Luke 23:23 “But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.”
So often it seems that the loudest voices get results. I have noticed it in personal venues, at work, and in the world at large. The people who raise their voices and persistently demand attention often get what they want, but at what cost?
Are You a Demander or an Acquiescer?
Years ago we were having some work done on the house and in the middle of the job the contractor left me in a muddle to do some work for someone else. When after a few days of patiently waiting I asked what the delay was, he told me that the other client had been pestering him about his job. He finally acquiesced and left my job to get the complainer off his back. “Really?” I responded, “So the person who is patient has to wait, while the one who is a jerk gets things done?” My opinion of both people lost some luster.
Unfortunately, many of us fall into this trap. We are either the demanders or the acquiescers. We either angrily force our opinions or demand our way, damaging our reputation. Or we give in when the pressure gets too strong and make a huge concession that we might later regret.
Many years ago a public figure gave in to an angry and persistent crowd. Little did he know that his decision would live in infamy for centuries to come. In the same way the demanders also had no idea what they were really asking for.
Pilate Gives in to the Crowds
The Jewish religious leaders seethed with anger over claims made by Who they thought to be the son of a carpenter. This man claimed to be Israel’s Messiah and the Son of God. Infuriated, the whole assembly of religious leaders dragged Jesus before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, to voice their accusations. Pilate questioned Jesus, but could find no reason to charge him with a crime and he announced his plan to let him go. The crowds hissed and screamed, demanding their way.
Pilate, thinking he could appease the crowds and get out of this political mess, sent Jesus to Herod, the part-Jewish ruler of Galilee and Perea. But Herod only made a mockery of Jesus and sent him back to Pilate with the same verdict of “not guilty.”
Pilate desperately tried a few more times to convince the crowds of Jesus’ innocence, but the riots got even more out of control. The people screamed louder for Jesus to be crucified. Finally, despite his better judgment, Pilate caved under the pressure and agreed to grant the crowds their demand. Their insistent shouts finally prevailed.
The High Cost of Listening to the Loudest Voices
Did the religious rulers really understand the repercussions of what they were asking? Did Pilate comprehend the gravity of giving in to the crowds? I am not sure, but the loudest voices finally won! They crucified the Son of God on a Roman cross.
Every year, on Good Friday especially, we remember how the crowds of people and religious leaders loudly demanded that Jesus Christ be crucified. We also remember how an important public figure gave way to the loudest voices and went against his convictions.
Today we also have a choice to make. Will we listen to the people screaming all around us, and the media amplifying the views of the world? Or will we recognize Jesus as the Son of God and stand firm to our convictions? Who will prevail, the truth or the loudest voices?
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