S (Scripture): John 18:33 So Pilate went back into the governor’s residence, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 18:34 Jesus replied, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or have others told you about me?” 18:35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own people and your chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
18:36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 18:37 Then Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world – to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 18:38 Pilate asked, “What is truth?”
O (Observation): Jesus is brought to Pilate in order to to be tried and disciplined…perhaps even be put to death. The Jews found that Jesus totally disrupted their human -made religion. They twisted God’s wishes and desires and bent them to their own wishes and desires. They began to praise the wrapping around the gift, and forgot the gift itself: a God who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Jesus comments about the kingdom over which he reigns…and this has struck me again this morning. Jesus is beyond just this world. Jesus is claimed by God. Jesus and God are one, in a sense, through baptism. And so, Jesus’ power comes from his lack of resistance to God’s will. This makes Jesus a conduit for God. Jesus has all the access. Jesus has his daddy’s car keys. : )
Jesus’ reign, as we will soon find out, is over ALL things: the world, and also sin and death.
“So go ahead, Judas…crowds. There is nothing you can do to separate me from the truth or from my Father’s love.”
A (Application): As we look to Good Friday, we re-tell the story of Jesus’ pending death and the death itself. His earthy body is destroyed, but as such, he is re-born. He is reincarnated.
But what brought him to the cross? Our sin. Our desire to be #1 in our lives, our religion. We thought we knew better than God.
That’s when you know it’s tough. For us, I mean. Because we only have ourselves to rely on…what kind of hope is that? Really?
I know that sounds like a bit of a downer, but Good Friday is a reminder of what happens when we think we don’t need God. We crucify Him. We give Him the most humiliating death possible…but even in that state, God transforms what we set up as humiliation, and turns it into a reminder that God reigns over all.
P (Prayer): In our weakness, you call us by name. In our doubts, you still hear our cries. Come to us. Save us. Even as you hang on the cross. Amen.