“Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’” vs 23
Pilate evidently thought that a logical, objective question would cause the crowd to reconsider and choose to let Jesus live. He failed to recognize what some would call a mob mentality and the incoherent blood lust that almost always prevails when the masses are empowered. Some of those people had perhaps been a part of the welcoming crowd and had maybe even shouted “Hosanna” just a few days before. But this day was different. Jesus had failed to meet expectations and his messianic coup had seemingly flopped. Now all of the disappointments and resentments were directed at him, and the shouts had turned to “Let him be crucified!” Instead of being seen as a savior Jesus was now being made a scapegoat. All blame was heaped on him and the crowd would be content with nothing less than his death. Ironically, that ugly choice came to be seen as part of God’s plan. Jesus was the scapegoat–the one on whom all the sins of the world were heaped–and people came to see his death as our salvation. With his stripes, it was said, all of us were healed. Pilate, of course, saw none of this. He simply washed his hands of the whole affair and went about his duties as the governor of this remote province. For him it was a bad day. For us it was the turning point of history.
Thought for the Day: What usually happens when crowds rule?