We invite you to read Matthew 27:11-26.
In this scripture, Pilate is in a tight spot. Jesus is brought before him accused of many crimes but in his heart of hearts, he knows that Jesus is innocent. His wife has a troubling dream and encourages him to let him go. Pilate is facing the external conflict that he is under pressure from Rome to keep peace in his territory. The last thing he needs is a rebellion over this quiet and seemingly insignificant man.
Pilate has no good excuse to condemn Jesus but he fears the rebellious crowd and their threat to report him to Rome, resulting in his loss of power and a recall. He fears for his life and career. When Pilate sees he is getting nowhere with the crowd, he takes a basin of water and washes his hands before those shouting, “Crucify him!” He is taking no responsibility for the death of Jesus. Pilate lets the crowds crucify Jesus giving himself a false sense of peace. Although he clears his conscience, it does not take away the guilt.
In this season of Lent, we are focusing on the denial of death and the fears that we face about our own mortality. The COVID pandemic has smacked us in the face of just how fragile life is. We see the statistics and death rates and wonder who will be next.
How fearful are we? What hurts and trials are we facing? Jesus came into this world to know and feel our pain and suffering. He walks beside us when we endure life’s challenges.
Jesus died on the cross that we might have eternal life. Are we living in the freedom that God has promised? As children of God, instead of denying death, let us focus on living for Christ. Lift high the cross and proclaim his holy name!
Dear Lord, our precious redeemer,
Remind us to call on you when we are fearful and afraid, trusting in your mercy and grace. Motivate us to rise each morning and praise you for another day of living for you. With humble gratitude, we thank you for your only son’s sacrifice on the cross that we might inherit eternal life. Amen.
Written by Janece Nelson
Janece and husband, Mike, have been members of Sheridan for more than twelve years. Janece is a retired mathematics instructor teaching at the middle school and college level. They are blessed with two children and three grandchildren. Janece finds her greatest joy in spending time with her family and friends. Her passion is writing devotions for patients in hospitals and rehabs she sees every Monday as a Sheridan hospital visitor. As a Teammate she also mentors girls at Boys Town. Janece credits Faith Builders and Companions in Christ for her spiritual growth.