Good Friday B

Psalm 22

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12
Hebrews 10:16-25
John 18:1 – 19:42

The passage in John (18:28-40) affords us a look at the exchange between Jesus and Pilate (the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Caesar Tiberius from AD 26 to 36). Pontius Pilate would rather not be the one to have to handle this irritating problem (what to do with Jesus), which he viewed as a religious quarrel. He wanted the Jews to sort it out themselves.  But they kept forcing the situation upon him.

When he interviewed Jesus, he found nothing worthy of a death sentence.  His interrogation leaves him frustrated and annoyed.  I can hear his tone.

Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “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.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

The two questions Pilate asks Jesus are important ones.
The first question, “Are you a king?” questions Jesus’ authority.
The second question, “What is truth?” questions Jesus’ relativity.

And I have to ask myself:
Do I give Jesus authority over my life?
Is Jesus relevant in my life?

And I believe our world is crying out for perfect authority and truth.
We wander around without direction.  We manufacture our own “truth” which sounds good to our ears but is not satisfying.  And it is frustrating when everyone has their own truth.  We need something absolute onto which we can cling, something greater than ourselves that will not change with the direction of the wind.

Manufactured truth is a little like processed sugar.  It tastes good and is satisfying, but only for a very short time, causing havoc later, because in actual fact it is empty (and addictive).


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