Maundy Thursday, March 29
Scripture: Mark 15:1-20
Pontius Pilate came to Judea as the new Governor to bring some order to this troublesome province. He finds himself thrown into a trial involving religious turmoil that has captivated the people but brought the ire of the Chief Priests.
One side of the trial stood the authority of Hebrew Faith. For generations, they have studied and practiced the Laws. They were ordained to carry the teachings of the Torah. They were the chosen, from the temple, itself, to be entrusted with the Faith of their Fathers.
On the other side of this trial was this man they accused of challenging almost everything that was taught about their faith, manipulating the people to follow a new teaching. If that wasn’t enough, he claimed he was the Chosen One by God, Himself.
Considering these arguments, it’s proven that Pilate didn’t want to get involved in this matter but the Priests insisted that he make a decision. Pilate begins his examination of Jesus, “Are you this King? Why are you not defending yourself? Say something, I have the power to release you!” This was the strangest moment for Pilate; Jesus provided no defense for his cause.
Everyone seemed passionate about their cause in this moment. Pilate passionately brings an option to the table to end the matter in a prison exchange for the life of Barabbas, a murderer and deserving of the fate of death. The Governor even passionately made a last-minute appeal for the life of Jesus, to no avail. The Priests and Scribes were equally as passionate to do away with Jesus. They agitated and persuaded the crowds to sentence Jesus with death.
Then, there was the one who had the least to say in all of this was who had the most passion. Imagine for a moment, if it was you standing before the accusations and examinations. If you heard your fate being decided by an unruly mob. Hearing all, you still remained silent and accepted your fate. Jesus’ role was the key to this trial of passion. Soon, it will become a part of the bigger plan and promise.
Prayer: There are many times that passion can be used in terrible ways. Help us to be able to use our passion to the greater good for the bigger things and not for our own interests.
– Nicholas Bullock