I’m not happy about it but I have to say I understand why they did what they did.

I’m reading Luke 23: 8-25 this week.  It’s a little long but a good story that unfortunately brings to light some bad truths about yours truly.

Okay, confession time here kids.  I hate that I feel this way but I have to come clean.  I know these guys were a part of the machinery that put my savior to death and yet; I can’t vilify Herod and Pilate.  Maybe I’m way off base.  Or maybe, maybe, I can’t cast a stone when I live in a glass house.  Let me try to explain.

The scripture says that Herod wanted to meet Jesus.  Jesus had a reputation.  He had some notoriety but Herod treated him like a circus sideshow.  He wanted him to perform like some trained monkey.  When he didn’t and it appeared he would be unpopular if he tried to know him, he threw him back like taking a dog to the pound when he won’t fetch or quitting the gym when you don’t become buff right away.  Herod passed the buck.  Mr. Truman, he was not.

Pilate was a bit better; at least he tried three times.  Schoolhouse Rock wouldn’t come along for nearly 2,000 years but apparently even back in Jesus’s time, three was the magic number.  Like any good analyst Pilate did his due diligence and rendered his findings but the crowd disagreed.  Even when he tried to marshal support by dropping Herod’s name they would have none of it.  He appealed to them once, then twice, asking them for their supporting documentation but they wouldn’t (couldn’t) supply it and shouted him down.  So, he acquiesced.  He gave in.  They got what they wanted.  I’m ashamed that I identify with these men even though I understand why they did what they did.

I want to say, “That would never be me” but I know differently.  I would like to think I would stand up to the crowd, make my own decision, or take the time to figure out the real story behind this man but I’m afraid I would be what I am, afraid.  We yearn and we strive for the approval of others.  We spend our time wrapped up in what “they” think and we make colossal, tremendous, huge mistakes.  And for what?  To go along.   To get along.  To not make waves.  If there’s a cautionary tale here surrounding these two men it’s this.  If you don’t stand for your faith then you will lie down with the crowd for eternity.

I don’t know about you but I’ve let the crowd sway me before.  Heck, they aren’t even shouting at me; I just think they want me to go a particular direction.  Maybe this is you too or you know someone fighting this battle.  Please share this with them if it might help them win. 

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