19:13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”


It's clear Pilate is stalling. He seems to he hoping that time may work in his favour, that the fury or the crowd will subside and reason will return. Sometimes that happens. It's noon now. This ordeal has been going on at the Praetorium for about six hours now. Most of that six hours has seen Pilate going in and out, trying to figure out a way to extract himself from this ordeal without costing himself any political points. Now fully convinced that Jesus is innocent, is no ordinary man, and needs to be set free he waits. Again he presents Jesus as their King, a curious move at this point. The crowd only has two optional responses to such a claim. They either must accept Him as king or see this through for treason and insurrection.

What would Pilate have done had they embraced Him as their King? Political suicide to be sure. Was he hoping by calling Him their king that they would think twice before killing Him?

They don't. Their furor grows until they blurt out something that I'm sure even they couldn't believe they said. "We have no king but Caesar!"

Really?!?!

That would be like Moses saying he had no king but Pharaoh and Daniel saying he had no king but Nebuchadnezzar. These are the supposed children of Abraham. These are the ones who claim to be waiting for the Messiah, the successor to David who will reign over them in glory. Now they have no king but pagan Caesar?!!!

Lesson:
Once any person commits to a path contrary to their conscience even that person will be shocked at where that road ends. How many people have said "I never thought I'd ever _______".

Yesterday as the news alert came to my phone that a young mother in her 20's with a 3 year old in the car with her, apparently drunk or high or both, drove down the sidewalk of the Las Vegas Strip hitting at least 37 pedestrians and killing one my mind began to spin. Faces flashed through it of young women I know who I pray never end up in such a scenario. That young woman was 3 years old once too. She may have been the daughter of drug dealers or of a preacher. Her story will likely come out. Either way even she no matter her roots would never have guessed she'd be driving over pedestrians one day with her own little girl in the back seat.

No one dreams of such epic collapse. No one plans to fail so miserably. Journeys like these begin with one denial of conscience followed by another and yet another.

Jesus is the Light that lights every human being that has ever come into the world. To every mind He whispers "This is the Way. Go this Way."

Pilate didn't know much about religion but he knew Jesus was a King. The Jews knew it too. The problem was they had all committed long before this moment to a path away from His Voice. A path of selfishness. A path of getting. A path of living for the moment. A path of increasing darkness. A path so utterly devastating that's it's final end is shocking even for the one who blazed the trail.

The song says "I did it my way."
I want my headstone to read "He did life His way."

The question is "Are the choices I am making today creating a path toward Him or away from Him?"
God is love and love is freedom - Freedom to choose.