Today’s readings.. (1 Chronicles 13), (1 Chronicles 14), (EZEKIEL 26), (LUKE 23)
   Pilate was the most powerful man in Israel in the days of Jesus.    But he was strangely helpless in carrying out his own desire to let Jesus go free, though he said “I find no guilt in this man” [Luke 23 v.4] and “nothing deserving of death has been done by him” (v.15) “I will release him” [v.16 and again v.22]  After all these declarations, it is strange how Pilate gives in.  When we compare the different gospel records we get a clearer picture, one issue being that Jesus was claiming kingship.  Pilate queried him on this, but said Jesus, “My kingdom is not of this world (i.e. age)”
   So Pilate, the most powerful man in Jerusalem was indifferent to truth and justice and gave in to the demands that Jesus should be crucified; the biased and prejudiced jealous Jews got their way.  There is a parallel today in what happened.  Like the voices of the prejudiced religious leaders of that age, so today we have the insistent voices (and writings) of the atheistic and agnostic intellectual leaders – and they are getting louder!  
   The great majority argue that evolution is true, there is no God.  They are no better that the Jewish leaders in the time of Jesus who blindfolded their minds to the heavenly power of Jesus.    When you add all the real evidence together the intelligent spiritual mind becomes certain that Jesus is the coming king, that he did rise from the dead!
   Just as the resurrection of Jesus astonished the Jewish leaders – and those of them still alive died in the later destruction of Jerusalem, so the return of Jesus will astonish the world – and those who do not believe and are not ready for his coming will perish, but only after many have seen the folly of their beliefs. 
   Is there a danger that some who read this are being held captive by the spirit that surrounds them, as Pilate was?  But we can say, we are not judges like Pilate was deciding some case before us!
   O yes we are!  We are deciding our own case – and we know there is a case to be made out against us – but we have a Saviour and if we have a genuine relationship with him then we are sure of support from him.  The support available is even more wonderful than that, for the disciple John wrote inviting us to “reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, he knows everything.” [1 John 3 v19,20],  So as we “judge” ourselves and develop our relationship with our Lord Jesus, may we be ready for his coming.