Easter Devotion: Day 10

Pilate went back into his palace and called for Jesus. He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews?’”
Jesus answered, “Are you saying that on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”
Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?”
“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I am not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”
Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”
Jesus answered, “You tell me. Because I am King. I was born and entered the world so I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”

During this period, Israel was ruled by the Roman Empire. Pilate was the area governor appointed by Caesar to control the Jews. A group of his religious countrymen wanted Jesus crucified because he claimed to be the Son of God. For this, they needed Pilate’s approval.

In this chapter, I love how John depicts the turmoil Pilate had while making this decision. Even though he did not worship the same god, something in his gut knew it was wrong to condemn Jesus. In fact, it appears that something deep within Pilate recognized God’s voice and saw truth.

He tried several times to convince the Jews to not crucify Jesus. He found nothing wrong with him. In a private moment with Jesus, Pilate nearly begs Jesus to say something so that he may pardon him.

Jesus, however, knew that his death was a part of a plan God had to redeem humanity. One that was set from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. God looked at that lying serpent and said, “The seed (descendant) of this woman will one day crush your head. And to His kingdom, there will be no end.” Not even Pilate’s great power to pardon could divert Jesus’ path. His crucifixion {and resurrection} crushed the power of death and darkness. Jesus had a price to pay for you and me.

Today is Good Friday. It is the Friday when churches around the globe remember a horribly beautiful day. Horrible, because a pure and loving Heavenly King was nailed to a cross. Beautiful, because it was his greatest gift to us—a gift that, like His kingdom, knows no end.

I realize that to our human minds, it is very difficult for all of this to make sense. Perhaps it is hard for us to accept that it doesn’t all have to. We have finite minds that can never understand all the ways of an infinite God. That is why following God requires faith—believing in something you cannot always see, but, deep in your gut, know is true.

There is something about this message. Something that causes some people to run away and others to worship.

Perhaps we are all like Pilate. If we take a moment on this Good Friday, pause, and allow ourselves to hear His voice, something within us just knows—this is truth. A truth worth dying for.

This song simply helps you to say thank you to Jesus this Good Friday. We owe him everything and God never awaits repayment.

 

I dedicate this series of devotional writings to my grandfather, Roger Crowell, who passed away on March 31. He was the ultimate lover of devotional books. He had an unbreakable habit of waking up every morning and connecting with God through the writings of others.

Pa, I am glad you are now constantly in His presence.
Love, Your granddaughter — Olivia Puccini