Father, Forgive Them

Bible:

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34 ESV

They took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.” John 19:23b-24a ESV

Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression. Psalm 19:12-13 ESV

Reflection:

Mrs. Sutton loved books, and she had a lot of them. Some of them were rare and precious books that would be hard to replace. Her little girl, Sadie, wasn’t quite three years old, but she liked books, too. Sadie didn’t know how to treat books well, and once when Mrs. Sutton wasn’t looking, Sadie took one of her rare books and scribbled in it with a pen, and then she tore out one page and tore that page into little pieces! When Mrs. Sutton saw what her daughter had done, she was very angry, but she knew it wouldn’t be fair to punish Sadie, because the little girl hadn’t known what she was doing. So Mrs. Sutton forgave her daughter, but after that she was careful to watch Sadie when she was around books, and to teach the little girl the right way to treat them.

When the soldiers put Jesus on the cross, they were only doing their job. To them Jesus was just another criminal who deserved the death sentence. One of the perks of their job was that they got to keep the clothes that belonged to the criminals who died, and so they played a gambling game to see who would get which piece of Jesus’ clothing. They didn’t know that the man they were killing and whose clothes they were taking was the Son of God. Jesus knew that they didn’t realize what they were doing, and so he prayed to his Heavenly Father to forgive them. Jesus’ love reached out from the cross to the soldiers, and he gave them a word of forgiveness instead of judgment. Jesus wanted them to hear his prayer. Maybe the soldiers would wonder who Jesus really was, and if they would come to know him, they could have all their sins forgiven and become part of his people.

Jesus’ love reaches out to us from the cross, too. He died there so that all our sins could be forgiven, even the sins we don’t understand or know about. He teaches us through his word how to follow him more closely and to better understand who he is to us and how we sin against him in our lives. He sends us his Holy Spirit to help us obey him, and to help us forgive others who sin against us, the way that Jesus does.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for your wonderful love and forgiveness. Amen.

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The King of the Jews

Bible:

There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” John 19:18-22 ESV

May they fear you while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!
In his days may the righteous flourish,
and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth!
May desert tribes bow down before him,
and his enemies lick the dust!
May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands
render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts!
May all kings fall down before him,
all nations serve him! Psalm 72:5-11 ESV

Reflection:

In 1831, a man named Louis-Phillipe was the king of France. This king was given a huge amount of money as his salary, 18 million francs a year, while at the same time most of his people were terribly poor. A man named Honore Daumier drew a political cartoon that made fun of the king and showed how terribly selfish he was. It showed a very fat king sitting on his throne and being fed bag after bag of money. The money was coming to his mouth up a ramp, and was being hauled up by laborers. Many poor people were standing around, looking very sad, waiting to add their money to bags that were being fed to the king. This cartoon was called Gargantua, but it never made it to the newspaper, because government censors stopped it from being published.

When Jesus was crucified, Pontius Pilate used the situation to make fun of the Jews who had given him so much trouble. A criminal who was crucified would have a notice on his cross telling everyone what the crime was, and the notice that Pilate put on Jesus’ cross was, “The King of the Jews.” This notice made Jesus an insulting picture of the kind of king the Jews had and the way they treated their king. The religious leaders understood that Pontius Pilate was making fun of them. They asked Pilate to change the sign to say, “This man said, I am the King of the Jews,” but the governor wouldn’t change it.

Pilate wanted to make fun of the Jewish leaders, but he didn’t know that he was actually telling the truth. Jesus is the king, not only of the Jews but of all people. Not all people believe in Jesus as their king, but everyone will have to bow to him one day when he comes again as our judge. Because Jesus died to make us his own people, everyone who believes in him will be part of his heavenly kingdom forever, and we will someday completely see what a powerful and wonderful king he is.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being our king and for dying for us. Amen.

