Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Devotion Three: Don't Crucify Me

Photo Courtesy of Adam Ciesielski
As a teenager, I had my fair share of boyfriends. Although I didn't start dating until I entered my sophomore year of high school, I went out with at least ten guys before I graduated. My mother didn't approve of several of my choices, and I knew deep down she was probably right about all of them. However, I wasn't willing to give up the pleasure of feeling loved to be obedient to the truth.

In Matthew 27:11-25, we read of Pilate and the chief priests and elders. A decision must be made. Pilate must release someone to the crowd, according to custom. A well-known prisoner named Barabbas is in custody, as well as Jesus.

Pilate, like my mother, tried to persuade the multitude to hear the truth of the matter and pleaded with them to allow him to release Jesus.

"But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus." (v. 22)

Jesus faced false accusations, lies, envy and hatred, to name a few things. 

Because He revealed truth to the hearts of men. And men followed Him, turning their backs on sin. The chief priests, Pilate discovered, envied Jesus' popularity. So they decided to take Him down.

"When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, 'I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.'
 And all the people answered and said, 'His blood be on us and on our children.'"
 - Matthew 27:24-25

Pilate, in his wisdom, chose to turn from the wickedness he faced and said he would not participate in the crucifixion of the Christ.

But the multitude didn't want to acknowledge their sinfulness and requested a generational curse.

They believed the lie. They followed the crowd. They continued in their wicked way. They remained prisoner to their sin.

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." - John 3:19-20

No one wanted to stand out, lest they be exposed. They loved evil and would pass that down to their children. 

Photo Courtesy of Vivek Chugh
It took me a few years to discover Jesus' truth and begin applying it to my life. It took me another year after that to come to a decision to expose my sinful deeds in the light.

Rather than yelling, "Crucify Him!" with the chief priests and the crowd, we need to crucify our own flesh and its desires to live under the influences of the darkness of this age. It's only then we can do as Pilate did and wash our hands of this world, accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Lord, help us to live in You today. Help us to crucify our evil desires so we may rise again with new life in You. Let us stand out from the crowd, basking in Your glorious light today. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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