Road to the Cross: Issues

Dear Reader, thank you for joining me on the road to the cross. My heart leaps to share the old, old story that remains new. Please accept my humble accounting of the treacherous path Jesus and His followers took to the cross, and gloriously beyond. 
(Road to the Cross will continue during weekly visits this Lenten season.)

What is the deal with these people? They’ve been bucking us for years, every way they possibly can. Just look at those zealots!

Now they come in here wanting me to do their dirty work.

28-29 They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early morning. They themselves didn’t enter the palace because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and spoke. “What charge do you bring against this man?”
30 They said, “If he hadn’t been doing something evil, do you think we’d be here bothering you?”
31-32 Pilate said, “You take him. Judge him by your law.”
The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.” (This would confirm Jesus’ word indicating the way he would die.)
John 18:28 – 32 MSG

Is this the same guy I’ve been hearing about who’s going around talking about loving each other? How could these “religious” leaders have a problem with that?

I thought they were bringing me a hardened criminal. Just look at him, not that there’s much to look at.

It was the will of the Lord that his servant grow like a plant taking root in dry ground.
He had no dignity or beauty to make us take notice of him.
There was nothing attractive about him; 
nothing that would draw us to him.
Isaiah 53: 2 GNT


And yet … there’s something about him. He’s just another Jew. But, what IS it?

Guess I better question him. Maybe he can explain what the big deal is.

33 Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus. He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”
34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”
35 Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?”
36 “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’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”
37 Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”
John 18: 33-37 MSG

Great! Is this some bazaar trick? He doesn’t look the least bit afraid, or crazy for that matter. He doesn’t look like he could incite a flock of sheep, much less men, to do anything. What are those leaders so worked up about?

I really don’t see this man as a threat, political or otherwise. Maybe he’s a bit delusional, but he’s just one guy. What difference can he possibly make? I’m going to give him one more chance to say something one way or another. After that, who knows? 

37 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 that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”
38-39 Pilate said, “What is truth?”
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man. It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.
John 18:37-40

They give me no choice. I won’t risk my career to save this Jew. If his own people don’t want him, what am I to do? 

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