As I read Luke 23 this morning I had lots of thoughts running through my head. Thoughts of anger, sadness and disbelief, to name a few. It was hard to read about the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus. After I stopped thinking about Jesus' death, I started thinking about the acts of the people - the leaders, the citizens, and the friends of Jesus - leading up to that event that changed history forever.
I could have titled this post "Leadership - The Good, the Bad and The Ugly", but I'm not sure I saw any good leadership here. I ask myself, why today, when I read this passage, am I stuck on leadership? Perhaps it is the time in my life. Perhaps it is because I've been watching too much of the "blame game" with the Hurricane Katrina coverage. Whatever the reason, this is proof that the Bible is alive and speaks to each of us differently each time we read it.
On to my point about the bad and ugly leadership displayed in this chapter. First of all, no one wanted to make a decision. Pilate didn't want to condemn Jesus to death but didn't want to make the decision so he passed Jesus off like a hot potato to Herod, who agreed with Pilate, but passed Jesus back to Pilate. Why then, if the leadership of the day didn't believe Jesus should be condemned to death, did they let Him die? (I realize that they were "victims" of prophecy, but that is not the point I'm making here).
I almost think from reading the passage that Pilate might have released Jesus had it not been for the peer pressure of the crowd. I haven't studied the judicial procedures of biblical times, so maybe Pilate did need the "popular vote" to release Jesus. However, I think the key principle stands clear: Large emotional groups that do not have all of the facts should not be forcing their leaders to change their well thought out decisions that were made with all of the facts.