Thursday 28 December, 2017

Mark 15:1-15

15 It was very early in the morning. The chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law, and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they tied Jesus up and led him away. Then they handed him over to Pilate. 2 “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 3 The chief priests brought many charges against him. 4 So Pilate asked him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they charge you with.” 5 But Jesus still did not reply. Pilate was amazed. 6 It was the usual practice at the Passover Feast to let one prisoner go free. The people could choose the one they wanted. 7 A man named Barabbas was in prison. He was there with some other people who had fought against the country’s rulers. They had committed murder while they were fighting against the rulers. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9 “Do you want me to let the king of the Jews go free?” asked Pilate. 10 He knew that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him because they wanted to get their own way. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd. So the crowd asked Pilate to let Barabbas go free instead. 12 “Then what should I do with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify him!” the crowd shouted. 14 “Why? What wrong has he done?” asked Pilate. But they shouted even louder, “Crucify him!” 15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd. So he let Barabbas go free. He ordered that Jesus be whipped. Then he handed him over to be nailed to a cross.

This passage is about betrayal. Ultimate betrayal!

Jesus was betrayed by the people who should have been His biggest supporters, the religious leaders of the day. He was also betrayed by the very people He was trying the help, the Jewish people of the region. It was the ultimate betrayal because it leads directly to His death.

As the Son of God, the depths of this betrayal cannot be measured in human terms, it can only be understood in the eternal divine realm as the ultimate gift of forgiveness.

For us in the ‘here and now’ we are left with a remarkable example of humility. Throughout the ordeal Jesus never lashed out, He never condemned or even defended His innocence but His only response and to His dying breath was to ‘forgive’. Regarding Jesus’ response to this injustice it says Pilate was ‘amazed’.

As I write this Daily Digest entry on this very day a person very dear to me has been wrongly treated by their place of work. However, I am happy to report that even though this will lead to the end of this person’s position they have chosen to work willingly with the organisation to ensure a smooth transition. You can only do these types of things willingly when there is forgiveness in your heart.

How do you respond when people mistreat you?

Lord, allow us to appreciate the sacrifice you made for each of us individually and help us to forgive others as you have forgiven us. Amen.

Written by David Newton

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