Source:

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-daumier-honore-artworks.htm

He Would Not Drink It

Bible:

And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. Matthew 27:33-34 ESV

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 ESV

Reflection:

When people go to the dentist, they often find the procedures painful or at least very uncomfortable. Some people are terribly afraid of the dentist and get so anxious that they can’t cooperate the way they should. Dentists often give their patients some kind of anesthesia or sedation to make everything go more smoothly and to keep their patients more comfortable. Anesthesia makes a person numb so that he or she can’t feel anything at all, and dentists might make part of their patients’ mouths numb so that they can drill or do other uncomfortable things without causing them pain. Sometimes dentists use sedation, which makes people feel relaxed. Occasionally dentists might even put their patients completely to sleep, so that they don’t feel or know anything until the entire procedure is over.

Before the soldiers put Jesus on the cross, they offered him some wine to drink that had a drug in it. This drug would have made Jesus not feel so much pain or fear. Some people think the soldiers gave this to criminals so that they wouldn’t struggle and fight as they were being crucified, but many people think that the soldiers were doing a small kindness. Crucifixion was a horrible way to die, and taking a drug would have made it just a little easier. As soon as Jesus tasted what was in the wine, however, he wouldn’t drink it. Jesus knew he wouldn’t struggle or fight the soldiers, because he was giving his life freely. And he knew he needed to feel the full force of God’s judgment for the sins of the world.

It makes us very sad to think of all the terrible pain Jesus went through, but we know that he did it for us. Jesus went to the cross willingly. He could have turned away any time he wanted to, but he stayed with it till the end. He took on all the suffering of the punishment we deserved for our sins, and because he did this, we are free from sin and death. God, our Heavenly Father, forgives us our sins every day, and gives us new hearts and lives to love and serve him forever.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for all the suffering and pain you went through for us. Please forgive our sins and keep us close to you. Amen.

Source:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/anesthesia-and-sedation

 

 

Mourning for Jesus

Bible:

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:26-31 ESV

O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth,
and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only son,
most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
will come upon us. Jeremiah 6:26 ESV

Reflection:

There’s an old story that among all the women who were following Jesus and crying for him was a woman named Veronica. She saw sweat and the blood from the crown of thorns pouring down his face, and she felt sorry for him and wiped his face with her veil. Then a miracle happened, and the image of Jesus’ face was left on her veil. This veil was able to heal people who were sick when they touched it, especially from blindness. It also quenched thirst and sometimes even raised people from the dead.

This is only a story, but it’s a reminder that Jesus had been surrounded by enemies for many hours, but now there were people who helped him and some who felt sorry for him. Jesus was so weak from being flogged and beaten that he wasn’t able to carry his heavy cross for very long, and so the Roman soldiers forced an African man named Simon to carry his cross for him. Simon might not have known who Jesus was, but he was given a great honor to be able do this for Jesus, and we believe that he became a Christian. Many people followed Jesus as he was taken away to be crucified, crying and mourning for him, especially many women. Jesus stopped to talk to them. He said that they shouldn’t cry for him, but that they should cry for themselves. He talked about the time to come when Jerusalem would fall, and how terrible that time would be for mothers and for little children. As Jesus walked to the cross, God’s judgment for the sins of the world fell on him through Rome, but the judgment on Jerusalem that God would carry out through Rome would be a terrible thing for these women to experience.

Simon was able to help Jesus by carrying his cross, but only Jesus could carry the sins of the world and pay for them. There’s one way that the legend of Veronica’s veil is true. We don’t have to touch this veil, but when we believe in Jesus who went to the cross for us, he heals us of the terrible sickness of sin and promises to bring us back from the dead someday. God’s judgment fell on Jesus so that we could be forgiven, save from the doom of judgment that our sin has caused. We weep for the suffering of Jesus, but rejoice in the healing and forgiveness he won for us.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving us your healing and freeing us from God’s judgment. Amen

Source:

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Veil_of_Veronica

His Blood is on Us

Bible:

So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Matthew 27:24-25 ESV

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:7-9 ESV

Reflection:

Have you ever heard the story of the wandering Jew? The story says that a Jewish man hit Jesus and made fun of him while he was on his way to the cross, and Jesus punished the man by saying that he would never die, but would be doomed to wander all over the world until Jesus returned again. There are also stories that tell about the ghost of Pontius Pilate wandering around forever, washing his hands, but never getting the blood of Jesus off of them. These are only stories, but they show that people blame Pontius Pilate, or more often, the Jewish people, for Jesus’ death.

