Lent Reflection: Wednesday 01st April 2020
Bible Reading: John 18:28-32
Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfil the word that Jesus had spoken to show what kind of death he was going to die.
The hour is coming. The Jewish religious leaders are determined to see Jesus put to death.
Their pain, their fear and their hatred have overwhelmed them.
They are so committed to their way of life, which they have held on to, believing that it would bring about God’s kingdom of earth, that they will stop at nothing. No one will get in their way.
They see Jesus as a threat, and now worse, a blasphemer.
Jesus has said that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the one that God promised to send. More than that, Jesus had made Himself equal to God, through the things that He had done and the things that He said.
But there is a problem: under Roman occupation, they cannot sentence anyone to death.
So, the Jewish leaders, drag Jesus before a man who can order executions: Pontius Pilate.
Pilate’s first question is, ‘What are you accusing this man of?’ The Jews won’t say that Jesus has committed blasphemy under their laws, because Pilate’s operates under a different law. Blasphemy against the God if the Jews would be no concern to him.
The Jewish leaders just vaguely accuse Jesus of being evil.
Pilate is unimpressed. ‘Well, take him and try him under your own law.’ He suggests to them.
This reveals the true hearts of the Jewish leaders. ‘We cannot sentence him to death, and that is what we want.’
Their own law, given by God to Moses 1,500 years or so before, could not be used to condemn Jesus. But Roman law could do just that.
So, the Jewish leaders, step away from their own God-given law and now place not only Jesus but also themselves under the jurisdiction of another.
In their desperation to see Jesus condemned, they condemn themselves.
It’s not just the disciples of Jesus who have left Him to walk alone, now the representatives of the Jewish people have backed away from Him.
There is no one left.
But all of this, Jesus has already predicted, He knew.
And still God is going to use even these dark times, this dark situation, to bring about His good purposes for the whole world.
Jesus remains faithful to God forever. And this is Good News.
When it seems as though all others have turned their backs on you, help us to remember that your love is unending and forever faithful.
In your name, Lord Jesus, we pray.