Today’s reading: Luke 23:1-25
Today we read Luke’s account of the trial of Jesus. Most of us know the basic outline of the story where the Sanhedrin brings Jesus before Pilate who reviews the case. He finds the Lord not guilty and sends him to Herod. Also finding that Jesus has done no wrong, Herod returns Jesus to Pilate. Still finding that He has done no wrong, Pilate seeks to release Jesus but the crowd rebels. They become raucous and fearing a disturbance Pilate ultimately convicts Jesus and sentences him to death. One thing to note from the overarching perspective is that all parts are society play a role in the injustice done to Jesus. The religious authorities (Sanhedrin), the secular “world” government (Pilate), the national government (Herod) and the people.
There is one line that is particularly interesting in Luke’s account. Luke writes:
And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
So before this affair, Herod and Pilate were at odds. Afterwards, they become friends. This tells us something about the nature of sin. It seeks out others to corrupt them as well. Now, in this case, Pilate and Herod were both corrupt, to begin with, but convicting an innocent and famous preacher is still a step above their ordinary “day to day” corruption. In fact, Luke also tells us the Herod knew of Jesus fame and had sought to meet him for some 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 when they both mock Jesus and don’t use their power to prevent the injustice from coming upon Jesus they recognize in each other that they are “kindred spirits”. They become friends to cover for each other. They each use the actions of the other to justify the choices they have made. We must always be wary of this. Any groups that we join, from political parties to social clubs, can assert influence over us, intentionally or unintentionally. We can feel justified in our action because the group gives those actions tacit approval. That is why we must constantly look to God, to reset and refocus and to put Him first above all things.
Tomorrow: Luke 23:26-56