When Pilate gave up and decided to let the people have their way, and to put Jesus to death, he washed his hands. He said that he was innocent of putting Jesus to death, and the people in the crowd cried out, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Many people throughout history have thought that these words mean that we should blame Jewish people for Jesus’ death, and Christian people have said and done some horrible things to Jewish people partly for this reason. But this is terribly wrong. All people in all the world are guilty of Jesus’ death. It was our sin and guilt that put him on the cross, so we have no one to blame but ourselves. His blood is on our hands, and we can never wash that blood away and say that we are innocent of Jesus’ death.

But it’s good news for us that we have Jesus’ blood on us. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven and that we could be God’s people, and the Bible says that his blood washes away our sins. Jesus’ blood makes us clean and pure, and it is an honor and a privilege to have his blood on us. It means that we belong to him and will serve him in his heavenly kingdom forever.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you that your blood cleanses us from sin and guilt and makes us your people always. Amen.

Source:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/wandering-Jew

Not Caesar’s Friend

Bible:

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” John 19:12-15 ESV

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. I Timothy 6:13-16 ESV

Reflection:

Pontius Pilate had a lot of trouble while he was the governor of Judea. Once he had his Roman troops march into Jerusalem carrying Roman standards. These standards would have included medallions or busts with the emperor’s image on them, and the Jewish people saw these images as idols that were a blasphemy against the true God, and they held a five- day massive demonstration until Pilate removed the standards. Then, the governor built an aqueduct to bring water into Jerusalem, but he used some of the temple money to pay for it. Again, this made the Jewish people furious, and they started another riot. Roman troops put down this riot, and some people were killed when this happened. Finally, Pilate set up several golden shields dedicated to Tiberius Caesar in his Jerusalem headquarters, and this also made the Jewish people as well as Herod  so angry that they sent a protest to Tiberius, who was annoyed by the trouble and told Pilate to move the shields somewhere else and to respect the Jewish religious customs.

Now Jesus was on trial, and Pontius Pilate was sure that he was innocent and wanted to set him free, but the religious leaders knew how to make the governor do what they wanted. They said that if he set Jesus free, he wouldn’t be a friend of Caesar’s. Since Jesus had claimed to be a king, anyone who supported the Roman government should see Jesus as a criminal who had to die, they said. When Pilate brought Jesus out to stand before them, he said, “Behold your king!” But the crowd replied, “We have no king but Caesar!” They were threatening Pilate that they would complain to Tiberius Caesar again if he didn’t do what they wanted, and Pilate knew they could get him into serious trouble if they did that.

Jesus truly is a king, and he is the king above all kings. He deserves our respect and obedience more than any earthly ruler or leader, but sometimes we are like Pontius Pilate. We become afraid of getting into trouble for following the ways of Jesus, so sometimes we do and say things that are disloyal to Jesus to stay out of trouble. Jesus has the authority to give us worse punishment than any earthly ruler could, but instead he comes to call us back to him. He died on the cross to pay for all our sins of disloyalty and disobedience, and he forgives us and calls us his people. He sends us his Holy Spirit to help us to be strong and courageous and to live in ways that please him.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for us. Help us to obey you as our king and our Lord. Amen.

Source:

Maier, Paul L. In the Fullness of Time San Francisco: Harper, 1991, pp.148-149.

