“He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him” (John 1:11). This succinct statement summarizes Jesus’s ministry here on earth. He comes to the people of Israel, but for the most part, Israel rejects Him. No matter what Jesus does, the Jewish leaders are intent on doing away with Him. For example, in John 11 Jesus raises a man from the dead! Let me say that again. He raises a man from the dead!! Not only do the Jewish leaders want to kill Jesus for this but they also want to kill Lazarus to cover up the whole incident (John 12:9-11).

In John 19, Pilate tries multiple times to release Jesus because he can find no guilt in Him. No matter what Pilate does, the Jewish leaders are intent on seeing Jesus crucified. They cry out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (John 19:6). They even resort to threatening Pilate with treason against Caesar. They say, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar” (John 19:12). If you read between the lines, they are threatening that if Pilate doesn’t crucify Jesus, he is no “friend of Caesar.” One last time Pilate presents Jesus to the Jews and they cry, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” (John 19:15).

Jesus threatened the Jewish leaders’ power, influence, and authority over the people so much so that they would rather release Barabbas, a robber and insurrectionist, than free an innocent man. Jesus is crucified because of jealousy, hatred, and hardened hearts. We should always remember that these are the attitudes that ultimately killed Jesus. When we allow our hearts to harden, are jealous of another’s success, or harbor hatred towards others, we are exhibiting the same attitudes that crucified the Savior.

Today, I will…I will search my heart and free myself of jealousy and hatred.