Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ever thought about Pilate's roll in the Easter story?

Strange question? Maybe, maybe not. As a child, I always heard the Easter story and for some reason I always wondered about Pilate. So, today I started reading the Easter story in the gospel of John (chapter 18-19). I remembered that Pilate wasn't too keen on the idea of killing Jesus....but as I read I got a better idea of just how opposed he was to the idea. The Jews had no authority to kill Jesus, so they had to have Pilate give the go-ahead.....Pilate found no fault with Jesus and wanted to release Him. 3 times Pilate said he found no fault and would let Jesus go...but the Jews were insistent. Giving in to the "peer-pressure" (for lack of a better word) Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified. I guess this is the part that always got me thinking....."If you find no fault and have no problem w/him, then why have him killed?" Turns out (besides the fact that that was the plan from the beginning!) that Pilate was just a big wussy. So, the lesson I can take away from Pilate is to stand up for what I believe and not give in to the pressure of the world. Sure it is hard, but it is do-able.
Even better is the Easter story as a whole. We have all heard it, and around this time every year, we all start to reflect on it. But, have you ever REALLY looked into it? Here, let me help.....
Pilate had Jesus flogged. Pretty nice for a guy who found no fault huh? Flogged-beaten, whipped, possibly w/something over your eyes/face...w/no covering on his body. They used whips and beat him to the bone....THE BONE...all while he wore a crown of thorns. This crown was made by the soldiers and it wasn't "placed" on his head. It was a thick, braided circle of spike like thorns that they dug into his scalp. I don't know about you, but I can not even trim my rose bush w/out gloves....but my Jesus wore a crown of spikes....for me...
After the near death beating that he endured he was forced to carry his own cross. And I don't mean he had to pick up a few 2x4's and carry them across the yard. I mean, open wounds, blood running,crown of spikes, and little to no clothes, Jesus drug a HUGE wooden cross over a mile.(From what I can find, the cross weighed around 150 lbs.) And I feel safe in saying that the sweet soldiers didn't sand that HUGE rough heavy wooden cross. He DRUG it, on his wounded, bloody, aching shoulders. Where do you think that cross ended up hitting him several times as he drug it? I would say it probably did a pretty good job of driving those spikes on his "crown" deeper and deeper into the temple of his head. As if this wasn't enough, the people on the streets spit on him, kicked him, threw rocks at him and called him names. He fell under the weight of the cross (and the harm his body had endured I'm sure)...HE WAS HUMAN....
Here is a little info....did you know this was the worst criminal death in that day...and only the worst of the worst got nails in their hands AND feet. Jesus got both. They nailed him to the cross. Did you get that? THEY NAILED HIM TO THE CROSS. No, not w/picture hanging nails, but w/something we would assimilate to a railroad spike. They were driven into his pulse. This broke the tendon extending to his shoulder, forcing him to use ALL the muscles of his back to hold himself just to take a breath. The spike used for his feet was bigger b/c the feet were done together. He was forced to put weight on his feet to lift up to get a breath, all the while, his feet were tearing. He was nailed to a cross, bleeding from the HOLES in his body, wearing a crown of spikes. Jesus did this for 3 hours. At the point that he asked for a drink, they gave him vinegar on a sponge. They mocked him. He eventually stopped pouring blood and his wounds poured water. (The adult body is made up of about 3.5 liters of blood) The soldiers wanted to make sure of his death, they shoved a spear into his side. Keeping track? That is a spike wound to each pulse, one to the feet, spear to the side, and countless other "crown" and whip injuries.
Mothers....can you imagine your child beaten so badly that you do not even recognize him? Can you imagine your child hanging on a cross? I can't.....But He did......and He did it for ME. And for YOU.
So this year when you think of the Easter story, don't think of a little crown of thorns. Remember the Cross. And remember the most awesome part of the Easter story.....Jesus rose from the dead. He didn't do it b/c he wanted to, He did it b/c I need Him. He did it so that I may spend my life serving Him and that one day I will sit with Him in Heaven.
I hope all of you have the most beautiful Easter and spend time with family and friends to celebrate the true meaning of the season.

1 comment:

  1. ok WOW!!! I have heard this story a MILLION times, but never have got that in depth. Thanks Nat for reminding us what Jesus did for all of us here!