John 19:1-15. 2 Tim 3:1-9.
We continue to humbly reflect this week on Jesus and the cost at which our salvation was bought. Yesterday we were lead, by Peter and Elizabeth, to see among a number of ideas, the interaction of Pilate and Jesus. John continues this interaction around the idea of truth. Pilate he records, can find no basis for the charge against Jesus (v4, v6). Yet what his reasoning can’t do, his pride can. Truth is sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. When Pilate is accused of opposing Caesar by upholding another king,v12, he hands Jesus over. Political survival.
Caesar is the ultimate power, Pilate reasons. Power, and who has it is a feature of today’s reading.
The soldiers exert their shocking , brutal power, by flogging, thrusting on a crown of thorns, and hitting Jesus in the face. Jesus doesn’t fight back.
The Jews, a co-ordinated group of priests and officials, are numerous and loud. Shouting. Chanting. Using legal justification, v7 and political pressure, v12 to exert their will. Catchy slogans – ‘no king but Caesar’, prevail. Jesus is quiet.
Pilate believes he is powerful.” Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”, he asks Jesus. The power of life or death. The power to save or destroy another. Jesus answers back, to inform Pilate that power is given from above, v11. God is the real power. The powerlessness of Pilate is highlighted when he then tries to save Jesus,v12 but is unable to do so.
Jesus submits himself to the Father above, to His will, and by this submission and sacrifice Jesus breaks the power of Satan and sin.
The misconception of power and the desire for power come from our overinflated notion of our own importance. Before God. Before others.
This lust for power, Paul reminds Timothy, is an outworking of our pride, our self love, and the sea of calamity and evil that flows as a result. A result of turning away from God, not loving Him as he deserves from His creatures. You don’t have to look far to see all those characteristics Paul warns Timothy of in 2 Tim 3:1-9.
The human heart. Evil.
Jesus. The power of God for our Salvation.