The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
When Pilate has begun to make up his mind about Jesus, that he is someone called a king by some and that others are seeking his death, that nothing is going to change until Jesus is executed, Pilate presents Jesus again to the crowd. Here is the man. There’s no adequate charge. Shouldn’t he just be allowed to go?
In John 19:6-16 the crowd continues to demand Jesus’ execution. They also say he claims to be the Son of God. This makes Pilate shake in his boots.
We are often surprisingly unwilling to recognize that almost everyone in this world prior to the Enlightenment assumed that there are supernatural powers, including deities, who govern the world and make things happen. There are gods and they act like gods. This is not at all an unreasonable conclusion.
What will happen to Pilate if he tries to have the Son of God killed? In Roman history and philosophy it is well known to Pilate that even offending one of the gods, by commission or omission, can bring an excruciating life ending in eternal death and punishment. This is not on Pilate’s agenda for the day. He rightly desires to get to the bottom of the situation.
As he interrogates Jesus more he finds Jesus speaking like a king, asserting that Pilate can’t do anything against him without Jesus’ allowing it, and, basically, acting like not only a king, but even like the Son of God.
After numerous efforts and a good deal of deliberation, Pilate turns Jesus over to be crucified. This is no light decision. He is not completely sure of Jesus’ identity and power. He is sure that the rioting crowd can ruin his career and end his life.
The biblical accounts show that Jesus is just who he said he was. He also says that he is the one who can forgive and heal. Are we willing to believe that he can and will accomplish this forgiveness on our account? Jesus certainly seems to stop at nothing so as to rescue his people.
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