If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar… (John 19:12).
The Jewish leaders used fear to become powerful people. Fear was their weapon as they allowed evil to rule their hearts and minds. You see, whenever a heart grows hard to the goodness of God, it will always be led by evil intentions.
The Jewish leaders could never quite see who Jesus was, because in their own hearts, I believe, they really wanted to be King. If pride is your friend and fear is your weapon, then you’re going to hurt people. People who are loved by God and are simply trying to follow after Him.
Pilate was a man who lived in fear and the Jewish leaders knew it, so they pressed buttons in Pilate that would send him into a place of internal panic. Maybe you’ve been there too. I know I have when my greatest fears are challenged and I now have a choice to make. Will I enter into a state of panic, or will I quiet myself before the Lord?
Since the Jewish leader’s hearts had grown hard, the only thing they could hear was evil. At the root of every hard heart is a wrong belief about God. Beliefs like, “God isn’t good if….” “God must not love me because”….. “I can’t ever trust God with this”…. or “God is mean and unfair”….Until we soften our hearts and repent of our wrong belief our hearts will continue to grow hard. I have seen my own heart grow hard towards God. A number of years ago, I allowed my heart to grow hard in my singleness and I made foolish decisions because of it.
After I repented I was able to start walking in freedom, but it honestly took me a long time to get there, because the Lord allowed me to fall in my own pride and wrong belief about Him. Once I hit the bottom I was able to see how wrong I had been.
Don’t be surprised if you’re bombarded by the enemy with lies when you start pursuing your freedom. Face your fears and walk forward with confidence knowing that ultimately, God is in control and you can trust Him with every single step along your journey. God’s goal is to set you free from fear, but you’ve got to be willing to take scary steps of faith towards your freedom, in Jesus name.
Lord, I don’t want to be like Pilate who allowed fear to control him. I want to be like Jesus, who looked fear in the face and kept walking forward in your grace. Lord, I know that you can use my life, even when I am afraid. Even when I stumble and fall you pick me back up again. Thank you, God, for loving me in that. way. Thank you for picking me up, in Jesus name, Amen.