17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’”
22 Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.”
When you cave in and do what the crowd demands, they will demand more and more until you either finally resist, or they have ripped all that they can from you and move on to someone else. Pilate, having given into peer pressure, finally pushed back against the crowd. Pitifully, it was over something petty. It seems like he did not have a spine until verse 22. However, even in this tension, God was at work.
In Matthew and Mark’s gospels, this inscription above Jesus is clarified as a charge, or accusation. Matthew 27:37 reads, “Above his head they put up the charge against him in writing: This Is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Mark 15:26 reads, “The inscription of the charge written against him was: The King of the Jews.” That it was written in Aramaic shows that Jesus’ testimony was clear to the Jews. That it was written in Latin and Greek showed that it was professed before the Gentiles.
In our Seattle culture, it can be daunting to “come out” as a Christian. The crowd is big, they are influencing our young people heavily, and they move with brutal, militant force to shame and silence any voice of dissent. Christians who just hold to the Bible as it was written are shamed, even by fellow professing believers, as “homophobic” for example. This is obviously unfair, but it is certainly not new to Christianity.
How does God feel about your willingness to represent Him even if you stand alone? List people whom you admire for defying the crowd for righteous reasons.
Pray: Pray that the young people in your life would crave heaven’s applause over the world’s.