August 19, 2021

More Afraid

John 19:1-16

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid. . . .

—  John 19:8

Pilate was in a no-win situation. On the one hand, he had an angry mob outside his door demanding the execution of an innocent man. On the other hand, this man seemed to stand in opposition to the ruling government, and Pilate couldn’t have that news get back to Rome. This does not let Pilate off the hook for his decision, though.

Whether Pilate’s fear stemmed from the unruly mob, the Roman authorities, or the con­sequences of killing an innocent man, we can’t be sure. In the end all we know is that Pilate was afraid and acted out of fear.

Fear can cause all of us to make bad decisions. And while the decisions we make out of fear don’t have the same consequences that Pilate’s decision did, they are still serious. At times they can even have dire consequences for us, for our family members, and for our community.

We don’t have to make decisions that way. Fear doesn’t need to be and should not be the driving force behind any decisions we make.

In Christ we have been set free from all sorts of things, including fear. As free children of God, we don’t live in fear anymore.

Holy God, you have set us free. Help us to live lives and make decisions that reflect freedom and not fear. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is Director of Faith Formation at First Church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, emerging adult, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, disc golfing, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

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