Dark Hour

“And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” (Mark 15:12–15 ESV)

Are you king of the Jews?
Have you no answer to make?
Then what shall I do with the man you call the king of the Jews?
Why, what evil has he done?

Pilate asked four questions, two to Jesus and another two to the crowds.
I wonder if you ever wonder what it must have been like for Pilate to ask those questions. He was a man to be feared; if he wanted to, he could have had Jesus crucified without asking the Chief Priests and the people.
Maybe as he looked at Jesus, his perspective of him changed, and he realised he was innocent. I don’t think so. The fate of Jesus was already sealed.
Yet, his decision to hand Jesus to be crucified was a farce.
He played the crowd just as the chief priest did. Now the decision to crucify Jesus rested on the lives of those who shouted, “Crucified Him.” Therefore, he became the benevolent Pilate.
So, that is what he did. He handed Jesus to be crucified, released Barrabas and had Jesus flogged.
Have you ever watched the film The Passion? That film, for me, was a revelation, especially when Jesus was scorched. It was so brutal that I began to cry, and I just wanted the film to fast forward to the resurrection.

But there is no resurrection before death.

There is another crowd that is missing. Maybe, they are within them, but we don’t know. These are Jesus’ disciples and followers. I am sure they did not join in with the shouts of crucifixion, but maybe they were afraid to be recognised as Jesus’ followers.
I often wonder what my reaction would be. Would I have been like Peter and then denied him? Would it be that I ran the night before as the other disciples did? Or would I have watched silently, in disbelief that this was happening to Jesus?
I would have been watching him and be paralysed with fear. This was indeed the dark hour for Jesus and a low point for humanity.

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