate’s mind that the people would choose Jesus, but as we all know, that’s not the way it worked out. As I said, I can understand the reasoning behind Pilate’s actions. I cannot say the same about the people who cried they wanted Barabbas in lieu of Christ. We are making the same mistake Pilate made two millennia ago, in that we believe our fellow man will make the right choice. We cannot conceive of someone choosing bondage over freedom, choosing to be monitored, controlled, subsidized, and constrained rather than be free, live free, and be left alone to live their life as they deem fit. Perhaps some folks are choosing bondage because they don’t know what it really is. Perhaps they are cheering, applauding, hooting and hollering when an aspiring presidential candidate insists that he will confiscate certain firearms he disapproves of from law-abiding citizens because they believe that’s where it will end. The problem with tyranny is that it’s ever-evolving. The more time passes, the more tyrannical tyrants become for fear of losing their grip; for fear of losing control. You may cheer for bondage today because you don’t believe the bondage you are cheering for will ever affect you. The truth nobody wants to talk about is that once a nation is in bondage, eventually they will come for something you do care about, and something that does affect you. As I said at the beginning of this quasi-rant, I understand what motivated Pilate, as I understand what motivates the politicians of today. What I don’t understand is the cheering crowds. What I don’t understand are the people who would see an innocent man die, and a guilty one set free. What I don’t understand are those who would see their fellow citizens stripped of their freedoms for an illusory sense of safety that will irreparably shatter once a criminal shoves a gun they were mandated to sell back to the government in their face.
When the masses begin to cheer the abrogation of freedom, maybe they deserve the bondage they are clamoring for with the requisite pain, hopelessness, and privation that come along with it.
With love in Christ,
Posted on 16 September 2019 | 1:39 pm