Webster defines demonizing as turning others into demons—either individuals or groups. To justify the extermination of Jews, Hitler first demonized them as unworthy to live. Athletic teams often demonize each other as they prepare to meet and compete. Politicians and ethnic groups also do it. That way, they can say people deserve the treatment they get. That is what happened to our Lord. The religious leaders hated Jesus so badly that they used false witnesses to accuse Him of planning a coupe. After they demonized Him, they took Him to Pilate and falsely accused Him there. Pilate found Him innocent, but to pacify the religious leaders and preserve his own position, he let soldiers abuse Jesus. We read in John Chapter 19 that the soldiers flogged our Lord with a lead-tipped whip. They wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They put a purple robe on Him and mocked Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Pilate then took Him outside. Battered, bruised, and humiliated, Jesus stood there as Pilate said, “Look, here’s the man!” Pilate and the religious leaders demonized our Lord, which led to His unjust trial and crucifixion, showing how demonizing can lead to wicked outcomes. Jesus also warns us that demonizing others can backfire. He said (Matthew 7:2), “The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”
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