Lenten Devotion: Pilate’s First Appearance

…There were some present at that very time who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices (Luke 13:1).

Read Luke 13:1-5

Today we catch our first glimpse of Pontius Pilate, the Roman military governor. Jesus is making His way toward Jerusalem when He gets word of a recent tragic event in Jerusalem. While some of Jesus’ fellow Galileans were offering sacrifices in the temple courts, Pilate’s soldiers rushed in and killed them. This event is not recorded by any other Gospel writer or ancient historian and Luke doesn’t explain Pilate’s reasons, he is more interested in Jesus’ reaction.

“Do you think that these Galileans where worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered in this way?” That’s how people thought in that day, and it’s a conclusion we sometimes are too quick to jump to in our day too. If someone suffers something horrendous such as a tragic accident or an illness, then God must be punishing them for some secret sin. Jesus warns us not to judge by outward appearances.

In a short time another Galilean will be killed at the hands of Pontius Pilate. People will look at Jesus hanging on the cross and reach the false conclusion that God is punishing Him for falsely claiming to be His Son. But in truth, Jesus is God’s perfect Son. He will hang on the cross and endure punishment for the sins of all people for all time. This He will do so that God may give complete forgiveness to all who repent and believe.

Jesus continues, “No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” All people are sinners. Only those who repent and trust in Jesus’ sacrifice in their place will find salvation and eternal life.

THE PRAYER: Almighty God, teach me not to judge how You feel about me or anyone else by mere appearances and circumstances. Let me instead live by faith in Jesus Christ my Lord. I pray in His Name. Amen.

*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.

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