I have power to crucify you ...

“Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him. So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered [him], “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” ... They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” -John 19:9-11,15 NRSV

The trials are over and two courts have spoken. The Jews render a guilty verdict. Pilate finds no guilt in Jesus. He does not want to execute the man before him and tries to talk with him. In the end Pilate washes his hands of the matter and submits Christ to the court of public opinion. The verdict is rendered. Crucify him. Crucify him. Hate wins the day.

In the end it seems that Pilate's words were empty. He had no power. He was a pawn played by religious leaders and the power of public opinion. The greater sin was committed by them and not Pilate. Yet, even in such darkness, God was working. His power was on display. Love was overcoming hate. And the power of good turning evil inside out.

Help me Lord to see the power of good working in my life. Teach me to see love winning the day.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

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