Reading in Luke 23:13-31, both Pilate and Herod wanted to release Jesus because they found no basis for charges against Him. Pilate wanted to punish Jesus and then release Him (v. 17). But the crowd wanted Pilate to release Barabbas who was in prison for insurrection and murder.
Repeatedly stressed in this passage is the innocence of Jesus but the mob hysteria convinced Pilate to crucify Jesus. Pilate did what was politically correct in that day and time. In order to keep his job as a politician, he took the easy way out by doing what the people wanted.
Unfortunately, politicians today base their decisions on similar thinking; popular opinion and demands from certain groups rather than what is right. Rather than focusing in on the law and common sense, what rules the day is what they think will get them elected.
Because of popular opinion, Pilate gave in and sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. He went through agony on the Mount of Olives; an all-night trial, chastisement, and then hung on a cross until death. He carried out the purpose for which He was sent to earth; to die for the sins of mankind.
Even under great stress and agony, Jesus had the composure to put His total attention on the mission and even gave a teaching moment as He was being led through the streets to His execution (v. 27-31). He told the mourning women not to weep for Him, but for themselves. He knew that in only about forty years, Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed by the Romans.
Lord, this day help us to focus on Your presence, You are not distant but near so help us put our total attention on the mission You have for us. Your physical body was crucified and many mourned but Your Spirit is alive today in our hearts. The lessons You taught while on earth never change. We are thankful for the chance to internalize Your guiding principles as we learn them together on the Internet. These guiding principles will push us to focus on You in every activity throughout this day. Amen!