Thursday, 1st April
Reading Luke 23: 1-25
Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no basis for a charge against this man.’Luke 23:4
Pilate stands there in disbelief, and doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. They don’t really want Jesus to die do they? Surely they would rather see Barabbas on the cross? He looks for ways out, and could make a ruling of freedom and release Jesus, but instead sentences the Christ to the Cross, even though he knew it wasn’t just, it wasn’t fair.
We have probably all heard the cry “It’s not fair!” Maybe it comes from the mouth of a toddler about what their older sibling can do, it might come from a teenager that claims their friends can stay up much later on a school night, perhaps it’s from the fan of a football team concerning the referee’s decision, or it could even be from our own mouth’s as we feel misrepresented or ill-treated by someone’s response to a post on social media. We watch TV and say “why did that person win the award when the other actor/player/writer/artist…. is so much better”, and come home from work saying “why are they giving that person thanks and credit when I’ve done so much more!” (In my HUMBLE opinion!!!!).
It is right to speak out and act on injustice, this is the way of God who cares for the widow, the orphan, the foreigner and all others who are marginalised. It is of course also true that when a crime has been committed, or serious allegation made it needs to be properly handled by the relevant authorities. But it is also true that the example of Jesus is of true humility, of love, and of forgiveness. Rather than a knee jerk reaction at minor matters we need to take a breath and think ‘how can God’s purpose be furthered’, this is the message of turning the other cheek, and it is seen in its fullness in the trial of Jesus. With courage, and with conviction, Jesus does not use his power and heavenly authority, but accepts the path ahead.
How often do we react with anger rather than love? When do we seek our resolution instead of God’s path? Although it might not be fair it is sometimes right to swallow our pride and forgive instead of confront.
May we pray that we have hearts, like our heavenly Father; gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and swift to bless.
May we also seek that his justice flows like rivers; pray that the spirit may guide magistrates and judges, that they may have true wisdom in their conduct of trials, and also pray for the government and opposition that they might rightly in parliament produce legislation, which is just and proportionate.
** We will have a communion service tonight at 7.30pm, please see the church website for details