I love democracy, as you probably do. It gives the people a voice of their own. It doesn’t matter if that people is a group of well-fed politicians mouthing inscrutable views on the magnificent floors of some parliament building, or a hysterical mob shouting ‘Crucify him!’ on some dusty city street: democracy is a beautiful thing. It’s about us having our say, specifying our wishes, willfully charting the course of our own lives. It’s about us exercising power and determining our present and our future.
Thank God the Romans of old had a form of democracy. And thank God that Pilate, powerful though he was, had enough respect for it to make him step aside even for the wishes of a conquered people. And as the tutored mob resolutely yelled ‘Away with him! Crucify him!’ Pilate washed his hands, for the powerful voice that democracy gives had grown too strong for the heart that judges it.
‘Crucify him!’ they hollered, and the Father sat assenting who could have nodded out an angelic legion to the rescue of His most beloved. The hosts of Heaven watched in utter consternation as the One through whom all things were made suffered humiliation in the hands of common thugs and rabble. But it was their time. Democracy was here, so their kind could spit upon the Prince of Peace, slap the King of Kings, and scourge the Son of God. Jesus was handed over to the irate mob, for the voice of the people had become the voice of God!
And here now we peer into this hazy maze of reality where it seems the total combination of our individual self-assertions only amount to incremental contributions to Divine Purpose. Didn’t you see now your boastful strutting Assyrian fizzle out into a mere dangling whip in the hands of the Great Manifest Unseen? And where did they go, those Amorites who needed to fill up their cup of sin so the Isrealites could flood out of Egyptian captivity and wash them off their desecrated ancestral lands? And we dare not laugh at Herod and Pilate and the Jews of their time who just now turned out to be self-willed pawns in the hands of the Great Orchestrator upon whom they had so laughably gathered in judgment. ‘Crucify him!’ we still hear some yell, his chief offense being that he had claimed to be who, ironically, he indeed was: the Son of God.
Thank God the voice of the people here matched the voice of God. Thank God they spat on Him, whipped Him and thrust the sharp point of a spear into His innocent side. Thank God He bled so! How else could the righteous life-blood required for our redemption be obtained? And thank God He died and rose again, and that victory was won for all time over sin and death! Thank God indeed!