(Testing the idea of moving daily journaling to the blog…hmmm)
In John 19 we see the narrative of Jesus being delivered over to be crucified to a puzzled Pilate, who seems to be having a challenge making sense of this crazy situation. The Jews being so furiously obsessed with crucifying him, yet Pilate not really finding any reason…certainly not the “frothing at the mouth craziness” of this man has to be crucified that the Jews are running around with.
Verse 12-16 is a jaw dropping exchange between Pilate and the Jews – Pilate “sought to release him, but the Jews cried out ‘If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend.'” Pilate then says “Behold your king!” to which the Jews reply in v15 “We have no king but Caesar!”
Does the Old Testament ring a bell? Anyone read that? Yahweh? Anyone? So blinded by themselves and their religion, they just missed the Messiah.
They have been so self consumed with their empty religion, and the threat that Jesus poses to it they just said they have no king at all. Completely denied the almighty God.
It gets better.
Verse 31, after the crucifixion and Jesus’ death, the Jews ask Pilate to have the bodies taken down from the cross. Why? Well, it’s the sabbath day of Preparation of course, we can’t have dead bodies on the cross, marring up our little religious festival now, can we. But why do they care? They just denied their allegiance to God! Yet they continue in their religion they claim is about God. Could there be a greater example of an empty religion?
The gospel isn’t about religion…it’s about Jesus.
What about us? Do we carry on with religion and deny God with our actions?