Wednesday, March 28, 2007

VIII. Jesus Faces Ultimate Evil

In text that follows immediately on the above scene in Chapter 19, Jesus’ two antagonists – Pilate and “the Jews” – reveal who they really are: ultimate evil.

v14ff: “Pilate said to the Jews, ‘Here is your king.’
They cried out, ‘Away with him! Crucify him!’
Pilate asked them, ‘Shall I crucify your king?’
The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but the emperor.’

Notice that the final statement comes not from “the Jews,” meaning, the Jewish people. It comes from the chief priests, the highest ranking of the Jewish leaders.

And, it is the height of blasphemy – denying God as their king!

The most important and influential of “the Jews” have committed
the worst imaginable sin: blasphemy.

The next verse: “Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.”

The Roman magistrate’s greatest responsibility is seeing that justice is carried out.

The highest ranking Roman official has committed
the worst imaginable sin: executing a man he knows to be innocent.

This is ultimate evil!

So, again Jesus is the Lamb of God who has taken upon himself the sins of the world.

In your prayer and reflection, thank Jesus for having the faith in the Father and the courage to undergo such torment as the means of completing his mission.

Recognize that Jesus will be with you, will abide in you, especially when you are challenged, accused, and betrayed.

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