Blinded By Hate

But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.”” (Matthew 27:20–21, NASB95)

“Hatred is blind, rage carries you away and he who pours out vengeance runs the risk of a bitter draught.” Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

Many people say that love is blind, and while this saying may be true, hatred can be just as blind. We watch people say and do very foolish things as a result of love and hate, only to live to regret their decisions. Imagine a hatred so great that you become blind to your very actions, decisions, and outcomes. Families, people, and countries have been devastated by the blindness of hatred. We are witnesses of such acts of hatred even to this day in the case of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This kind of hatred is not new; Jesus personally experienced blind hatred at His trial before Pilate. It was the custom of the Roman Governor of Judah to release a prisoner at Passover as a show of benevolence towards the occupied people of Israel. Having been warned by his wife, Pilate thought he could offer up Jesus to be released and avoid a bad decision. Because Pilate recognized the rage of the religious leaders, Pilate created a condition where Pilate would offer to the people a choice between a wretched criminal named Barabbas and the righteous religious leader who had cured so many people named Jesus. Pilate would be able to avoid killing an innocent man and keep a clean conscience. Doing this would be like offering a choice of clemency between an axe murderer and a priest.

Yet, the religious elite so hated Jesus that they turned the hearts of the crowd from celebrating Jesus to yelling “Crucify Him!” Why would a rational person choose a criminal over a righteous man? Because they were spiritually blind people being led by leaders who were blinded by hatred. They refused common sense in order to maintain hate.

We all can fall into a trap like this when we choose hate over love, seek our own agenda, and hate anyone who threatens our ideology. The end result of hatred is destruction for yourself and others around you. The one who lives in hatred is a blind fool who has set the trajectory of their life to be destined for destruction. When you find yourself “hating,” stop and ask yourself why? Perhaps your hatred has created spiritual blindness keeping you from seeing Jesus.

“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.”
(Proverbs 10:12, NASB95)

Pastor Cary



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