There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
Why were they afraid?
It had started when Jesus stood before them and spoke of his divine purpose on earth. He told them he was sent by God to do His will. Some of those listening rejected that. To those, Jesus said:
“I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” (John 8:21)
They became angry at this denunciation. But Jesus said to believe in him and if they believed, then:
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
Yet they continued to reject his words and so Jesus said to them:
“Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (John 8:47)
Now, they were furious. They took up stones and tried to kill him, but failed for the time of fulfillment had not yet come. Still, their scorn of this man claiming to be the Son of God was unyielding. Finally, the authorities had decided enough was enough. They sent armed soldiers to track him down and arrest him. On a tip from a traitor, the mercenaries seized him in a garden and took him to their rulers.
First, they brought him to Annas, the high priest. There, Jesus was blindfolded, beaten, and abused. Yet he gave them no satisfaction for he refused to renounce his words. They sent him to another superior, Caiaphas. Again, Jesus was resolute. He was sent to Herod for Herod had wanted to meet this man who had so captivated the people of the nation. Jesus ignored Herod. Lastly, he was sent to Pontius Pilate, the Governor.
Pilate stood before Jesus and asked him why the rulers of his own nation wanted him condemned. Wasn’t Jesus their king? Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world. Pilate said to Jesus, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered:
“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37)
And then Jesus was sentenced to death. He would be hung on a tree and crucified. His life would be exchanged for that of a murderer, Barabbas.
What was it that so threatened them that they killed Jesus? What were they afraid of?
When Jesus told Pilate that “everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice,” Pilate fatefully responded by asking, “What is truth?”
Pontius Pilate didn’t recognize the truth—Jesus Christ—as it stood before him. Consequently, Pilate would die in sin as would the others who rejected Jesus.
That’s why there were afraid.
There is nothing to fear. Hear Jesus’ voice. Live in truth and the truth will set you free.
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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