“wishing to satisfy the multitude” Mark 15:15
Life can be all style and substance. Our culture lives by the mantra “better to look good than be good.” Of course, the down side of life on the surface is that it makes one into a shell of a human being. Living on the shallow end impacts personal faith as well.
We sing, serve, pay lip service to His Lordship, while dancing our way around the demands of discipleship. We build our reputation as good, religious people, while having closet sins; there are closets of abuse, closet habits and closet drinkers. Our impoverished soul lures us into covering up our closet struggles. We hear the voices of secret sins telling us to stay in hiding.
Jesus’ trial was a farce, there were voices of fabricated charges and false witnesses. The verdict had long been decided before the examination began. It was not so much a legal tribunal, as it was a lynch mob. And there is Jesus standing before Pilate.
The story is really about Pilate, before Jesus. It seemed that Jesus could have stood there all day, it’s Pilate who’s squirming. Jesus’ voice breaks the atmosphere, “I’m sent to bear witness to the truth.” Pilate’s sarcastic comeback was, “What is truth?” He had spent a lifetime listening to the voices of popular opinion.
Picture the two standing there, face-to-face, and you’ll begin to feel the emptiness of your life. Thankfully, God sent His Son into the world that we might see ourselves and become unhappy, humble and saved.
Hopefully, all who stand near to Jesus are better off for having done so. However, that wasn’t true for Pilate. Pilate had a cynical and unenthusiastic view of life, he was jaded. Though he admired Jesus, he felt contempt for all he stood for.
Pilate and Jesus represent two voices which accompany us all through life. They are always facing each other on the stage of our soul. There is the voice that says “What does it matter?” and then there is the voice of faith. How tragic to hear the voice of truth call us to life, to acknowledge it, yet not respond to it.
Which voice are you listening to?