Lent Reflection: Thursday 02nd April 2020
Bible Reading: John 18: 33-40
Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate by the Jewish religious leaders.
As a roman leader and representative of the Roman Empire within Israel, Pilate has the power to punish Jesus.
What’s apparent in this passage is that Pilate barely tolerates the Jewish leaders. He’s a powerful man that only has one interest, and that’s keeping peace in the region that he is governor of.
Pilate has very little patience for how the Jewish leaders want to do things.
After meeting the Jewish leaders, Pilate has Jesus brought into his palace to be questioned.
He asks Jesus, ‘Are you king of the Jews?’ And Jesus replies, ‘You say it, I am king.’ This is the first time that Jesus declares it, but Jesus does not mean King in the traditional sense or in Pilate’s understanding of the word.
Jesus did not come to gain power, or to conquer a land and or rule over the people with an army.
Jesus came to reveal God’s Love. He was vulnerable, bound in chains, and at this moment in time before pilate he is powerless.
It’s through this weakness though he reveals the true power of his Love: He would give everything up, His power, His right to rule, His rightful place in heaven so we could have a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
This is a king full of Love, of compassion, of healing. He’s there to liberate those bound in chains, a healer for the broken, the vulnerable and the needy.
Pilate finds no cause to punish Jesus – maybe he thinks He’s not right in the head – so he hands Jesus back to the Jewish leaders.
It is Passover time, and according to custom and tradition, the Jewish people are allowed one Jewish prisoner to be set free. Barabbas or Jesus is the choice.
The people shout back: ‘Give us back Barabbas!’.
The King of Love, Jesus is imprisoned and one step closer to the cross. The tension is mounting in Jerusalem.
King of kings we worship you as King of our lives. We bow down before you and thank you that you are not a king in the traditional sense, but a king who gave up everything to show us how much we’re loved.
Lord Jesus, we thank you that you love us with a love so powerful that we can stand in God’s presence as his children.
In Jesus Name,