Daily Devotional for Thursday May 8, 2008
Jesus was Involved in One Election During His Life
Even though Jesus never ran for political office, he was involved in one election during his life. It was actually an election where the winner would be allowed to live and the loser would literally be killed. It is clear that Pontius Pilate who ruled Jerusalem for Rome during the day of Jesus had no desire to put Jesus to death as the Jewish leaders wanted him to do. As a way of escape, Pilate used a custom at the time of the Passover where one prisoner would be pardoned for his crime and released.
Pilate brought before the people a criminal by the name of Barabbas. Most likely, Barabbas was not a common thief, but a violent political revolutionary. Next to Barabbas was Jesus. Pilate then asked the crowd to vote. Vote for the one he should have mercy on and release. I have no doubt Pilate expected the crowd to choose Jesus. The votes were cast and the winner by a landslide was Barabbas!
Afterwards, Pilate called on the Jewish custom of washing his hands, signifying that he was not responsible for condemning Jesus to death. The fact was, Pilate knew Jesus did not deserve death. He was warned by his sense of justice, he was warned by his conscience, and he had been warned by the dream of his troubled wife. But he did not have the guts to stand up against the Jewish leaders of the day, nor did he have the guts to stand up to the people that had chosen Barabbas.
Let me share this with you my friend. Washing your hands my be a nice symbolic act, but the one thing you can never rid yourself of is responsibility! Nobody, no act can take that away. Pilate is actually a very pathetic person, not one to be loathed but rather pitied for not having the guts to stand up for what he knew was right. I want to challenge you today. In your life, you are called from time to time to take a stand for righteousness. Often, that stand may not be popular. You may suffer personally for taking that stand. But never forget, it is God, not man, that you have to please. It is God, not man who will ultimately judge you.
A good question to ask is why did that crowd vote for Barabbas over Jesus? Why did they vote for a man of violence over a man of peace? Why did they vote for someone that had clearly chosen a life of rebellion to God over someone that had chosen a life of obedience to God? People have not changed since the Garden of Eden. They chose Barabbas over Jesus for the very same reason they would choose Barabbas over Jesus today!!!
Jesus believed God's Word to be inspired, inerrant, representing absolute truth and our final authority in all matters. Most people reject the Bible since it is the truth of God's Word that condemns them. Jesus called sin what it is, sin. Most people love their sin more than they love God. When confronting the people of His day with their sin, some repented, others mocked and rejected Him, and still others sought to silence Him. Most people today when confronted with their sin mock and reject Christ or do all they can to silence the truth of His message.
*It is not surprising that when asked to vote, the people voted for Barabbas over Jesus in a landslide. If that same vote would be held today, the result would be the same.
I love you and care about you so much. In the day He lived, there were people that came to know Jesus for who He really was, the Son of the living God and the Savior of all mankind. However, the majority of the people rejected Him. It is no different today. There are those who acknowledge Him as their Savior, but the majority of the people today have made the choice to reject Him.
I have watched in amazement as hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent during this current Presidential campaign. Add to that hundreds of thousands of man hours that have been invested in electing someone President of the United States. As important as it is who the President of the United States may be, how much more important is a person's eternal soul? People give time and money to elect a person to a political office, but will they give that same time and money to see a lost soul won to Christ?
Even though Jesus is not on the ballot, how can YOU vote for Jesus? You cast your vote for Jesus each morning as you get up, die to self, and surrender afresh your life to the Lord. You cast your vote for Jesus when you spend that time each day in prayer and in His Word. You cast your vote for Jesus as you share His hope and love with those God brings into your life each day. You cast your vote for Jesus when you stand for Him despite what the world may say.
We did not get to vote when the people chose Barabbas over Jesus. We will never get an opportunity to vote for Jesus to be President. However, you can still vote for Jesus every day through how you live your life!!!