Posted in 2022 Lent Devotions

They took Jesus to Pilate

“Mirror of the Passion” Lent devotion for March 21, 2022. Photo by Alina Rubo on Unsplash

Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. (Luke 23:1)

“The whole company” would include high priest, chief priests, scribes, and the elders of the people. They’ve heard Jesus incriminate himself, that is, he didn’t deny being the Christ and the Son of God. Such claims are capital offenses in their eyes. So they drag Jesus to Pilate the Roman governor.

Suddenly, Jesus’ fate is in the hands of the secular world. That might not be a bad thing, now that we’ve seen how ruthless the religious leaders can be. Maybe Jesus will finally get some justice!

We know that’s not going to happen. We know how this turns out. The religious elite will find a way to use Roman authority to get what they want: the death of Jesus.

I’ve heard some stories about congregational meetings that took place before I was pastor of my current church. At one of those meetings, those on each side of an issue became to argumentative that someone called the sheriff’s department to break things up. I know, I also thought, “Really?” I don’t know what they were fighting about, but someone got their way. And the local authorities helped.

At one point, when we were going to put a new church sign out front, an option was a lit sign on which we could put messages. Someone who didn’t want that kind of sign poured over the zoning laws until they found a provision that said we couldn’t have one. We put up a different kind of sign. Meanwhile the church next door got a variance and put up a lit sign. Once again the local authorities were a great help.

Isn’t it interesting how we’re willing to overlook the separation of church and state when we can use the state to our advantage? By the same token, those running for office will seek the endorsement of religious organizations. Yep, there’s nothing new under the sun.

I’ll admit, it’s tempting to call code enforcement rather than walking across the street to talk to my neighbor about his lawn. It’s tempting to inflate my church contributions to reduce my income taxes. Wearing a clerical collar could get me out of a speeding ticket, right? If we let the city use our facility as a polling place, we might just get that building permit we need. I’ve volunteered for Good News Club (after school bible instruction) in our local elementary school. The Supreme Court of the United States said we could do that.

That’s all they were doing. Just getting it done.

Lord, have mercy on me, the government, and the church. We need it. Amen.

Posted in Lent devotions

What am I going to do with you?

“Scenes from the passion” Lent devotion for Thursday, March 18, 2021. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.

And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” (Mark 15:12-14)

What a crazy moment. Pilate must have been certain that the crowd would beg for the release of their king. Instead they have demanded the criminal Barabbas. Great. So what am I going to do with this guy?

Continue reading “What am I going to do with you?”
Posted in Lent devotions


“Scenes from the passion” Lent devotion for Tuesday, March 16. Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash.

And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:1-5)

Jesus has little to say when he’s questioned by Pilate and accused of many things by the chief priests. He really doesn’t even answer Pilate’s question. He simply acknowledges being called the King of the Jews. After that, not a word.

Continue reading “Crickets”