Lest We Try to Make Exceptions

Matthew 27:27-31
27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.
28And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,
29and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
30And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.
31And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

The Jewish leadership has surrendered Jesus into the hands of the Romans for crucifixion. They had dogged Him during His entire ministry and plotted against Him with the goal of seeing Him die. Now the Romans take over and they are no better. Pilate had a chance to free Jesus but chooses not to so as to keep the peace. Now the guards don't just crucify Him, they spend time mocking and torturing Him. No one is innocent of His blood; no one.

King David expresses this truth hundreds of years earlier in Psalm 143:3b " . . . for no one living is righteous before you." I can remember during my confirmation class days back in the 60's thinking it wasn't fair that I was considered guilty of sins I was pretty sure I hadn't committed. But you see, even if I was guilty of one sin, it was enough to condemn me forever. I could have easily been in the crowd that shouted "Crucify! Crucify!" and I could have raised my voice with mocking words as the guards abused Jesus. We were all there.

This seems so negative and it is. Sin is negative. Sin is real; and the consequences for sin are serious. Innocent blood had to be shed. But in the midst of this tragic story is our salvation. No one was exempt from the suffering caused to Jesus; and the salvation He won was for all of us. Reading the Passion story is something we need to do often so that we stay in touch with our own reality as redeemed sinners. Read the passage again. What part might you have played?

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