Pilate is Afraid

Bible:

While [Pilate] was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” Matthew 27:19 ESV

Pilate said to [the crowd], “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” John 19:6b-11 ESV

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:10-12 ESV

Reflection:

There are many stories about the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, and the way they punished people who made them angry. When Erisychthon cut down some trees from Demeter’s sacred forest, the goddess cursed him with a hunger that could never be satisfied so that he eventually ate himself! Actaeon accidentally saw Artemis while she was bathing in a pool, and the goddess turned him into a deer who was killed by his own hunting dogs. Sisyphus was a wicked king who killed travelers to his country as well as some of his own people, and the god Zeus doomed him to forever push a heavy rock to the top of a hill, but each time the rock would roll back down just before it would get to the top.

Pontius Pilate would have known these stories, and he may have believed them. He knew that it was a horrible thing to offend a god or a goddess, and was afraid of any punishment he might get. His wife had had a nightmare about Jesus and sent her husband a message to be careful not to hurt him. Then the religious leaders told Pilate that Jesus said that he was the Son of God. These things made Pilate terribly afraid. What if Jesus were some kind of a god? It would be very dangerous for the governor to condemn him to death. So he tried to ask Jesus where he was from, but Jesus wouldn’t answer his question. Pilate reminded him that he had the authority to put him to death or to set him free, but Jesus told Pilate that he had been given that authority by God. The true God is the only one Pilate really had to be afraid of.

We all have reason to be afraid of God because of the sin in our lives. We deserve God’s anger and punishment for the ways we have turned against him. But God loves us and doesn’t want to punish us. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be God’s children forever. We don’t have to be afraid of God, but instead we can know him as our loving Heavenly Father who takes care of us and hears our prayers and helps us.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving and forgiving us through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.

Source:

https://www.ranker.com/list/worst-punishments-in-mythology/edira-putri

Behold the Man!

Bible:

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” John 19:1-6a ESV

For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight. Psalm 72:12-14 ESV

Reflection:

Muscular dystrophy is a terrible disease that cripples children as they grow up and in time makes them unable to walk. Eventually, children die of this terrible disease, and there is no cure. Many people have worked to raise money so that a cure for muscular dystrophy might be found. In 1977 in England, there was a poster that showed a photograph of a 13-year-old boy named Anthony Dillow. Anthony was suffering from muscular dystrophy, and he could no longer walk, so the photograph showed him in a wheelchair. The caption on the poster said, “He’d like to walk away from this poster too.” People who saw the picture might have felt sorry and sad, and decided to give some money to help. Many times people who are doing work to help others will show photographs of those who are suffering so that people who see the pictures will feel sorry for them and want to help.

Pontius Pilate didn’t want to put Jesus to death, because he knew that Jesus was innocent of any crime and didn’t deserve to die. He had Jesus flogged, which meant a terrible whipping that would leave his back torn and bleeding. Then the soldiers put a crown of thorns on his head, which would have poked and scratched and cut him. They put a purple robe on him and hit him and made fun of him. After Jesus had been mistreated for awhile, Pontius Pilate brought him out to the crowd and the religious leaders. Pilate told them that he didn’t find Jesus guilty of anything, and then he said, “Behold the man!” He wanted them to feel sorry for Jesus when they saw how much he had suffered, and to let him go free. But the religious leaders had no pity for Jesus. As soon as they saw him, they started to yell, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

When God sees us and the terrible trouble sin has caused for us, he doesn’t have a hard heart. Instead, he feels pity for us and wants to help us. That’s why Jesus came, to give us the help we needed so badly. Jesus took all our sin and trouble and hurt onto himself and suffered and died for us. Because of what Jesus did, we can be sure that God sees us when he are in trouble and feels sorry for us and is ready to help us. He calls us his own children and is always ready to forgive our sins. We can talk to our loving Heavenly Father at all times and know that he hears us because of Jesus.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for having pity on us and loving us and sending Jesus, our Savior, for us. In His Name, Amen.

