Author: Kenny Chan, English Pastor, Chinese For Christ Church of San Jose
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. (John 18:33-38, NIV)
It has been said that if you want to become a friend to someone you don’t get along with, “find a common enemy the two of you dislike even more.” In the case of Herod and Pilate, their common enemy was Jesus. In a short three years, this Galilean caused them more headaches with the people they ruled over than they cared to deal with in their lifetimes. Both Herod and Pilate represent the powers of this world we live in. Though these powers are often in opposition to each other, they are somehow able to find friendship in dealing with their common foes, Christ and His followers. This is why Jesus forewarned His disciples before His death, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18). Today’s passage gives us a picture of just how much this world and all the powers that work behind its scenes hate Jesus. They were without a shred of evidence to incriminate Jesus. They had no reason to punish Him in any shape or form. Having no cause, why would anyone mistreat an innocent man? The only answer is hatred. As we prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord, we are reminded today of what got Him to the cross in the first place — hatred. The world hates Jesus and anyone who is associated with Him. If the world hates us, why do we so desperately want to be, and so easily become, friends with it? The world will never embrace us. If anything, we must prepare to be ridiculed and mocked vehemently. And if we, like Jesus, are to die by their hands, we have this glorious hope — to be raised like Jesus in our own resurrection.
“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior