Countdown to the Cross
Loving God, I’m grateful that You eagerly listen to my prayers and answer them with wisdom and kindness.
Read LUKE 22:63-23:12
 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him.  They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?”  And they said many other insulting things to him.  At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.  “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me,  and if I asked you, you would not answer.  But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”  They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”  Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”  Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.  And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.”  So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.  Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”  But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”  On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean.  When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.  When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle.  He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.  The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.  Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.  That day Herod and Pilate became friends-before this they had been enemies. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat two striking affirmations did Jesus make here?
It is amazing how enemies become friends when provided with a uniting factor! At this stage of Christ’s journey to the cross, we see a union of wickedness between Pilate, the Roman governor, and Herod, king of Judea. After being arrested, Jesus is taken to the religious leaders. Fueled with anger at his response to their questions and accusations, they turn him over to Pilate who, much to their astonishment, declares Jesus innocent (4). Upon learning that he is a Galilean, Pilate sends him to Herod, and Jesus soon becomes the uniting factor between two archenemies (12).
Curious about Jesus, Herod entices him to perform a miracle. Christ does not respond to the arrogant king. Dissatisfied and irritated, Herod ridicules and mocks Jesus, wraps him in elaborate clothes, and returns him to “sender”! The dignity of Jesus throughout this ordeal is mesmerizing. What an inspiring example of right living and an encouragement for us to stay strong when faced with accusations or mockery because of our faith! This passage also warns: do not be surprised when those who are in contempt of Christ form unlikely alliances.
Do you tend to exhibit Christ-like qualities when you find yourself in a tight spot because of your faith?
Lord, I honor You for Your steadfast dignity and courage. Give me a stronger faith so I can stand firm for You.
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