Re: Verse reading–Mark 14:43-52; 15:1-15 (day six)
“Why, what evil has he done?”-Pilate
That was Pilate’s immediate response to the frenzied cries to crucify Jesus. At best it was a half-hearted defense of Jesus; an effort to talk sense into the crowd. Everybody knew Jesus was innocent; the crowd, the Pharisees, Pilate, Herod, everyone knew he had done no wrong, he had done nothing worthy of capital punishment. Pilate did not know just how right he was though; Jesus had done no wrong EVER, not once had he sinned. The irony in this narrative is that it is everyone else’s “wrong” that stands out, not Jesus’. Judas’ betrayal, the Apostles’ flight, Pilate’s crowd-pleasing capitulation, the angry crowd, all a mosaic of wrongs.
Perhaps, one of the purposes of this narrative, is not for us only to see Jesus laying down His life, but to see ourselves for who we truly are, to see ourselves in the mosaic.
Re:Verse reading – Luke 6:27-36; Romans 12:17-21 (Day Six) Jesus makes it clear, there is no benefit to withholding good from those who offend or hurt you. There is no benefit to holding grudges, cold shoulders, Facebook jabs, one-line zingers, (you know the kind that you conceive of well after the offense, only wishing you had thought of it in the moment)and the list goes on. None of it has any benefit to you; zero, nada.
Jesus declares, “if you want a great reward-love and do good to those who hurt you.” There are two rewards that are mentioned in our re:verse texts this week. Romans 12:20-21 tells us that evil isn’t overcome by more evil, but by good. One reward is heart change. God uses the good we do to our enemies to bring about a guilty conscience and repentance. Retaliation, no matter how justified, will always result in the hardening of a heart, not softening it. The second reward mentioned is our inheritance as sons and daughters of God. Jesus tells his listeners that kindness towards your enemies is a spiritual DNA marker; it informs others as to your truest identity as children of God. The momentary reward of the swelling of ego and pride that accompanies retaliation is infinitely small compared to the reward we will receive as children of the Kingdom when we “love our enemies.”