October 24

Text: Matthew 27:26

Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified.  (NASB)

A person can run from accountability, but accountability always catches him/her.  That race is a “no contest” race.  If the person is truly accountable, the person’s responsibility soon becomes evident.  No matter what form the person’s disclaimer takes, the person’s involvement is obvious.

Pilate could wash his hands.  He could say he was innocent of Jesus’ death.  He could say the multitude was responsible for what happened.  He could listen to them eagerly accept full responsibility.  Yet, Pilate’s responsibility in Jesus’ death was in plain sight.

How was that responsibility in plain sight?  Pilate had to release Barabbas.  Permission to scourge Jesus began with Pilate’s approval.  Crucifixion began with Pilate’s authorization.  It was not the multitude that authorized those things, but Pilate.  Nothing could legally proceed in Jesus’ crucifixion without Pilate’s consent.  The willingness of the multitude did not negate Pilate’s involvement.

There are two prevalent problems in accountability.  Those involved in the lives of “the accountable” see both problems frequently.  First, there are people who refuse to accept responsibility when their responsibility is obvious.  They play the blame game with expertise.  Nothing is ever “my fault.”  No matter what the situation is, it is always “their fault.”  In every bad circumstance, those people could make no decision, exercise no choice. No matter what occurs, these people declare they were “programmed” to do what they did.  They did not do it—those who “programmed” them did it.

Second, there are those who are driven to accept responsibility for bad consequences they did not cause.  No matter what happened, it was “my fault.”  These people grasp blame like Velcro.  No amount of reasoning convinces them that their choices or acts were not responsible for others’ choices and resulting behavior.  Such people feel they must accept responsibility that is not theirs.

Suggestion for reflection: Is your sense of accountability healthy?  (Read Exodus 10:28, 29; 12:29-36.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell