Author: Peter Fong, Pastor, The Joint Fellowship, Chinese Church in Christ, Cupertino
6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends — before this they had been enemies. (Luke 23:6-12, 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