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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 5, 2008

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 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."
      Matthew 27:11-14

      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
      corrupt governments.

      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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