he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”…. (Matt 27:24).
Pilate was sorely mistaken as he stood before the mob of people who wished to crucify Jesus. Although he washed his hands of the matter, that certainly didn’t mean that Pilate was innocent in the murder of Jesus. You see, Pilate had the ability to keep it from happening. He had the power to do the right thing and he didn’t. This is cowardice at its worst. It’s an omission of responsibility as a human being to care for another person and do what’s right for them when they are being wrongfully oppressed and mistreated.
There is deep oppression all among us and so many of us have the power to help, but instead, we do nothing. Why do you think Jesus was so adamant about caring for the oppressed? Why do you think most of his time was spent reaching out to the poor, forgotten, afflicted and forgotten? Because He sees into their humanity and their need for love.
When we start to see with the eyes of Jesus, we start to care more for people on the fringes of our society. People who have lost their voice due to oppression. Those who’ve suffered abuse, wrongful treatment and have been forced to do things no human being should ever have to do. These are the voices of men, women, and children who have been stolen to the sad reality of deep oppression in this world.
Therefore, we must not act like Pilate and wash our hands of the matter. Instead, we must do within our power whatever we can do to help. Helping someone begins with seeing them as a person. Sometimes we get our priorities out of order and we help people for our own personal benefit because we want to be seen as a good person, but the person who needs to be seen is not us. It’s the individual who feels too small and insignificant in this world to believe they could ever be loved. It’s the person whom society has left on the fringes and forgotten at the precipice of their own agenda.
Pilate couldn’t see past his fear of the crowd and quite honestly, sometimes we can’t either, so we forget people and please the crowd instead. But the crowd will swallow us up into the sea of its own selfishness as we become a pawn to play against the lost, hurting and lonely in their self-motivated agenda.
Ask the Lord to give you eyes and ears for the lost, hurting, lonely and abused. When He shows you them, do whatever you can in your power to help. You can give someone hope today and help them see that indeed, they are not forgotten.
Lord, sometimes I forget the lonely and hurting because I’m too focused on myself. Please forgive me for my lack of care for other people. Help me to not be like Pilate, but to do the right thing, whenever I have the power to do it, in Jesus name, Amen.