by Cecils Child
A Meditation On The Steps To Calvary
|V. We adore You, o Christ, and we praise You:
R. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
"Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.” –Mk. 15:15
I am Pilate. My reality is certain—I am fear. Fear at my hands turns the hearts of all under my rule to stone, as my justice is brutal, harsh, final. Fear at the hands of my superiors turns my heart to stone, for their justice is the same. I fear this crowd before me, chanting, growing, threatening an uprising over one man standing silently at my side, knowing that I will condemn him, deny him—send him off to die.
I know he’s not guilty of a thing. I know I should listen to the voice screaming from within me to follow through with that gut instinct to let this man go. Maybe it was my original plan. I am too weak, though, to lose everything I have, including my life, which is what will happen if I follow my heart. What justice will prevail? The justice that protects me in the here and now, which is all I know, all I understand. I sometimes wonder who holds all the cards to my destiny. I somehow know it isn’t me—it never was, was it?
I wish I could be like this man, standing here humiliated, but still courageously facing his inevitable end. Instead, I wash my hands and send him off to die.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, So many times I let my own fears cloud my judgment. I fear the opinions of others, worrying that they won’t accept me, or worse, will ridicule me.
How often have I stood by and allowed an injustice, no matter how small, just because I feared the angry mob? Have I chimed in with the gossipers at the water cooler while they berated a co-worker? Did I look on as a friend was unjustly accused of something? Have I allowed my own fears to prevent me from standing up for justice?
I want to be like you, Jesus, courageous in the face of my enemies. As I stand before the angry mob, fill my heart so that when I have to make that impossible choice, I can overcome my fear and follow my heart.