A journey to the cross is a journey to repentance. It’s a journey to deep personal change. Will you take this journey with me?
Date: Six fifty in the morning, Friday, April 7 A.D.
Jesus trial before Pontius Pilate continues.
When we entered the judgment hall, the dark-eyed Badger was seething. He knew Caiaphas was using him. He had said so to the assessor. He let fly a string of profanity. “He has me trapped!” he snarled. “Trapped like a rat in a stone water jar.” And with that he tossed the list of charges onto his desk.
Then he turned to Jesus in the center of the room. He looked him over, walked fully around him. Pilate sighed and nervously ran his fingers through his thinning hair. He made a smacking sound with his lips and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” came his equivocal answer.
This answer left the governor rocking on his heels. He brought a finger to his lips in pensive thought.
Jesus was not making an acquittal any easier.
But after a moment Jesus continued. “Is that your own idea, or did others talk to you about me?”
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate shot back with an ample measure of haughty contempt. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me.” He continued the questioning. “What is it you have done?”
“My kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus said, and to drive home this point, he added, “If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
Certain words that Claudius had spoken came echoing back into my mind. He had been convinced that this kingdom Jesus spoke of was somehow different from kingdoms as we know them. Now I heard it from this would-be Messiah’s mouth. He was no armed insurrectionist, and he had offered the actions of his followers as proof.
But Pilate seized on that word—kingdom. “You are a king, then!” Pilate deduced.
With calm, clear deliberation the prophet spoke. “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
It almost seemed from this response that Jesus was operating from, and speaking on, some higher plane—a dimension I had witnessed him operate from during the healings at the temple. He was inviting Pilate to join him in discovering this higher ground of truth.
Pilate would not be moved. They were speaking past each other.
“What is truth?” Pilate shrugged. The question was rhetorical. He had no intention of being dragged into a philosophical discussion with this prophet of the Jewish masses. Once again, the Badger retreated.
Grabbing the list of charges from off his desk, he motioned for us to follow him back outside.
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