Lord, awaken my heart to be responsive to You. Alert me to how You want to work in and through my life today.
Read Mark 15:1–15
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8).
Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God, was translated into a charge the Romans would take seriously and treat politically: “The King of the Jews” (the Emperor Augustus had called himself “son of a God”). The title or idea appears six times in this chapter, three in this passage. It is the central image, used in mockery, but is the truth. The cross
is Jesus’ route to his crown, to a kingdom that will last forever. Pilate was amazed (5) as Jesus retained his dignity and refused to answer trumped-up charges. Pilate did not trust the priests, but he was outmaneuvered (12–14). He offered to release a man convicted of armed rebellion and the crowds accepted. The Sanhedrin was up all night securing
evidence for a death sentence, but the hearing before Pilate seems to be over in a few minutes. The hearing was perfunctory; the subsequent torture was not. A Roman flogging could kill a man. Jewish morality and Roman law, allegedly the best in the world, conspired to torture and kill the Son of God. They judged the King, but in a deeper sense his innocence and dignity judged them, showing them as they were. No one is better fitted to be the judge of us all. Jesus’
humanity shows us the nature of his deity. We see the fullest revelation of the nature of God at this moment, in this human life. The choice between Jesus and Barabbas was a choice between kingdoms. The one chosen by the priests and the crowds would lead to the destruction of Jerusalem, the priesthood and the Temple a few decades later. Centuries after the Roman Empire had fallen, however, men and women across the globe bow the knee to the true Lord Jesus.
How can you relate to each of the following: Pilate: selling short my convictions in exchange for “peace”? Jesus: acting on my convictions and suffering the consequences? Barabbas: guilty, yet released?
Lord, in times of pressure to take an easier way, empower me always to choose Your service, honor and glory.
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