Pilate […] went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all. But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber (John 18:38-40).
In these scriptures, we see a Gentile ruler, Pontius Pilate, finding no fault in Jesus but the High Priest, Caiaphas, and the chief priests in Jerusalem insisting on a guilty verdict contrary to the truth. This problem did not start at that moment but was a continuing refrain from their beginning. They were ruled by God from their birth as a nation but wanted an earthly king like all the nations around them. From their birth, they had rebelled against God’s rule over them, and when their King, Jesus, came into the world, they acted out what was in their heart from the start.
In the above scriptural narrative, we find that when Pilate sought to release Christ, they cried out saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar” (John 19:12). These religious leaders rejected Christ for Caesar and Barabbas! They blasphemously rejected their Messiah for a very cruel monarch, Caesar! They identified with a murderer and a cruel emperor rather than choose their God and King. Today many church leaders are currying the favor of their secular leaders rather than choosing to suffer with Christ, which in effect, is a satanic effort to get rid of Jesus in our generation. We must choose not to follow this pattern. Christian leaders around the world are repeating the error of Caiaphas who said to Pilate, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15). Many present leaders by their actions are saying, “We will not have this Man rule over us.” Knowingly or unknowingly, they are attempting to get rid of Jesus.
Let us choose to follow Jesus in every situation and over every choice of man. Regardless of the cost, let us never by actions or words say, “Not this Man.”