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The dilemma of Pontius Pilate or why you need to go to the elections

The dilemma of Pontius Pilate or why you need to go to the elections

It is difficult to find a person who does not know the name of Pontius Pilate, the person who sentenced Christ to be crucified. But when you read this story, Pilate doesn’t look like a “bad guy” at all! He does not look like a bloodthirsty executioner obsessed with the desire to kill Christ. On the contrary, he talks with interest with the prisoner, sympathizes with him and even shows good feelings for him. “I can’t find guilt in this man,” Pilate tells the priests, trying to get the suspect acquitted, but the case “could not be completely closed” at once. Clergy, that is, prominent members of the public, insist on punishing Jesus, and their discontent can lead to political tension. And Pilate, as a ruler, bears the main responsibility for stability and civil peace in his province before the Roman emperor, and how can he risk this for the sake of an itinerant preacher?

The prefect finds a “solution” in shifting responsibility to another, does not make independent decisions and brings the issue to a “plebiscite”. Calls for the “general public” to find the right solution.

Jesus or Barabbas? – asks Pilate.

Barabbas, Barabbas – he hears in response.

What is left for Pilate to do? Deep down, he sympathizes with Jesus, but one person cannot change the world! And so, although he is reluctant, but still fulfills the “social order”, he frees Barabbas and sacrifices Jesus! He even washes his hands, emphasizing that he tried his best, but could not do anything!

Of course, Pilate, if he wanted, could do more, he could free any prisoner, including Jesus, but he did not want to spoil his relationship with anyone, and Jesus himself did not at all want Pilate to leave his “Comfort zone”. Therefore, he considered the best solution to be indifference to the life of the prisoner and shifting responsibility to others.

So Pilate washed his hands! Nevertheless, history has preserved his name as the main culprit of the doomsday. No one remembers the names of the people who insisted on punishing Jesus, and no one knows for sure who voted for Barabbas. The names of the high priests are also not known to the general public. Only Pilate is known, known to mankind as the man who crucified Christ! It turned out that indifference and “washing hands” made his name synonymous with the bloody executioner, and he himself took on the very burden he was trying to avoid!

Like much else in the Bible, Pilate is not just a character, but a symbol, and his dilemma is part of human existence. “Washing your hands” is an action that people and society throughout history have taken from time to time to avoid responsibility. In this context, I wonder why it was decided to execute Jesus at the “plebiscite”, because he had so many followers and admirers? Where were these people when the voting took place? Why didn’t they support the release of the desired candidate? Nowhere in the biblical stories do they say that people who were active followers of Christ dared to participate in the plebiscite, that they did everything to save the Teacher, but were defeated only as a result of a stubborn struggle! Apparently, none of this happened, the meeting at which the fate of the Savior was decided was attended by far fewer people than were on the “lists of his followers”. Apparently some of them could not come for objective reasons, and some simply did not bother! Some, perhaps, did not want to be seen how they support Christ, did not want to spoil relationships with friends, neighbors, or bosses. Some may not have liked the weather that day or were too lazy to travel the long way. Perhaps many were too lazy to get up from the table, but these certainly did not forget to raise a toast to “all the suffering” and sincerely asked the Lord Jesus to save them! Some might even find the vote pointless because they were sure it was still decided! But, as we know, the verdict has not yet been pronounced, and public activity could indeed have prompted Pilate to release Jesus. In the end, what happened happened – a significant part of the supporters “washed their hands”, did not go to the meeting, leaving the decision to someone else! With this indifference, they killed the Savior, whom, as it turned out, they loved until this love required them to leave their comfort zone.

Now, let’s move from the Bible stories to the present day. How many times has our country found itself in a situation where indifference inevitably led to crucifixion. But the Motherland is “like the Lord, alone on Earth”! She also requires love, and this love is sometimes incompatible with our “comfort zone”! Here we are faced with a kind of “Pilate’s dilemma”: to act in accordance with our principles, inner convictions, values ​​and responsibilities, or to act so as not to offend anyone, “wash our hands” and then adapt to the situation ?! In our history, there was one thing and another. We remember examples of heroism and love that saved the country more than once! And today we and only we decide how our country will develop and what our future will be. The source of state power in Georgia is the people (Constitution of Georgia; article 3), and only elections are a way to quench one’s thirst from this source. About a century ago, Ilia Chavchavadze wrote: “Know that great sin and great grace accompany choice, and before moving your hand to vote, ask your honor, your conscience, your heart, your intellect several times – who is worthy and who is not , regardless of whether it is great or who is small … No need to be afraid and doubt! Just remember that this is a matter of your honor and your conscience. Remember God, and in the name of God and the righteous do not do what your conscience and heart oppose. “

One couldn’t say this better! In a couple of weeks there will be elections in Georgia, and it depends only on us who we will entrust our country and our future to! Let me remind you that in conditions of an almost zero threshold, both a person who is ready to fight for this country and who is looking only for his own well-being, as a servant of the Fatherland and a Pharisee, a hero who does not spare himself in a critical situation, and who prefers to surrender in a critical situation, can get into parliament. situations.

I will end with the famous words of Edmund Burke: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Indeed, our inaction almost always opens the way to what we dislike and to which we internally resist. Therefore, do not show indifference on October 31, do not pass on the decisions of your future to others, do not “wash your hands” and go to the elections!


Tengiz Pkhaladze, Associate Professor, Head of the GIPA Bachelor’s Program in Political Science