“Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was imminent.” Matthew 17:24
Last Tuesday, national news reported a riot on the campus of Iowa State University. It was VEISHA week–a spring celebration held to celebrate the different colleges within the university. Vehicles were turned over, lampposts uprooted (seriously injuring one student), and drunken bystanders tossed beer cans and rocks at policemen–all for an unknown reason! For all purposes, the folks were out enjoying great spring weather!
As a kid, I loved going to VEISHA–especially when I marched with the Nevada High School marching band in the festive parade. Unfortunately, for the thousands of students who participated in planning and preparing the 2014 celebration (and thousands who would gather to participate in the big event), authorities had no choice but to cancel the rest of the week of events. So far, only three people have been arrested. Who else is to blame?
In today’s lesson, Jesus is on trial. Pilate could tell his efforts to save Jesus from being killed were getting nowhere, and to avoid a riot, he took a basin of water and washed his hands of all responsibility. The crowd took over and said, “We’ll take the blame, we and our children after us.” (Vs. 25).
Dear God, help us evaluate when our behavior can be blamed for causing a riot–a good one or a bad one. Amen.