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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Winston Churchill once observed, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.  Roman governor Pilate is facing a group of fanatics in Mark 15:1 l ff. A crowd, stirred up and spurred on by the chief priests, is demanding, against all evidence and reason, that Jesus be crucified. The gospel accounts all reveal that Pilate, the highest Roman legal authority in Judea, is doing his best to convince them they are rushing to judgement and there is no logical or legal reason to put Jesus to death. But the crowd now assembled before Pilate is in no mood to change their minds or the subject. A mob mentality has taken over. As Pilate pleads for Jesus' life, he is discovering that it is next to impossible for truth to squeeze itself into heads already filled with prejudice. As the crowd chants, "Crucify Him," Pilate makes one last ditch effort to pierce through the prejudice that has closed their minds as he asked, "Why, what evil has He done?" In response, Mark records "they cried out more exceedingly, `Crucify Him' " (Mark 15:14) Against all truth, reason, evidence, and the appeal of the highest legal authority in the land, a crowd of closed-minded people demanded the crucifixion of the Son of God.

Pilate's question continues to confront all who oppose Jesus and refuse to obey Him as the Master of men: "What evil has He done?" Why do so many in the world cry either verbally or through the way they live, "Away with Him" (John 19:15)? Will skeptics and critics say it is evil that Jesus and His gospel have transformed the lives of millions of people for over 20 centuries? Will they say it is harmful and evil that He inspires hope, forgiveness, kindness, love, and self-sacrifice among human beings? I understand that some who claim to be from Christ have been violent and done evil and harm in every age. But as we look at Jesus Himself friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all, standing condemned in Pilate's judgement hall, the question asked by the pagan ruler Pilate must not be lightly or flippantly dismissed: "Why, what evil has He done?" Will those who refuse and reject Jesus deny that His Word, when obeyed from the heart, continues to lift people out of lives of animosity and alienation and addiction? Will they accuse that Jesus causes people to hate, rob, cheat, steal and kill? Will they dare deny that Jesus and His gospel, when lovingly embraced and obeyed, continue to make better men and women, husbands and wives, citizens and soldiers and statesmen in short better societies and a better world? Before you park your brain and join that closed-minded crowd that rejects the Christ, answer this question: Why, what evil has He done?

Dan Gulley
Smithville chuch of Christ