Holy Week – Good Friday 2nd April 2021

Jesus before Pilate

Mark 15:1-15 tells of the sham trial Jesus had before Pilate.

As we Reflect On this Good Friday we can ask the question again, where were you?

Were we in the crowd following the high priests baying for Jesus’ to be crucified? Or were we a follower of Jesus hiding saying no! we did not follow Him freighted in case we were arrested too.

Another thought was being a soldier thinking what they have to do to this innocent Man if it went against.

The cruel torture they would inflict on Jesus.

Verses 1 to 5 tell of Pilate’s questioning.

Jesus only answers to Pilate a single time, to confirm that he is in fact the King of the Jews.

 Pilate asks Jesus other questions but of course, Jesus never answers any. Pilate is amazed, simply because Jesus, who lived in a lower social class than he did, did not respond to Pilate’s authority.

Jesus is God, and has the highest authority, and need not bow down to Pilate.

And although Pilate probably learnt nothing from Jesus’s answers, I think we have learnt a little bit now.

The remainder of the verses from 6 to 15 detail the verdict of the people. What happens next may seem familiar to those who read or follow international news with demonisations and the like.

The chief priests stirred up the gullible crowd to condemn Jesus and release Barabbas instead. Pilate, although thinking Jesus harmless, did not want to lose his position and thus, due to self-preservation, gave up Jesus to the crowd.

A few key points here.

Firstly, notice how Pilate, despite “knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him” (Verse 10), Pilate still decides to crucify Jesus anyway.

 It was in fact a great surprise to Pilate, when he found the people so much under the influence of the priests, that they all agreed to desire that Barabbas might be released.

We shouldn’t follow Pilate’s example, that is, prioritizing truth and justice over our own self-preservation.

Not only did it cause Pilate’s condemnation, but it was also the reason the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted Jesus dead in the first place.

Despite Jesus being a good man, the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to continue being all “high and mighty” and Jesus was basically destroying whatever reputation they had.

Secondly, we shouldn’t be the crowd either.

The crowd was riled up the priests on that day and the priests made the crowd do their bidding.

We, as Christians, need to be able to stand firm in our positions and not be manipulated by worldly forces, say money, sex or reputation, but instead be steadfast and do what is right in the face of the crowd.

Finally, a final thing to note is something that was mentioned in the first paragraph: we gotta respect Jesus’s authority.

Know that time with him and following his example is more important than every other thing. Always make time for Jesus. Always strive to be like Jesus.

Amen.

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