Source:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/feb/01/muscular-dystrophy-advertising-campaign

Jesus the Substitute

Bible:

Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” Mark 15:6-14 ESV

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:4-6 ESV

Reflection:

Sydney Carton loved a woman named Lucie, but she loved and married another man named Charles Darnay. Charles and Sydney looked so much alike that people sometimes would mistake one for the other. When Charles was accused of a crime in England, he was saved from death because Sydney was brought forward. The witness couldn’t tell Charles and Sydney apart, and so the court couldn’t prove a case against Charles. Later, Charles was accused of crimes in France during the time of the French Revolution and was sentenced to be put to death by the guillotine. Sydney loved Lucie and cared about her family so much that he took Charles’ place. He allowed himself to be arrested by people who mistook him for Charles and was put to death for him while Charles escaped from France with his family.

Pontius Pilate really didn’t want Jesus to be put to death, because he believed Jesus was innocent of any crime. Pilate had a custom that every year at Passover he would release one prisoner for the Jewish people, and the people started to ask him for this. The governor thought that maybe he could release Jesus and solve his problem. But the crowd didn’t want that. The religious leaders stirred them up to ask for a man named Barabbas who had taken part in a rebellion and had killed someone. Barabbas was a dangerous criminal, but the religious leaders thought that Jesus was even more dangerous, so they demanded that Barabbas be released and that Jesus be put to death on the cross. They wanted Jesus to die the death that Barabbas deserved to die.

Jesus died on the cross instead of Barabbas, but he wasn’t only a substitute for Barabbas. Jesus was a substitute for all the people in the world. Everyone has sinned and deserves God’s judgment forever, but Jesus took all of our sins on himself and died as our substitute on the cross. Because of this, God forgives us all our sins and makes us his own people. Jesus died the death we deserved to die, and he gives us life with him forever instead.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being our substitute on the cross and taking our sins on yourself. Amen.

Source:

Dickens, Charles A Tale of Two Cities London: Chapman and Hall, 1859.

Making Fun of Jesus

Bible:

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. Luke 23:4-11 ESV

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 ESV

Reflection:

In the Middle Ages in Europe, as well as in other parts of the world, there were people who were known as court jesters. A court jester was a clown whose job was to keep the king or a noble person entertained. Sometimes a jester would wear donkey ears and even a donkey tail, or perhaps a hat with three points with a jingle bell on each point. A jester’s clothes were usually many bright, cheerful colors. Kings and nobles had a lot of worries and responsibilities, and the jester needed to make his king or noble laugh and help him relax and feel entertained by telling him and the other people in his court jokes and stories, singing and making music, and doing acrobatics and tricks such as juggling.

Herod expected Jesus to act like a jester for him. He had heard about Jesus and that he had performed some incredible miracles, and Herod hoped that Jesus would so something amazing that he could watch. But Jesus never did miracles to entertain people, and he wouldn’t do that for Herod. He wouldn’t even answer Herod’s questions at all. So Herod and his soldiers decided to have their own fun with Jesus. They made fun of him and put splendid, kingly clothing on him. This wasn’t because they respected Jesus, but instead to make fun of him because some people called him a king. When Herod was done entertaining himself with Jesus, he sent him back to Pontius Pilate.

Some people still like to make fun of Jesus and the things he said and did, and other people might seem to treat Jesus with more respect, but they really are only interested in Jesus doing good and amazing things for them. Sometimes we do that too, because we are sinful and selfish and want to use Jesus for our own purposes. But Jesus is God, and he isn’t to be mocked or used in any way. We deserve God’s judgment for misusing Jesus, but he allowed himself to be made fun of so that he could go to the cross and pay for all our sins. He sends us his Holy Spirit to help us to turn away from our sinful attitudes and to love and respect Jesus as our King and our Lord.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, please forgive us for the times we are selfish and try to use you for our own purposes. Help us to love and serve you instead. Amen.

Source:

http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-life/medieval-jesters.htm