Rule of Law or Mob Rule?

“And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.” (Luke 23:23)

The Jewish clergy convicted Jesus of blasphemy, sentenced Him to death, then took Him to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate: “And the whole multitude of them arose, and let him unto Pilate.” (Luke 23:1) Where did this angry multitude come from? Matthew 27:20 explains: “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.” Somehow the Jewish clergy recruited a large group of people into a hostile frenzy demanding Jesus’ death.

Their accusation was, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king.” (Luke 23:2) Aside from the fact that the original charge had been blasphemy and not sedition, the accusation was a barefaced lie. Jesus had said to obey the human government in its proper authority: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” (Mark 12:17)

Pilate interviewed Jesus briefly, then concluded, “I find no fault in this man.” (Luke 23:4) That wasn’t what they wanted to hear. They persisted. Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, who also acquitted Him and sent Him back. Pilate declared to the people, “Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.” (Luke 23:14-15) After two acquittals, the rule of law should have prevailed.

Yet the crowd persisted, yelling, “Crucify him, crucify him.” ( Luke 23:21) Matthew 27:24 says, “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult [an uproar] was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” In the end, “…the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.” (Luke 23:23)

Here was a loud, angry crowd making a demand. They didn’t care about the rule of law. They cared about getting what they wanted. This is the story of Jesus’ death, but it’s also a story of the rule of law replaced by mob rule.

You hear from demonstrators who loudly demand the defunding of police departments, but you aren’t likely to hear from decent people who live in tough areas, who live daily with the fear of violent crime. They may stay silent because they don’t want a visit from the local criminals. Yet they want, need, and support police. See how many 9-1-1 calls come from high-crime areas for burglary, robbery, drugs, gunfire, and other violence. The sheer call volume will tell you that these people need and want help from the police.

If you cripple police departments’ ability to handle crime, just because that’s what demonstrators want, who will help decent people in tough areas? The demonstrators? Don’t be like Pilate and abandon decent people, just because some loud voices demand it. And don’t try to plead ignorance. Don’t say you didn’t know about the plight of decent citizens, and you refuse to check the facts. God knows better: “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?” (Proverbs 24:11-12)

Ask the Lord to give you the grace to do what’s right, even when it’s tough. And remember the end of our story, that truth prevails: Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again to give us eternal life! He is alive! If you want to see how to be sure of a home in heaven by receiving Jesus as your personal Saviour, please go to

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Brian Miller 7/15/2020

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822