Don’t trade God’s best for lesser things.
The chief priests were the power brokers of their day. They had spiritual authority over the Israelites and influence with the Romans who controlled the land. When Jesus became a threat, they negotiated with Judas to have Roman soldiers arrest Him.
The governor, Pilate, treated Jesus just as he would have any other Jewish prisoner—having Him flogged and brought before the crowd for a “trial.” Twice, Pilate noted that he could find no grounds for charging Jesus (John 19:4; John 19:6). Still, he gave in to the priests’ demands and ordered his troops to crucify an obviously innocent man.
The priests underscored their disgust with Jesus by promising fidelity to Caesar. In that moment, they violated the first and second commandments in order to accomplish their goals (Exodus 20:3-7). These men forgot their calling and pledged allegiance to the wrong king. But it is important to remember this: Rather than stand in judgment or declare them all irredeemable, Jesus headed to the cross to die for us—and for every person who condemned Him that day.