“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.”
Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.
I have become very familiar with this scripture over the past week. God would have it that I would even read it aloud during the Sunday morning 11am service! But, that doesn’t mean that I understand it. Here we have Christ being judged by Pilate and being sentenced to death, not because Pilate has found him guilty, but because the “people” are demanding it. Our dilemma is, “Why would God or Jesus allow this to happen?”
When I think about allowing things to happen, I know I am a controller. I own that; years of teaching have made me be the commander of many situations. I am not afraid to speak up; I am not timid. Now, God is asking Jesus to allow his death. He doesn’t say one word in his defense and he almost seems timid. He knows it is to be, it is to fulfill a prophesy. So what am I to learn from this scripture? Do I give up my voice? Do I refrain from defending myself? I don’t think I am capable of that. But what I do know is that Jesus did it for me. He died for me. A love so great, that he gave it all for me and you. Wow! That is powerful.
In this Lenten season, we are reminded of how sinful we are. I know I am far from perfection but He knows every hair on my head. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only son to die for us….” As a mother of 3 sons this would impossible for me to do, but God did it. He allowed it to happen.
Dear God, Thank You for the sacrifice of Your only son. He died so we could be saved from our sin. Our faith in You saves us. Amen.
Written by Cindy Swanson