The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, supplies a stark reminder of how evil humans can be. I was stunned by the hall of shoes that had once been worn by doomed Jews; the story of the methodical elimination of innocents in Krakow's Jewish Ghetto; and the grisly death of prisoners in Hitler's concentration camps.
But most chilling was my recognition that the Nazi ofï¬cers looked normal. Worse, they looked like me. My ancestors were Swiss-German Mennonites, so I resembled the ofï¬cers in the pictures. They could have been my Sunday school teachers! How did such normal people get caught up in such a great evil? Somehow, they simply went along with it.
That's usually how great evils are committed. Pilate wasn't looking for trouble when Jesus was thrust upon him (Mark 15:1). He didn't realize who He was, and he didn't much care. He just wanted the problem to go away.
Pilate made a half-hearted attempt to do the right thing. He invited Jesus to refute the charges and asked the crowd if he should release Jesus as a Passover favor. But the Jewish leaders had stoked the crowd into a mob, and they demanded that Barabbas be freed and Jesus be cruciï¬ed. Pilate tried one last time, asking the crowd, "What crime has He committed?" When "the mob roared even louder, â€˜Crucify Him!' " (v.14), Pilate washed his hands of the mess (Matthew 27:24).
It was easier to give in to the cries of the moment than to seek justice for Jesus. Pilate simply went along, and in so doing he cruciï¬ed the Son of God.
Today Jesus is represented by the poor and needy who are thrust upon us (Matthew 25:31-46). Will we give them a hand or will we shrug and go along? , Mike Wittmer, Our Daily Journey
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