Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Luke 23:13-16

Luke 23:13-16
And after Pilate called together the high priests, the rulers, and the people, he said to them, “You all brought to me this man as while turning away the people.  And look, after I examined Him in your presence I found no cause in this man for which you all make accusation against him.  But neither did Herod, for he sent him up to me.  And look, he has done nothing worthy of death to him.  Therefore, after admonishing Him I will release Him.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Pilate reminds the religious leaders of their testimony.  They accused Jesus of turning the people away.  However, Pilate cannot find any truth in their claim.  Jesus has not been anti-God.  For that record, Jesus hasn’t even been anti-Rome!  Granted, He’s not been pro-Rome; but Pilate knows that He hasn’t been guilty of trying to start a rebellion, either.  Pilate has sniffed out the lies of the religious leaders.

What do you think that Jesus’ main goal was in coming to earth, especially with respect to His preaching?  What might we be able to gain in the reflection that Jesus was neither pro-Rome or anti-Rome?

Second Thought:

Pilate also reminds the religious leaders that Herod found no guilt in Him, either.  In other words, the person in charge of Jerusalem, the place where Jesus was arrested, finds no reason to kill Him.  At the same time, the person in charge of the geographic location where Jesus lived and did most of His ministry can’t find any charge against Him.  There is truly no reason to kill Jesus.  There is nobody left to whom the religious people can appeal.

Why is this an important point?  How will this point help to create the turn of events that we see in the beginning of tomorrow’s reading?

Third Thought:

For a brief moment, the fate of Jesus hangs in the balance.  Will He be crucified?  Pilate doesn’t seem to see the need.  He tells the Jewish leaders that he plans on admonishing Him – which is probably more like a discussion to tell Him to get away from Jerusalem because the religious leaders hate Him – and then releasing Him.  But before you get too caught up in this, remember that Jesus’ life is not nearly as important as His death.  God’s plan of redemption hangs in the balance as well.  It is Jesus’ death that opens the door for forgiveness and redemption.  So why do we have this moment?  I believe that what Luke is trying to do is show Pilate’s heart.  Pilate didn’t want to kill Jesus.  But I also believe that Luke is trying to show us God’s power, too.  God can count on human depravity so much that His plan for salvation can even encompass human sinfulness.  Pilate doesn’t want to kill Jesus, but God can count on human sinfulness so much that Jesus will still die in spite of Pilate’s better thoughts.

Do you find it strange to think that a story of great human depravity can actually lead us into a discussion on God’s omnipotence?  How does this paradox help us understand our inability to know God fully?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 23:17-25
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