(T)HE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ALWAYS HAS one enemy, and always it is the same enemy, the world ... What do we mean when we talk about "worldly" people? It isn't a very easy thing to explain or to define. But, roughly speaking, I think you can say worldly people are the people who either don't believe in a future life, or don't bother about a future life, and want to make this world as comfortable a place as possible for as many people as possible, always including themselves ... And of course all that was what Pontius Pilate stood for. He didn't care a bit about whether our Lord was the Son of God or not, about whether he broke the Sabbath or not, about whether he kept the law of Moses or not. He only wanted to keep the Jews reasonably contented, reasonably quiet; he didn't want crowds of people going round shouting out slogans like "Hosanna to the Son of David," or "Crucify him" - that kind of thing was bad for public safety, so it had got to be stopped. It wasn't Judas, you see, it wasn't Caiaphas, that crucified our Lord. If they had done it, there was an intelligible motive for doing it. Caiaphas and those others had at least the excuse of wounded professional pride, for wanting to put our Lord to death. Judas had a much more practical excuse - thirty pieces of silver. But Pilate didn't dislike our Lord at all; he was rather impressed by him, he was certainly convinced of his innocence. And yet it was Pilate who crucified him. It was the world of worldly people, with its dislike of a scene, its dislike of a fuss, its doctrine of "Live and let live" that put Jesus Christ to death.
- Ronald A. Knox