When Jesus was before Pilate, Pilate believed that Jesus was an innocent man. However, when faced with the decision to free Barabbas or to crucify him, he couldn't stand up for his beliefs. He was to afraid of causing trouble that he didn't say what needed to be said. That is a problem that plagues many of us today. So many times, we would rather be "non-confrontational" and let people do whatever they want without telling them what we think of their actions than stand up for what we believe in no matter what the cost. Sometimes, when others attack what we believe in, we join in that attack so that we may be like "the modern world" instead of defending our beliefs. We defend our actions with words like: "You have to flow with the times." "It's what everyone believes." "Who am I to say he's wrong." but deep down inside, we know what the truth is. We know that we are too concerned with wether or not people like us. We know that we are too afraid of being made fun of.
This doesn't mean that we should never change our beliefs. If what we belief is wrong, than by all means we should change them. What it means is that we shouldn't cover up our beliefs but that we should let them shine for all the world to see.
Peter also refused to stand up for his beliefs. When asked if he knew Jesus, Peter said he did not. He even said it three times in a row. The difference between Peter and Pontius Pilate is that Peter asked the Lord's forgiveness later on whereas Pilate did not. If we don't stand up for our Lord, we should be sure to beg his forgiveness. He is sure to give it. All you have to do is ask.