Thursday, April 5th. Mark 15:1-15

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

 

Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.

 

Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.  Mark 15:1-15

 

This story always comes back to the same places. 

 

Religious leaders using politicians to secure their own positions of religious power and maintain their influence over the people. 

 

Political leaders who prefer peace as the absence of conflict rather than peace as the presence of justice.

 

And the crowds, caught up in the hysteria of “crowdness”, killing the Healer and freeing the killer.  When two or three gather together in a pickup they are far more likely to do very cruel things than when they travel alone.

 

The story never changes and Jesus remains ever silent.

 

Silent.

 

The silence in this story is deafening.

 

We hear so clearly the bitter voices of the accusers with their ridiculous accusations.  We hear the harsh words of the Roman soldiers, their strange accents and their barking orders.  We hear the dismissive, sarcastic tone that Pilate directs at everyone except his superiors.  We hear the hoots and hollers of the raucous crowd.

 

But Jesus says nothing.  He doesn’t defend himself.  Doesn’t justify himself.  Doesn’t scream in anger at his accusers.  The time will come for Jesus to speak but, for now, the silent lamb is led to the slaughter.

 

Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, we remember today your last day among us.  The meal.  The conversation.  The walk.  The late night prayers.  The crowd.  The calloused hands which grabbed and twisted and hit.  May we never forget this.  May the stories of these days keep us from floating away on some spiritual cloud and keep us grounded here in the real human lives we lead, the life you lived, the lives you have redeemed.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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3 Responses to “Thursday, April 5th. Mark 15:1-15”

  1. Marilyn Pickard Says:

    “Religious leaders using politicians to secure their own positions of religious power and maintain their influence over the people. ”

    I would say “Politicians using religeous leaders to secure their own position—–etc”
    Politicians are more likely to have the voice that will be heard, than are religeous leaders. Besides, the religeous leaders are too fearful to speak out on ‘secular’ matters.

  2. Steve Montgomery Says:

    I agree two or three gathered together are far more likely to do very cruel things than someone traveling alone but why the reference to “in a pickup”? A totally unnecessary slur. I’ve always thought of you as above such comments.

  3. Gene Carr Says:

    Silence can be more powerful than the largest crowd.
    You can’t put more than two on a motorcycle, and a pickup is the closest we use today to a chariot. Very, powerful devotion. Thanks.

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