10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani (No.237)
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” Then the chief priests accused him of many things.
Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.”
But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed. Mark 15: 1-5
…So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. Mark 15:15
Being judged and wrongly declared guilty is a horrible experience. I had a taste of this once when a valuable item went missing in my share household and everything pointed to me. It's equally as devastating when you are judged and victimised for standing up for something you believe in. A sense of our own powerlessness can make us feel incredibly vulnerable and rejected.
What kind of God is willingly vulnerable to the opinions and judgements of humans? Standing before Pilate, was Jesus thinking about the divine power He could invoke to escape from the fate of death?
After facing a tragic loss, event or illness a support group can be a powerful source of strength and healing. We connect with someone who 'has been there' and knows what it feels like.
Is this why Jesus accepted His judgement without defence? So that when we feel judged, condemned and rejected we know that He knows how that feels?
While we travel this Lenten journey, let us not forget that no matter what trials we face here on earth, God will never leave us to face them on our own.
'What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?
Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Romans 8:31-37