Crumbling Under Pressure
Daily Bible Reading – Exodus 6-8; Luke 23
Today’s Key Passage – Luke 23:13-25
Pilate was a politician, and like most politicians, he wanted to stay in office. Historical documents suggest that Pilate had already been warned by the Roman authorities about disturbances in his region. Now he found himself in a difficult place. On one hand, he found no fault in Jesus. He questioned him repeatedly, and he seemed to believe that Jesus was not guilty of anything. Apparently Pilate understood that the Jewish leaders simply wanted Jesus killed out of jealousy, and not because he was an actual criminal. On the other hand, though, he was worried about what might happen if he refused to kill Jesus. We read in John 19:12 that the Jewish leaders threatened to go to Caesar and file a complaint against Pilate, which could have resulted in him losing his position. Pilate had to make a decision, but which road should he take? He could stand up for what he knew was right and risk losing everything, or he could go along with the crowd even though he knew it was wrong and keep his position. Obviously, we know which direction he took. After much internal debate, Pilate crumbled under pressure and allowed Jesus to be executed. How differently might things have been if Pilate had only stood up for what he believed? No doubt Jesus still would have died (after all, that was God’s plan all along and nothing was going to stop that), but if Pilate had stood firm in his beliefs he would have been remembered much differently than he is today.
Most of us face similar situations in our own lives. Peer pressure is not just something that happens to teenagers in high school. It may start as a childhood issue, but peer pressure continues for most people all their lives. We may face pressures from friends or coworkers who are not believers who want us to go along with what they are doing or to go back to the way we were before we were saved. Time and time again, we may be faced with people who want us to do things that go against our better judgment and our beliefs. How will we react in those times? How will we react when there might be real consequences to standing up for what we know is right? When the consequences are real and the pressure is on, if we try to go it alone and rely on our own strength to get us through, the chances are we will crumble the way Pilate did. If, however, we rely on the power of Jesus Christ living inside of us, we can withstand the pressure. We can stand up for what we know is right. We can stand firm in our beliefs regardless of the pressures or the consequences. Pilate had no idea that the decision he was making about Jesus would turn out to be the defining moment of his life, and we will not know which of our decisions might be our own defining moment. Instead of crumbling under pressure, when we stand firm with the courage of God on our side we can only become stronger.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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Posted on January 23, 2013, in 03 - Luke and tagged Bible, Christian, Conflict, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, God, Godly Living, Jesus, Perseverance, Religion, Temptation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.