Prayer: Jesus, help me to live in the truth.
Imagination: (Picture Pilate with Jesus and the crowds.)
Talking with Jesus had strengthened Pilate. However, his resolve is weak and talking again with the Jewish leaders sways him. He thinks he can get out of this without making a decision. Compromise with truth always ends in disaster. Pilate is the prime example.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Pilate had Jesus scourged and then showed him to the crowds saying, “Look at the man. I find no guilt in him.” Yet the chief priests and the guards cried out, “Crucify him. Crucify him.” Pilate said, “I find no guilt in him.” They said, “He must die because he made himself the Son of God.”
Fearing even more, Pilate asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” Because Jesus did not answer, Pilate said, “Do you not know I have the power to crucify you or to release you?” Jesus said, “You would have no power at all if you did not receive it from above. Those who handed me over, have the greater sin.”
Pilate wanted to release Jesus. The Jews, however, cried out “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend.” Pilate brought Jesus out and said, “Behold your King.” They shouted, “Away with him. Crucify him.” Pilate asked, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So Pilate delivered Jesus over to be crucified.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Pilate voices his inner conviction that Jesus is not guilty. However, he does not act on his beliefs.
- Fears overcome him. His emotions lead him astray.
- Pilate’s fate is sealed because he has abandoned truth.
- These lies entrap everyone, – Pilate, the soldiers, the crowds and the chief priests (who hate Caesar, yet proclaim him as their king.)
- The blood-soaked Jesus has fulfilled Simeon’s prophecy. He is a sign of contradiction for many in Israel.
Affections: When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, you are my King.
- Help me to live in your truth.
- When the world pressures me, confuses me, and entangles me, I will stand firm as your disciple.
- Jesus, only you can save me from the powerful whirlpool of evil that surrounds me.
- You are soaked in blood, the price you paid to save me. Thank you.
Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will keep the blood-soaked Jesus before my eyes today.
- With Jesus’ help, I will resist my fears to compromise.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Pilate wanted to release Jesus.