Sunday, March 1, 2015
Letter to Pilate
Lent Letter to Pilate
“The clergy conspired to kill Jesus…They bound Him
and took Him to Pilate the governor.
Pilate concluded Jesus had committed no crime; but
determined to calm down the clergy and crowd that
wanted to kill Jesus, he washed his hands for all to
see. He said, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood.’
Customarily at Passover, the Romans released
any prisoner preferred by the crowd. He gave
them a choice: Jesus or Barabbas.
The crowd echoing the clergy
picked the notorious convict
Barabbas over Jesus.
Then, to calm down the clergy and crowd even more,
Pilate gave the order to scourge then crucify Jesus.”
You were a typical politician.
You wanted a higher office back in Rome; which is why expediency always trumped ethics in the exercise of your appointment to Israel.
Sacrificing right and wrong at the altar of popularity with an eye to the next election, you were like the three branches of government in our capital: “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. Not bad odds!”
Bringing to mind another profession, you gratified whomever was picking up the bill.
So it wasn’t surprising to see how you handled Jesus soooooo politically.
Your office had two easy assignments along with one really hard one.
You collected imperial taxes. That’s not that hard because most folks will pay them just to avoid being hassled, jailed, or worse for not paying them.
People, just like politicians like you, will always sacrifice righteousness to get along no matter what it means to God. Truth is, just like politicians like you, God doesn’t really factor in when people are making decisions affecting their comfort zones.
You also had to be the judge and jury every now and then; which included declaring the death penalty for crimes against the state or someone as politically incorrect as Jesus that provokes religious politicians aka clergy to team up with unlikely allies like you. How ironic that the people who hated everything that you and Rome symbolized would use you to execute the only One really capable of liberating them from all tyrannies like yours. I guess that’s why that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy originated in that part of the world.
The really hard part of your job description was keeping the peace in a part of the world that’s never been known for that.
You weren’t a religious person with any loyalties to anyone or anything except yourself and the ones imposed upon you by Rome. That’s why the whole Jesus thing didn’t bother you any more than just a nuisance that had to be overcome; or as Buechner explained, “The religion of the Jews was nothing to him, and he couldn’t have cared less…Nevertheless, when it became clear to him that…[Jesus was stirring up a hornet’s nest for reasons he didn’t really understand nor care about but that he had to care about the unrest that Jesus was causing lest Caesar himself took notice and decided he wasn’t doing his job which could mean even worse consequences than not being promoted back to Rome]…he gave into the pressures…[of the church of his day]…and said to go ahead and crucify him if that’s what they had their hearts set on.”
So even though you didn’t find Him guilty of anything other than upsetting the religious sensitivities of the clergy and the crowds that idolized clergy like groupies to televangelism and megachurch celebrities today, you ordered His butchering by whips and sticks, humiliation by underlings as pagan as yourself, and execution by crucifixion that rivals the barbarism of Islamofascistnutballs today. Again, I find it sadly fascinating that all of this horrid inhumanity originated in the same part of the world that had a chance for something/Someone better; or, again, as Buechner noted about you and church and civil politicians like you, “It was not so much the terrible things he’d done as the wonderful things he’d proved incapable of doing.”
While ethnicity bigots have been trying to pin the blame on the Jews for over two thousand years, truth is it was a conspiracy of clergy politicians and Roman politicians that murdered Jesus with you pulling the trigger.
You gave the order because Rome allowed you to do it.
Despite warnings from your wife and pretending you really didn’t bear personal responsibility for it and was only caving into political pressure from the clergy and their idolaters along with that drama queen performance of washing your hands in public as if your rotten heart was being cleansed at the same time, you declared and carried out the death penalty.
The only thing that you almost did right by Jesus was posting a sign over His head on the cross that labeled Him to be “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
That was almost right; just like everything that church and state have done ever since.
For Jesus is not just the King of the Jews or one of the paths to the top of the mountain or one of the ways or part of the truth or some of the life.
Jesus is the King of kings.
He is Lord.
He proved that a few days later after you gave the order to murder Him.
Fortunately, no one, not even mighty Rome or any government in conspiracy with the dominant clergy of His day or any day, can change His identity and reign as God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
That’s why politicians like you – church or state – are eventually forgotten like all of the other idolatries that decay and disappear in the sands of time.
I don’t know what He has done with your soul; or what He has done and will do with souls like yours.
That’s His business.
All I know is those who embrace and esteem Him as Lord and Savior don’t play politics with Him; because politics are fixed in history while faith lasts forever.
Part of the Family
Blessings and Love!