Misguided Leadership

Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus reveals what happens when personal interests interfere with the practice of justice. Individuals in power may have more of a desire to maintain or enhance their position, rather than doing what is right or just, because it could conflict with their a desire to maintain or promote their position. It is rare to find a leader of people who will truly practice what is true and right, particularly when that practice will jeopardize their position of power, because the desire for self-preservation is so strong. Although Pilate found nothing in Jesus to convict him of anything, much less the death penalty, he went forward with the will of the religious leaders out of fear of their accusation that if he let Jesus go he was no friend of Caesar. Ironically the religious leaders claimed to have no king but Caesar and portrayed Pilate’s attempt to release Jesus as being against Caesar. However, within a generation, the religious leaders would lead a rebellion against Caesar leading to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Titus. Foolishly Pilate tried to preserve his political position and condemned Jesus. Within a few years Pilate was recalled to Rome and never reinstated as governor. The contrast between Jesus and Pilate is stark. Pilate condemned Jesus through an act of self-preservation, while Jesus sacrificed himself to do what was right and just. Pilate’s story is a tragic one, while Scripture declares that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord. The question remains for us is whose example will we follow?

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