Monday, November 8, 2010

Notes to the Lord: On Envy, Injustice and Shouting

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 27

15Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" 18For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over.

Lord Jesus--Pilate was looking for a way out. He was looking for a way to defuse the escalating situation that confronted him. Barabbas from all that we know was a rebel and and insurrectionist. The choice was between you who had healed the sick of Jerusalem before their eyes and one who had lead them in rebellion.

Pilate could see that there were undercurrents that had driven You to his judgment seat. His insight that envy was the motivator was very accurate. You did what no one else could do. The leadership of the nation could not have that. They wanted control more than they wanted to see God work among them.

Ultimately, they envied you for your connection to the Father so much that they were willing to be implicit in your death.

19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him."

Lord Jesus--Pilate had information from unusual sources. I wonder what was going through his mind when this message arrived. I don't know where this dream came from, and ultimately it did him little good.

I am more and more aware of the direction and leadership of your Holy Spirit in more ways that I know or understand. Help me pay attention to all the ways that you seek to communicate with me.

20But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. 21But the governor said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas." 22Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Crucify Him!" 23And he said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they kept shouting all the more, saying, "Crucify Him!"

Lord Jesus--I wonder about the people in the crowd and their shouts. Those shouting all had their

own motives and reasons. Some at the direction of their leadership were just doing what was asked of them. Some were there just for the excitement and the drama.The crowd can be so changeable and fickle. Had some of those in this crowd been at the gate when you entered less than a week before? Were there some who had shouted praise now calling for your death?

Some there had been touched by you and your teaching. There were those all through Jerusalem who had been healed by you and who had heard your voice in the temple teaching. Were there people in the crowd that day who were shouting for your release? Did they shout with all their might and still get drowned out? Sometimes all we can do is keep shouting even when it is drowned out by the crowd.

24When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves." 25And all the people said, "His blood shall be on us and on our children!" 26Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Lord Jesus--Pilate did not want to be responsible for your death and yet he was the one who signed the orders to have it done. He tried to make a stand for truth in the middle of an unjust proceeding. The Roman's who believed so strongly in the rule of law, ended up carrying out the greatest of injustice of all time.

Lord Jesus--In the day that will begin in just a few hours, help me to be a person sensitive to your voice and willing to speak out even when it doesn't seem like anyone is listening.

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