Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bethany Bullet - November 21, 2012

What if Pilate left a memoir?  To date none has been found but if one ever is…might it sound like this?

Life is good, for me.  I live in a fortress-palace.  I am well protected and for good reason.  I am in charge – of Judea.  While I’m not a king, I know them: the Ptolemys, the Herodians, and the Caesars. No one in my world is more…well-known than the King, no one that is more – well protected, conversely no one more vilified and vulnerable than the king, that’s why I am employed. 

My job is simple, keep the local populace compliant, controlled, and calm. Of course one of our methods to accomplish this was to retain the local leadership including the regional king in place. They possess no real power and have no ability to act contrary to our interests; but they are not impotent. 

I had real power but the local leaders of Judea held one trump card (that time I met a King unlike any other) and they played it. 

When men stand before me they are terrified. He stood straight. They say anything they believe I want to hear, anything they think will help their cause. He took control of the conversation and questioned me.  The first words out of His mouth were “Is that your own idea?” Yet, it wasn’t with contempt. I know when someone is trying to belittle me, to lash out before they are lashed. That was not His aim; He was interested in me and my thoughts.

When those charged stand before me, they deny the charges, they protest, and detest. Not Him. With calm demeanor and clear comprehension He concurred and at the same time upped the ante, “I am a King, yet my Kingdom is not of this world.” 
Some King…no army, no warriors, no one under His authority who could help Him in His time of need?  Before I could say the words He continued, “If my Kingdom was like yours, my servants would fight to prevent this, but my Kingdom is from another place.” 

I am in charge of Judea, or so I thought.  This convict; this man, who stood before me He was in control of this exchange, He knew and I had become aware of it.  He was a King who seemed to intentionally become vulnerable. Vulnerable He was, vulnerable but not liable so I sought to set Him free. That would require punishment, whether intentional or accidental, He was the cause of commotion and chaos and that was not tolerable! 

I had Him flogged, no mean punishment. My men ridiculed, taunted, and tormented, “Hail king of the Jews.” No royal would withstand such without response but no reprisal came. No begging or pleading, cursing or threatening. 

It was enough; it ought to have been done. But it was not. The chief priests were not appeased and when I attempted to determine from whence their venom arose they said something I was not expecting to hear, “We have a law. (I almost heard nothing else – they have a law, HA! I AM THE LAW there is NO LAW of theirs that is greater than that which I represent.  Roman is the only LAW. I AM IN CHARGE of Judea or so I thought.) That is when my ears perked up and I heard what followed…and by that law He must die for He has claimed to be the Son of God.” 

When men stand before me they are terrified, but truth be told as He stood before me, beaten, robe and crowned thorns I was afraid; afraid of Him and for Him? Yes, maybe some of both. He was in control of Himself and I had lost control. Practically yelling I asked, “Where do you come from?  You think you can ignore me? Don’t you realize I have the power to free you or crucify you?” I am Pilate…I AM IN CHARGE of Judea…or so I thought. I was wrong. He took charge, “You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 

I was in charge . . . or was I?

If so, why not let Him go? That is my call. I’d appease them but I had no desire to please them; He would be released. I AM in CHARGE! That is when they played their trump card, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” they replied. I am not a king. I am not the king. So which king would I befriend; the King who stood before me or the king who had assigned me this command?

He was a King, He was in charge, and there condemned to a cross; He was still in command. Vulnerability was His choice. I could tell as I handed Him over, He was going willingly, intentionally, He not me had been in charge all along. 
-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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