Tipping the Balance of Justice

  • Tuesday, March 23, 2010
  • John 18 and 19 detail the travesty of justice that Jesus faced along the trail to His crucifixion. But as we reviewed the trials on Sunday, when viewed from an eternal perspective, the scale tips the other way.

    Chapter 18 opens with the betrayal. Judas, one of the chosen disciples, led the Roman guard to Christ. They were seeking Him as One who was causing problems among the people. He was instructing them counter to the teachings of the high priests. Arrest and a trial seemed the best solution to the problem. At night, in the garden, He was identified as the guilty one. However, when the betrayal is viewed from a different perspective, we see that it was actually Judas who was proven to be the guilty one for betraying the One with whom he had been so close.

    Next was the appearance before Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas the high priest. Caiaphas had suggested that arresting Christ would be the solution to the problems they faced. The high priests accused Christ of teaching false doctrine and leading the people away from God. Again, viewed from our position in history, the high priests were truly the ones who were so arrogant that they were blind to the truth.

    In His appearance before Pilate, the high priests were challenged to detail their accusations. Their response, "If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you" John 18:30. Pilate feared that finding Jesus guilty would cause an uprising among the people, upsetting the status quo Thus he sought to remove himself from the controversy. Pilate's fear kept him from the truth of who Christ really was. His fear ultimately did lead to an uprising, one built on the love of God and the saving grace of Christ.

    Then there was Peter. This impetuous man had promised to stick closely to Christ and defend Him. He was present at each of these trials. Yet, when questioned about his connection with Christ, Peter denied Him. It's proof that anyone can fall, even one who is so close to the truth.

    Most interesting among these stories is that of Barabbas. He had been jailed for his wrong doings. Pilate went to the people and evoked the tradition of releasing one who had been accused. We're told that Pilate thought the people would ask him to release Jesus. Instead, it was the prisoner Barabbas whom they asked to be set free. A man guilty of sin was set free by the sacrifice of Jesus who bore no guilt.

    The truth of the Passover being celebrated by the Jews was that a sacrifice free of blemishes would pay for the sins of those making the sacrifice. Little did these people know that the sacrifice of Christ would indeed do this very thing. As this week unfolds for you, reflect on your own actions. Do you betray the very One whom you should worship? Are you making accusations of others when you should be reflecting on your own actions? Do you fear an uprising when your very actions will cause one? Do you deny the One who seeks to lead you in the right way? Are you guilty of sin but set free by Christ?


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