At some point in our lives, we have probably all faced peer pressure in some way. Have we ever faced the type of peer pressure that Pontius Pilate faced? From studying the accounts of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and death in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we read that Jesus faced Pilate before His death on the Cross. The first four gospels of the New Testament seems to individually provide different details of what Jesus went through leading up to His death. When it comes to Jesus standing before Pilate, Matthew provides a lot of detail.
In chapter 27, after He is arrested and led away to Caiaphas the high priest, Jesus appears before Pilate. The entire time that Pilate is asking Jesus questions in regards to being guilty of the things which the chief priests and elders accuse Him, Jesus stands silently. Can you imagine? Jesus had just been smacked in the face and spat on in Matthew 26 before Caiaphas and He stands there silently. I try to picture myself in this situation and I feel that it would take all that I have not to scream angry words or fight back, but our Savior stood there, humbly and silently. Jesus knew what was about to happen to Him and He knew that it had to happen even though He could have prayed for twelve legions of angels to save Him (Matthew 26:53-54).
Jesus is now to be chosen. Either the people can release Him or Barabbas, a murderer (Mark 15:7). It even seems that Pilate wants to release Jesus because there was no fault found in Him. Pilate knew that the chief priests had delivered Christ because of their envy towards Him (Mark 15:9-14). But because the multitude demanded Pilate release Barabbas and crucify our Lord, Pilate gave in to the peer pressure. In Mark 15:15 we see that because he was “willing to content the people”, he released Barabbas and gave Jesus to them to be crucified. In Matthew 27:19, Pilate’s wife even pleaded for him not to crucify Jesus because it had been revealed to her in a dream that He was a just man. Sadly, Pilate washed his hands before the multitude to prove that He was innocent of the blood in which Jesus would shed for so many of us (Matthew 27:24). In Pilate’s mind he was innocent of Christ’s, but was he really? In all actuality we are all guilty of the shed blood of the Lord because it was God’s plan from the beginning that Jesus die for you and for me. Don’t get me wrong, Pilate could have stood up for Jesus because He knew Jesus did nothing wrong. Instead he gave in to what we would call peer pressure today. Even Pilate’s wife tried to persuade him not to crucify such a just man.
How often are we guilty of “washing our hands” of the innocent shed blood of Jesus? Do we realize that we are like Pilate when we turn our back on our Lord? It can happen very easily if we slack in our study (II Timothy 2:15), forsake the assembly (Hebrews 10:25), and surround ourselves with those who will only weaken our spiritual life (I Corinthians 15:33) just like the multitude did with Pilate. We often sing a song at devotions and bible camp entitled does He Still Feel the Nails. Let’s not be like Pilot in giving in to peer pressure just because everyone wants you to. Encourage each other and be there for one another and more importantly stand up for Jesus in your everyday life!
By: Gillian Roberts
Gillian Roberts attends the Liberty Hill Church of Christ and is from Englewood, TN. She is 22 years old and graduated in May 2015 with a degree in History and hopes to become a Tennessee State Park Ranger. She loves to hike, camp, and enjoy any outdoor activity and spend time in God’s beautiful creation. She loves spending time with family and friends and enjoying the daily blessings God has to offer.