Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 8, 2006
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 8, 2006
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
"Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the
crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.
The governor again said to them, 'Which of the two
do you want me to release for you?' And they said,
'Barabbas.' Pilate said to them, 'Then what should
I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?' All of
them said, 'Let him be crucified!'"
Despite the urgent message received from his wife,
Pilate hesitated too long. The influential chief
priests and elders easily persuaded the crowd to
choose the life of Barabbas, a convicted felon,
over the life of Jesus. The hostile authorities
smelled blood and seized their opportunity without
hesitation. They would never again have Jesus so
vulnerable and within their malicious reach.
Humans sometimes have a herd mentality and are
easily persuaded. Every crowd has a personality
that can be influenced and swayed by skilled and
determined ringleaders. These ringleaders were
leading citizens and leaders in the religious
community. It is hard, if not impossible, to
stop the momentum when the masses collect and
begin to shout. The most law-abiding citizens
can get swept up with the rioting crowds.
Violence erupts and can quickly escalate out
Pilate was faced with a potential riot on his
hands, and he lost his courage in the face of
the frenzied shouts to crucify Jesus. He was
dumbfounded by the intensity of the entire
situation. Whatever resolve Pilate had to
rectify this grievous situation was lost in
the chaos of the tragic and regrettable
situation. Barabbas was a hardened criminal.
Jesus had done nothing wrong, but he was
clearly a victim of religious hate. A riot
was brewing and Pilate had to make a decision
within seconds or lose complete control of the
crowd and situation. Crucifixion is a horrible
way to die, and it was usually reserved for
the worst offenders. What would he do?
Again pause and learn from the crowd and Pilate
through our holy musings. Can you imagine being
as easily swayed by corrupt religious leaders
and their rhetoric of hate? Has there ever
been a contemporary situation where an innocent
person was condemned through public opinion,
swayed by influential leaders with a special
interest agenda? Where are you in this riled
crowd? What would you do if you were Pilate?
God, give me courage and strength to learn the
hard lessons in today's scripture reading. As
this holy story continues, transform me with
understanding and insight as I ponder this
horrific situation. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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