Billy Graham said Christians can learn a lesson from Pontius Pilate who caved to political pressure and turned Jesus over to the soldiers to be crucified, even though he believed Christ to be innocent, according to a recent article in the Christian Post. Graham, 97 and living in North Carolina, analyzed the reasons for the Roman leader making one of the biggest mistakes in all of history. The evangelist said that the only logical answer for Pilate making such a blunder was that he was a “morally weak person, and instead of standing for the truth, he was concerned about only himself and his future.”
Pilate’s decision of course led to the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross and his subsequent resurrection, which is the reason Easter is celebrated. But Pilate was so obsessed with his ambition to rise higher in the Roman political hierarchy, that he was willing to condemn an innocent to not only severe torture, but also physical death. Graham referred to John 19:12 “where Jesus’ opponents threatened Pilate that if he let Him go, he would be going against Caesar. The legendary evangelist further said, “Pilate will forever stand as a warning against giving in to the pressure of the crowd and turning our backs on Jesus. And that can happen far more easily than most of us realize.” But it wasn’t only the famed evangelist who mentioned this danger people face. Jesus warned in Matthew 7:13, “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”
Pilate was of course taking the short view. He saw only the possibility of climbing to higher political office rather than his eternal destiny at stake here. In the year of a presidential election in the United States which may forever alter the course of human history, one can look at the multitude of candidates who either have made or still are making a run at the highest office in the land. There must be an extreme temptation for them to think being elected the most powerful person in America is the most important thing they can achieve in their lives. However, Graham makes a good point when he says people shouldn’t make the same mistake Pilate made. As a famous Bible verse says, “What profiteth it a man if he gains the world but loses his soul?”
The glories and conquests of this present world are very temporary and not that fulfilling over the long haul. Four years in the White House is a very small percentage of a person’s life when compared to eternity.
Graham further said, “Whose way are you following: the way of the crowds and of Pilate, or the way of Christ? Don’t end up on the wrong road, but by faith commit your life to Jesus Christ today.”