Wednesday of Holy Week
Scripture: St. John 19:1-12 (NKJV)
19:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.
4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”
6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.”
8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
The Devil and his children thought they could defeat Jesus by manipulating Pilate into crucifying Him. They wanted to silence Jesus by killing Him, and they wanted the extra benefit of having Him killed by the government as a public enemy. That way, their hands would seem clean and Jesus’ reputation would be as one who was cursed. As our Lord said in His exchange with Pilate, their sin was great.
The Devil, the ancient Serpent, and his seed, the wicked Jews and their chief priests, tried to crush Jesus. However, God only allowed their evil efforts to temporarily wound His Son. He took their evil intentions and brought about the greatest good to ever happen in the course of human history: Christ Jesus died and rose again for our salvation. He died to take away the sins of the world, and His atonement made it possible for us to be saved by this divine grace through faith in His innocent suffering and death. Through this faith we are made His own to live under Him in His holy kingdom.
The unfaithful people who heeded Satan’s lies did not protect their chances for a kingdom. They rejected the true kingdom of God and foolishly looked to the kingdom of Caesar for help. Nevertheless, in the kingdom of His Church Jesus Christ continues to be near to all mankind as His faithful people call all sinners to repent, and as they proclaim the Gospel of Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins for those who believe!
We pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds are continually afflicted, may mercifully be relieved by the Passion of Thine only-begotten Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.