Lenten devotions: day 13

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I believe in God, the Father almighty,
      creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
      and born of the virgin Mary.
     He suffered under Pontius Pilate.

Why do I believe that Jesus suffered in those days before his actual crucificion? Why is this important as part of the redemption and sanctification process? What part was Pilate playing in this ultimate triumph over sin and death?

It is John’s account of these last days that gives us the most complete insight into Pilate’s character and responsibility.

Prior to being brought before Pilate Jesus had already suffered.

He suffered, in the garden. Separating himself from the disciples, he spent time alone with His father. Even whilst praying for release from this final mission, He also knew that there was no other way. It was His physical, earthly body that struggled, but it must also have been the emotional and spiritual strain of having to face it alone. There had to be a death, which for him had to be separation from the Godhead.

He suffered the betrayal of his closest friends. One of whom traded his life for a mere 30 pieces of silver. Greed for material things for that moment was more precious than the life of another.

For the other, it was fear. Fear of being recognised, fear of being counted as a follower of Jesus, fear for his own safety was stronger than his love for another.

He suffered betrayal from the spiritual leaders. Those who once were amazed at his teaching now valued their own position and standing. Their puffed up opinion of their own importance was more important than recognising the promised Messiah.

He suffered abuse. When being questioned about His teaching, a soldier grew angry and struck Jesus. A misplaced loyalty allowed anger to prevail and was more important than understanding.

When even those who should have stood by Jesus betrayed him, it does not seem likely that Pilate will show the strength of character to bring about justice, indeed is not his first response when Jesus is brought before him to immediately dismiss the case requesting that they deal with the charge under their own law. Indifference and unwillingness to ,”rock the boat,” and go against the people was more important than doing the right thing.

Lord I remember times when I too have betrayed you. Times when I have served myself and betrayed the trust you placed in me to do your work. Times when I have sought my own desires instead of taking care of others. Times when I have let pride stand in the way of charity and forgiveness. Times when I have allowed anger to cause hurt and pain to others. Each of these were laid on your shoulders when you took the road of salvation. Lord,forgive my sins of omission, of commission and of ignorance through the power of the sacrifice you made.

I believe in the gospel, good news, of salvation in Christ.

What do you believe?



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