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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 13 - John 18-19; Luke 23: The New Passover Lamb

Today’s Reading: John 18-19; Luke 23

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

On the day when God's Chosen People celebrated God's greatest act to rescue them, they executed His Son.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Judas betrayed Jesus to the Pharisees and religious scholars.
Pilate sent Jesus to Herod. Herod sent Him back.
Jesus kept silent through many accusations and told Pilate His Kingdom was not a political one.
The Jews wanted a murderer to receive mercy but Jesus to receive death. Pilate handed Him over for execution.
The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus and nailed Him to the Cross.
Jews mocked Jesus' fate.
Jesus cried out and died—this was seen by many.
The Roman captain believed that Jesus was the Son of God.
Joseph, from Arimathea, buried Jesus.
Everyone rested on the Sabbath.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Jesus' Kingdom is not a political one.

Pilate's question was not benign. He had the responsibility to stop any and all threats to Caesar's authority. If Jesus claimed to be a king, He would be executed. Jesus had to be cagy with His answers because to answer directly may have lead to His execution for rebellion, not as a result of God's Chosen People rejecting Him. Jesus' answer settled Pilate's uneasiness. Jesus is not the king of a landmass or a social structure. He is the King of Truth, shedding light on all things.
We must be careful when discussing Jesus and politics. Jesus wants to set all things right. He wants justice. He wants mercy. He healed the sick and He taught holiness. Jesus should not be grabbed onto and pulled into your one issue or problem. He is bigger than all issues or problems. Don't make Jesus a conqueror, as done for centuries by Europeans. Don't make Jesus the champion for socialism, as done today by many welfare-state proponents. Jesus is the King of Truth. If you have to hide facts to get people on your side, He is not there with you, no matter how good what you want to do may be.

The Jews did not understand what they were doing.

Yesterday I mentioned that Israel's greatest act of rebellion provided the opportunity for all people to have their relationship set right with God. I believe this is what Jesus meant when He said, "Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing" (Luke 23:34, The Message). The Jews thought they were getting rid of their fly-in-the-ointment prophet. Instead, they were providing the means for the world to join them in having a personal relationship with the Creator. The Jews should have no blame in crucifying Jesus. They never realized the awesome thing they did.

Do you see how God used the Jews' rebellion to set all things right?


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