Monday 15 October, 2018

Matthew 27:11-26

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. 15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus[a] Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

I have been reading this passage a few times, as it is quite a pivotal moment in the whole crucifixion story. It is here that Pilot gives into the crowd and condemns Jesus to death. No one can give him a reason worthy of death, his wife says don’t do it, but in the end, he does.

A couple of things stand out.

Firstly, Jesus only responds to the truth. Pilot asks “are you the King of the Jews?” and Jesus answered him, saying “You said it”.

Secondly, Jesus ignored all the lies. He didn’t respond to them or try to defend himself, he left them alone. He could have challenged them easily but he didn’t.

Thirdly, and most significantly to me is that this whole scene is not normal. Nothing in this Court seems valid. Nothing seems right, it’s all wrong and totally against Jesus. It’s not a fair trial. Pilot simply gave up or gave into the crowd.

Yet we know that ultimately, this scene of chaos was all a part of God’s plan. Jesus simply trusted his father, and that is all God asks us to do, simply trust the plan.

We don’t know all the details, how it will turn out, whatever it is that we may go through, but we can follow the same three steps. Respond to the truth, in all things, Jesus is the King. Ignore the lies and doubts that invade our minds, and simply trust our heavenly Father.

It’s going to work out great.

Father, I thank you that you have plans for each one of us, plans for our good, to give us a future and a hope. I will trust you.

Written by Andrew Martin

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