Now it was the governor's [Pilate] custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.
Sometimes, we forget that we are often in Pilate's shoes. We have the power to release and pardon a prisoner. The prisoner could be a person we have be holding captive through unforgiveness or something we need to release to the Lord. Just before Passover in 2015, I released my finances to the Lord and he told me a few days later to release a person through forgiveness. During this current season of Passover and Unleavened Bread, I thought of someone who offended me a while back. I reached out to this person and we talked the other night. There are three important reasons for forgiveness. 1. Jesus said we won't be forgiven by the father unless we first forgive those who have sinned against us (Mark 11:25). 2. Our tithes and gifts, which can include service, will be deemed unacceptable unless we forgive and are forgiven. 3. Jesus said we would be handed over to the torturers (demons) if we harbor any unforgiveness (until we pay back G-d for all of our sins, which is impossible (Matthew 18:34-35).
The Bible says in several places that G-d has given us the ability to forgive and that unforgiveness is a right that belongs only to G-d (Genesis 50:19). That means that unforgiveness is a type of blasphemy in which we exercise our will against G-d's.
Forgiveness is not easy and only comes by the grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. However, it is a gift that needs to be exercised in order to grow in ability. The person I forgave this current season offended me in a minor way compared to others who have wronged me. So I started out by forgiving a minor offense until I can exercise this gift in a greater capacity. I pray that you will release some of your own prisoners this current Passover season. Don't let the crowd choose. Let G-d choose whom you need to forgive.