Mark 15:6-15 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Pilate found nothing wrong with Jesus. He didn’t understand why they wanted to kill him.
The interesting thing I see from this awful situation that Jesus is walking through is how easy it is for leaders who have been given the place of a “trusted voice” can turn the tide of public opinion.
Just think about it for a second. Jesus, just a few chapters back walked into Jerusalem while the people threw their cloaks on the ground in front of him and waved palm leaves, saying, “HOSANNA.” That section of scripture is referred to as the Triumphal Entry. But here we see it doesn’t matter how amazing people thought Jesus was or what he’d done for them. If evil people have the ears and trust of the masses. It all could turn in an instant. Think of it. They were able to get this crown to yell “Crucify him” while asking for a known killer to be released. These chief priests wielded a tool called public pressure. While the enemy uses public pressure and perception to stir up the crowd for his own benefit, Jesus has called us to be a people who stir up one another to love and good works. If we live to satisfy the crowd we will miss the opportunity to do something great in Christ.