Taking a Stand
Briefing: Have you ever heard the saying, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”? As Christians, we have to take this a step further. We are not only called to take a stand but to take a stand for our belief in Jesus Christ.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 19:1-16.
On the Street: When I was in third grade, we had to go to music class once a week. My third grade class had about thirty kids and none of us liked music class. I have a memory of that class burned into my conscious that has helped to shape my life.
One rainy, winter day, the boys and I were cutting up and horsing around in this music class. Our chairs were arranged in a big circle and we were all sitting facing the center. The teacher was trying very hard to maintain some order but she was losing the battle. I remember coming to a realization that we, all of the boys in the class, were deliberately disobeying her and getting louder and more out of control the more she tried to gain control. I was immediately convicted of being part of the problem and got quiet, scared of her wrath. All of a sudden, she yelled at the top of her lungs. She called the names of the ones of us who were being disruptive and told us to stand up. As my name came out of her mouth, I stood up. When she finished calling the names, I realized I was the only person standing. The other boys were refusing to submit to her authority. Embarrassed, I sat back down.
She went and got the principal and the rest is a memory of a painful encounter I had with his paddle. After school, the music teacher found me and asked me why I sat back down after standing up. She went on to tell me that I may have been acting up in class but when I was told to stand up and did so, against the actions of my classmates, she was proud of me. Right up to the point when I gave in to the pressure of those who chose to disobey. Then she only felt disappointment. She taught me the importance of standing up for what is right even if it hurts or is uncomfortable. It’s funny how God uses silly little moments like that to shape us.
Pilate is faced with taking a stand for truth. Even though he did not believe Jesus was guilty of a crime, Pilate violates the law by having Him beaten and flogged just to appease the crowd. In verse four, Pilate tells the Jews for the fourth time (18:31, 18:38, 19:4, 19:6) he does not want anything to do with punishing Jesus. Eventually Pilate gives in to their demands and sentences Jesus to be crucified.
Pilate had an opportunity to make a stand but like me, in third grade, he gave in to the disruptive, disobedient crowd. The question is how committed are you? What is your breaking point when it comes to taking a stand? With man this is impossible but with God, all things are possible.
Investigational Resources: The other gospel accounts of this can be found in Matthew 27:27 and Mark 15:16-20. Pilate was not the only one who did not stand up for Jesus; read John 18:25-27 again.
Officer Safety Principle: Commit yourself to stand up for the truth of Jesus Christ, no matter the cost.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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