Pilate was the most powerful man in Israel in the days of Jesus, but he was strangely helpless when it came to letting Jesus go free. “I find no guilt in this man” (Luke 23:4) and “nothing deserving of death has been done by him” (verse 15) and “I will release him” (verses 16,22) all show Pilate’s intentions. It is strange therefore how Pilate gives in. Pilate, the most powerful man in Jerusalem, was indifferent to truth and justice and gave in to the demands that Jesus should be crucified; the biased and jealous Jews got their way.

Like the voices of the prejudiced religious leaders of that age, so today we have the insistent voices of the atheistic and agnostic intellectual leaders – who are getting louder! The majority argue that evolution is true and that there is no God. They are no better that the Jewish leaders in the time of Jesus who blindfolded their minds to the heavenly power. A proper assessment of the evidence leads the intelligent mind to a certainty that Jesus rose from the dead and is the coming king.

Just as the resurrection of Jesus astonished the Jewish leaders, so the return of Jesus will astonish the world. Is there a danger that some who read this are being held captive by the spirit that surrounds them, as Pilate was? We cannot be like Pilate was deciding the case before him, we are deciding our own case. And there is a case to be made against us – but we have a Saviour and an advocate who is there to support us. The support available is wonderful. John wrote inviting us to “reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, he knows everything” (1 John 3:19,20). So as we “judge” ourselves and develop our relationship with our Lord Jesus, may we be ready for his coming.