Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 5, 2008
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 5, 2008
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.
In Pilate's sandals
"Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the
governor asked him, 'Are you the King of the
Jews?' Jesus said, 'You say so.' But when he
was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him,
'Do you not hear how many accusations they
make against you?' But he gave him no answer,
not even to a single charge, so that the
governor was greatly amazed."
Let us use our imaginations for a moment and
put ourselves in Pilate's sandals. As the
appointed Roman governor in the area, he was
politically astute and aware that these
religious leaders hated the occupying Roman
rule. It was obvious to Pilate their religious
hatred of Jesus far exceeded their dislike for
the harsh non-Jewish government Pilate represented.
The chief priest and elders lacked the legal and
political power to put Jesus to death. As much
as they hated the occupying Roman government,
these religious authorities needed the assent
of the governor to get the death penalty for
Jesus. They would be satisfied with nothing
less. The enemies of Jesus were politically
sensitive and knew Caesar would never tolerate
a self-identified Jewish king.
Pilate was a cunning politically adept ruler who
now found himself in a dilemma, holding the power
of life or death over Jesus. Pilate was no fool.
He knew the charges against Jesus were hate
inspired. He began to interrogate Jesus.
Amazingly, Jesus remained silent as his religious
enemies hurled their bitter accusations.
Pilate was now in an impossible situation. If
Jesus would not verbally defend himself, Pilate
would have to make a very difficult verdict.
He had to weigh the words of the chief priest
and elders over the silence of Jesus. If he let
Jesus go free, these powerful and pesky Jewish
leaders could make his governing rule difficult
at best. However, if Pilate condemned Jesus
without adequate proof, it was possible that
an innocent man would die. Pilate had the power
to stop a corrupt religious leadership from
committing a horrific hate crime. But he knew
his political survival depended on how well he
could govern these fanatical leaders. Would he
choose justice or political compromise?
Perhaps we can learn some important lessons about
religious hate crimes and political compromise
through today's Bible story. Throughout the ages,
intolerant people of many faith traditions have
caused the deaths of others who threatened their
beliefs about God, morality, and justice.
Religious wars, inquisitions, crusades, and
pogroms result when intolerance, bigotry,
prejudice, and discrimination are unchecked
and unchallenged by weak political leaders and
It can be hard to believe, but even in today's
world, overzealous religious leaders have the
potential to kill and destroy through political
maneuverings as they protect and promote their
agendas and special interests.
God, open my eyes to see where contemporary
religious corruption and weak politicians allow
injustice and death to innocent people. Empower
my understanding of religious-based hate crimes
and help us stop legalized hate. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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