Inspiration, Encouragement & Instructions
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
IF:Equip Study: Mark 15:1-15 (active links to read the passage and listen to the commentary)
"'Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you?' But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed...'Why, what evil has he done?'"
It strikes me that Pilate seemed to really want Jesus to defend himself. And Jesus' response (or lack of a response) had a significant impact on Pilate. Pilate was able to see that Jesus had committed no harmful crime. He could see the ridiculousness of the priests' and the crowd's call for a crucifixion. But without Jesus's defense Pilate could do nothing (even with Jesus's defense I highly doubt Pilate could have turned the crowd around). So, Pilate had to follow the laws of the land--if he wanted to keep his position and crowd control.
Wow! Can you even imagine being in Pilate's shoes?
The weight on Pilate's shoulders must have been so heavy. But Jesus' response had to have brought him some kind of peace. If Pilate could watch Jesus accepting his sentence with peace and grace, couldn't Pilate also live in grace and peace trusting that what must be done must be done--the fulfillment of the promise that a path to salvation for man-kind would be opened through the death of one, the perfect sacrifice. To trust that God was big enough to be in control even though it looked like all chaos had broken out in front of him must have been so hard. How I wish we had more of Pilate's story.
Which leads me to wonder what I am to take away from Pilate's role in the story of Christ's death. How do I or others live out the storyline of Pilate?
Are there times when we are unable to help those who are being treated unjustly? Are there times when the rules set up by our culture, our home, or the fact that we have to protect our families from evil that we feel like our hands are tied in saving others from harm? In those moments of despair, those moments when we have few actions or resources to help, what can we do?
We can trust that God has a plan and he is a redeemer. When what we can do doesn't seem like enough to help our hurting and broken world we can live in peace knowing that the little somethings we do are making a difference and God has a plan for those that we cannot seem to reach into. This shouldn't move me toward taking myself out of the world or away from meeting peoples' needs, but it should give me peace to sleep at night even when I feel like I am not able (nor ever will be able) to do enough. It is a huge testimony just to live out of a softened heart, to live out peace in a chaotic world. To be hope in darkness because in Christ everyone has the power to overcome and if God gives that as a promise then I need to live into that promise, trusting that He will fulfill what he has destined for me and the broken around me.
Which leads into what Trisha Davis (from refiners.org) and Margaret Feinberg challenge us to think about in their commentary on this passage: Trisha points out that Jesus' point of view was as such, "I know who I am, I know what I've been called to, and I am going to step into this in peace..." And later Margaret points out that we too can live in the same way. When we face accusations, we can live trusting that we have one who defends us: "When you know who you are, the temptation to always be defending yourself can fade back." So we to can let the way we respond to accusations be witness to others by approaching them as Christ did--with submission to God's sovereignty, with purpose and with peace.
What is it that God is calling you to that may take strength and an ability to deny the potential voices of accusation concerning your motives? What act of obedience are you putting off because you are worried about how you will defend yourself if others disagree with you? Can you begin today to trust that if God has called you to it, he will be your defender, provider and the peace-giver? I know there are some "yes" answers to these questions in my life. I know this will be my prayer as I continue to seek just how I am to follow through with what God is calling me to in this time, in this place and with him going before me.
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Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: