Saturday Morning: 02 Mar 2019 – John 19:1-16 ~ I find him not guilty.

Saturday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 19:1-16 (NLT)

Jesus Sentenced to Death

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.

Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”

When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?”

Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”

When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!”

“Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!”

“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.

Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus away.
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Morning Reflection:

Pilate went outside again and said to the people,
“I am going to bring him out to you now,
but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” – John 19:4

Then why did Pilate yield to the mob and allow Jesus to be beaten, humiliated, and crucified? Why did Pilate allow his integrity to be compromised? Why did Pilate act counter to his conviction that Jesus was innocent?

+ Pilate allowed expediency to override his convictions of right and wrong. He had the secular power and authority to do the right thing. But in the end, he didn’t want to be bothered – he went along to get along, bringing shame on himself and losing his soul.

+ Pilate allowed fear to override his convictions of right and wrong. Everyone has a boss, and Pilate was no different – his boss was Caesar. When the religious leaders threatened to report him for coddling a threat to Caesar’s authority – he was afraid of ending up in Jesus’ place before Caesar.

+ Pilate allowed a mob to override his convictions of right and wrong. The crowd was wrong and Pilate knew it. But he allowed the mob’s clamor to sway him. It was a collective voice inflamed by passion, worked upon by wicked and crafty leaders; it was the voice of Satan.

Pilate chose wrong over right; no washing of hands could absolve him from this miscarriage of justice.

Questions for consideration:

  • Can you think of a time when expediency, fear, or popular opinion influenced you to do the wrong thing? Please explain.
  • Are expediency, fear, or popular opinion influencing an impending decision facing you now? What is the right thing to do? What will it cost you? Please explain.
  • How can you employ the Word of God, the Spirit of truth, and the power of faith, hope, love, duty, sacrifice, and prayer to enable you to do what’s right? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus: Forgive me for adding to your suffering by succumbing to expediency, fear, and popular opinion. Cleanse my heart, change my thinking, and shape my will that I might live with integrity and a clear conscience, following the path you have set before, and bring honor to your name. Amen.
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“O God, Do Thou Sustain Me” – ‘Anabaptist Martyr Hymns’

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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