Archive for April 3rd, 2007

On Trial in 2007

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Today’s scripture: John 18:38-19:15 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

It is easy to read this passage quickly if you know the story — but it’s worth reading carefully. This story says a lot about us as human beings. Whether this is 2000 years ago and Christ is on trial, or it’s 2007, we keep rehashing the same stories, and putting Jesus back on trial.

Back in the day, Pilate had a difficult time charging Jesus with anything. He was baffled about the case the crowds were making against Jesus. Of course, Pilate was not a Jew, and nothing was at stake for him in the charges made. But when the crowds put this in Pilate’s context, “everyone who claims to be king sets himself against the emperor,” then there was more at stake for Pilate.

Today, it seems we are so obsessed about our group, our place, our ambitions, and our desires, that priorities seem to be more about what can be done for us (or me). We can become selfish as individuals, groups, churches, and families. Christian denominations and congregations still bicker about who is saved and who is not, or who is living in God’s will and who is not, and what Jesus’ message to us is in this day and age.

Do these arguments sound like what happened to the people in the crowds? They were more concerned about being right, than being holy, loving, and righteous people of God. Ultimately, this is what crucified Jesus. Were they right?

Remember back in John 15:12, Jesus commands us “that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” Jesus tells us by commandment and shows us by his example what it means to be right. So maybe more practicing what Jesus commands and less arguing and declaring about who is right will help us all achieve the commandment Jesus asks us to live up to, no matter our backgrounds and religious denominations. This is all about the life Jesus himself asks us to live.

Thought for the day: If you were on trial, would you be accused of living up to Jesus’ commandment? Is it more important for you to be right, or to live like Jesus?

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: upcoming Holy Week services, at Jesus MCC and around the world. May this be a time of reflection, repentance, rejoicing, and resurrection!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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