Friday, April 8, 2011

When 8:00pm rolls around

I have the pleasure of teaching our church's 2nd-5th graders on Wednesday nights. I will say that most nights the conversations are engaging, thought provoking, and get my theological wheels turning as they ask questions about sin, hell, election (yes, they have asked), and God's judgment.

However, this past Wednesday was NOT one of these nights. We have been discussing the life of Jesus, and this week was discussing his trials with Pilate and Herod. I had already read the passage, but I guess as I was teaching on it I had some major thoughts cross my mind as the kids were highly distracted and talking to each other. I was only looking at the Jesus aspect of the passage: Jesus says I am Christ, not King of Jews. Jesus is mocked. Jesus shows mercy by healing an ear. Jesus endures a rough crowd.

Leading up to this passage, Jesus is betrayed by Judas, he heals a chief priest's ear, he is mocked by the chief priest, Peter denies him, and then this passage:

Luke 23

Jesus Before Pilate
 1 Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. 2And they began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king." 3 And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him,  "You have said so." 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, "I find no guilt in this man." 5But they were urgent, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place."
Jesus Before Herod
 6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9So?, he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. 13Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him."
Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified
 18 But they all cried out together, "Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas"— 19a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" 22A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him." 23But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

Key things to think about when reading this from a human stand point, and not from looking at Jesus' actions here because we already should have it in our minds that He was quiet, He suffered, and He was going to be put to the death by the divine plan of God.

 However, let's look at the people. You know the ones that have the sinful nature just like us and the ones that wanted control over the situation.

1) Their first complaint was that he was misleading to the nation, well this could stand to be true for those that did not believe in His majesty. So, for giggles we will say that from their perception they felt that he was misleading.

2) The second complaint was that he was forbidding the people to give tribute to Caesar. Now, this is just ridiculous. How can one man stop an entire nation from giving to Caesar. It seems nice to blame someone else so that you don't get in trouble for not following law. (Strictly looking at the human side)

3) Yea, He did claim to be Christ, there is no beating around the bush on that truth.

4) Herod and Pilate become friends over their agreement not to charge Jesus with a crime. This just seems interesting to me. Was this the only time they had to act on something together that they agreed on? What were there spiritual thoughts on Jesus?

5) Pilate makes it clear that he and Herod do not think Jesus is deserving of death. *More to this*

6) They want a murderer and rebel against the law to be released in trade for Jesus. *More to this*

7) Here again, Pilate makes it clear he find no fault in Jesus to be put to death. This is something that people talk about, but let's look at this: You think you see a guy commit a crime today, you turn him in, and the judge looks at the facts, talks to the guy, and tells you I find no fault in him. You get made, but ultimately the law freed him, the law freed him. *Keep on cruisin' here with #8*

8) The people prevailed! So... this guy that is there to give judgment is not agreed with. The people think they know better than the law, and there we have the death of Christ. Our sinful nature is in such dire need to be in control and give judgment that we gave judgment on the one true judge. Through God's divine plan, he used our sinful nature to convict Christ.

How many times do we try to take things into our own hands? How many times have we thought we can handle this on my own? We know what is right, what is wrong. We can decide what is just and fair. Can we decide what is just and fair? After reading this I have to say NO! We think it fair that we live in an air conditioned home. We think it is not fair to see children die from cancer or AIDS. We think God must have gotten something right, something wrong.

We still play the same games the people that put Christ to death did. We don't really care about what is fair, what we care about is what makes our life easier. For them it was putting Jesus to die because he was bringing conviction and change into their hearts. It's not fair that I can't sell and make the temple unholy, it's not fair that He's telling me I won't go to Heaven... But it's fair to kill Him so I don't have to hear these things and I can do what I want.

The kids weren't into that part of the conversation, but I was stuck on it. I still am. Are you? What is just and fair? I don't know. I can't continue to claim that I do because only ONE can say what it is just and fair.

Because if I think I know what is just and fair I think may have just sentenced my Savior to death! No words to follow that thought...

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