Luke 23:13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: 15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. 16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him. 17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) 18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: 9 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) 20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. 21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. 22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. 23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
Pilate was indignant that they brought Jesus back to Him again. He had found no fault in Him, Herod had passed on Him, and now he was back. Pilate wanted to let Him go, but the people started shouting to be given Barabbas instead. Every year at Passover one prisoner was released. Pilate was shocked they would rather have Barabbas than Jesus, but He was in charge of making sure the peace was kept, and was afraid a riot might break out if he defied the crowd. When he asked the crowd what he should be with Jesus, they cried crucify him over and over, at the urging of the priests and scribes. No one wanted to cross them. Pilate finally signed His death warrant.
Are you one that goes along with the crowd? When I read stories in the bible, I try to put myself at the scene, at the time. It is easy to look with hindsight, but I try to be at the scene when it happens and decide what I would do. Four days earlier, they had hailed His entrance to the city as the coming Messiah. Now they are issuing Him a death sentence. This shows the power the scribes and pharisees had over the people. Plus the fact that the last few days, he has preached some messages that really turned a lot of people off! I think it would have been very hard to go against the religious leaders. I probably would have gone with the crowd at that time.
But the crowd today is headed for the wide gate that leads to destruction. Many, even in the church, are not committed to Christ. They are just coasting along, depending on one prayer they said when they were kids. Even Jesus said not every one who calls Him Lord does He know. He only knows those who are doing His will today! Let’s be about doing His business every day, and make heaven our home. Stop being part of the crowd.