When Reason Ruptures

“Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,  and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him.  I will therefore punish and release him.’

“But they all cried out together, ‘Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas’—  a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder.  Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus,  but they kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’  A third time he said to them, ‘Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.’  But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted.  He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.” Luke 23:13-25

Pilate appeared authoritative and orderly in his initial dealings with Jesus. He seemed reasonable enough in his investigation, deducing his conclusion of not guilty from earnest inquiry. Even his wife warned him not to act against Jesus. But weak character turns resolve to mush when challenged by the mob. He could not stand against their hateful rancor and riotous pressure to condemn the innocent and free the offending. He pretended to wash his hands of guilt as he abdicated prudence and upended justice in his decision to yield to pressure from a rabid crowd. (Matthew 27:19,24; Luke 23:1-7)

When we want to please men more than God, reason ruptures and we lose our edge on wisdom. We allow fear and feelings to trump the right and true, and it never ends well. We may win temporary worldly attaboys, but that approval is fickle, short-lived, and meaningless when we must painfully bear our shame before our Savior. Thankfully, He receives the broken and contrite-hearted and redeems our failures. By His grace He restores right thinking. (Psalm 32:1-11; 51:1-2,17)

Are we prone to starting off right and then losing our sure footing? What pests or heat soften firm resolve to think and make decisions biblically and do the right thing? Perhaps we begin by clinging to God’s help, then loosen our grip and lean on our own understanding? Or has alluring worldly influence overridden what we know is pleasing to the Lord? Whom and what do we fear- being cancelled for taking a stand? Ridicule or teasing for a ‘narrow’ viewpoint or refusal to participate? Or standing before the righteous Lord Almighty? Where are we tuning out the truth and listening to the crowd? What riot of emotion are we allowing to hold sway over senses and reason? (Proverbs 3:5-6; James 3:16-17)

If we’ve failed to hold fast God’s standard,

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow
. (Isaiah 1:18; 1 John 1:9)

Lord, swallow my human reason in Your wisdom, that I may know and continue in all that is right and true.

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