Sunday 21 April, 2019

John 19:1-16a

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face. 4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” 7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” 13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

At the time of writing today, I am in the middle of preparing for our church Good Friday and Easter Services. Each year at this time, we especially focus on what happened to Jesus leading up to His death on the cross.

In this passage, I see how fearless and powerful Jesus is in the face of His imminent trial and crucifixion.  Pilate is challenging Jesus – “aren’t you afraid of me? I have the power to either free you or crucify you”

No, Jesus corrects Pilate, you do not have power over me, only what God has allowed – “you would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”

Do I experience this same fearlessness in my own life? Do I say in the face of the enemy that nothing can come against me unless it’s part of God’s plan?

Today I face my fears with renewed confidence in my position before God. I am His, He is my defender and I have nothing to fear.

Written by Shelley Witt

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