But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” Matthew 27:20-21
Almost a week ago the multitudes were singing the praises of Jesus honoring Him at a triumphal entry into Jerusalem where they spread their clothes and tree branches on the road He was traveling calling out, “Hosanna in the highest!” What a scene that must have been!
But, the multitudes can change their tune quickly with the right motivation and deception. What once was an honored Man was now made lower than a criminal. When asked by Pilate whom they would prefer to be released they chose Barabbas — a rebellious murderer — over the innocent Man in whom they had previously proclaimed as the Son of David. The plot of the envious chief priests and elders was a success. They were the ultimate masters in the art of persuasion. By stirring up the people with deceptive words their master, Satan, had taught them well.
Whether the multitudes are right or wrong, the crowd can be convincing and Satan will surely use this angle against us. There were few that pleaded for the release of Jesus but their cries could not be heard over the demanding crowd. How sad that their pleas could not save a righteous man. How sad was the flightiness and hypocrisy of this crowd. Yet, why would we expect anything less. Look at who they were listening to.
Most Holy Father, it’s scary to think how persuasive men can be even to the point of deceiving the multitudes to quickly reject what’s clearly right for what’s clearly wrong. Jesus was so deserving of the praises of a king and not at all deserving of death but the workings of Satan made sure His righteousness was temporarily overshadowed by his lies. Yet, the beauty of it all is that this perceived defeat was only a precursor to the greatest victory of all. Maybe the people were deceived but Your ultimate plan was for Jesus to overcome Satan by His resurrection. Thank you Father that He was raised for Your glory and my redemption. On this day I am made aware of the potential hypocrisy of the multitudes and remember the final triumph of Christ over the cries for His crucifixion. Amen.
Truth in love,