Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. . . . Then they led him out to crucify him.
As Jesus stands before the religious leaders and the Roman governor, the authority and power of God himself is on trial. And at the end of this trial God in Jesus Christ stands condemned of being useless as the kind of hero that the world wants him to be.
The world laughs at Jesus. The Romans think Jesus is the one who needs a hero. The world thinks the “weapons” of Jesus—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness—are a joke with no lasting value for a life that’s here today, gone tomorrow.
But here’s something that the world—as seen in Pilate, the Sanhedrin, and the Roman soldiers—has missed: Jesus’ power might not always seem as grand and glorious as the powers of this world, but the joke is on them. Pilate felt sorry for Jesus, thinking he was no real threat to the Roman Empire. But Jesus felt the same way about him. Jesus didn’t threaten the Roman Empire because it was no real threat to Jesus. Nor were the religious leaders. Nor was the crowd. Nor was the cross. Nor is cancer. Nor are your finances. Nor are broken relationships. Nor are any of the pains and troubles we face in this world. If Jesus doesn’t seem to get as anxious as we do about our problems, it’s only because he knows they don’t win in the end.
Dear Jesus, you’re not the one the world wants. But you are the one we need. Thank you for going through all that suffering and mockery to save us—to save me. Amen.
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