What Jesus Did! 'Their Voices Prevailed' — Luke 23:17-25

Friday, December 18, 2015

But all the people shouted, "Kill him! Let Barabbas go free!" (Barabbas was a man that was in jail because he started a riot in the city. He had also killed some people.) Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free. So again Pilate told them that he would let Jesus go. But they shouted again, "Kill him! Kill him on a cross!" A third time Pilate said to the people, "Why? What wrong has he done? He is not guilty. I can find no reason to kill him. So I will let him go free after I punish him a little." But the people continued to shout. They demanded that Jesus be killed on the cross. Their shouting became so loud that Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. The people wanted Barabbas to go free. Barabbas was in jail for starting a riot and for killing people. Pilate let Barabbas go free. And Pilate gave Jesus to the people to be killed. This is what the people wanted.
— Luke 23:17-25 NLT
Illustration of Luke 23:17-25 NLT — "Why? What wrong has he done? He is not guilty. I can find no reason to kill him. So I will let him go free after I punish him a little."

Key Thought

Pilate didn't have the will to buck the crowd's will. Instead, he read the poll numbers and followed the will of the crowd rather than doing the right thing. So Pilate "delivered Jesus over to them to do as they wished." They had requested that a murderer be released and Jesus be crucified. As insane as this seems, this is what often happens when the crowd determines the agenda. All throughout Jesus' ministry, the crowd has sought to possess him and make him into what they wanted him to be. Jesus wouldn't let them. Now the crowd will call for his death because they couldn't make Jesus do their bidding. The crowd gets its wish with Pilate. Will the crowd get its wish with us and with our lives? Or will we choose Jesus and the way of the Lord? Let's remember that the way of Christ is quite often unacceptable to the crowd. If we ever doubt this truth, all we have to do is to be reminded of the Cross and the Savior.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, help me never base my life on the will of the crowd, but to have the courage to live the way of the Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 2:23-25
  • John 6:14-16, 25-27
  • Luke 6:26


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.