Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 117

                       Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 117: Surrender
Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 27:11-26

Jesus Before Pilate

11"Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
You have said so,” Jesus replied.
12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor." (Matthew 27:11-14)
Most prisoners probably begged for their freedom or tried to defend themselves before Pilate so as to remove the sentence of death, but Jesus stood before Pilate in silence. I remember the first time I watched the movie, "Jesus of Nazareth,' (that is after I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior), and I watched as Jesus stood before Pilate not saying a word, I began to feel anxious and actually yelled at the television, "Say something! Defend yourself- you could go free!" I felt angry inside that he allowed Himself to be accused and sentenced to death. I wanted to turn it off, but sat and watched the movie to the end. When I saw Jesus' resurrection I realized that Jesus had to go to the cross to fulfill His Father's will of reconciling man to Himself.  
15 "Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. 
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified." (Matthew 27:15-26) 
Here you can see Pilate's inability to charge Jesus. Pilate cannot see a reason for the death penalty. His wife is the only one who is on his side to release Jesus, but it was not enough as the crowd grew more aggressive. Pilate allowed the people to make the charge of death and he washed his hands of the matter. I don't know what I would have done in his position. I'd like to think that I'd stand up to the people and the chief priests, but as we look back we see it was all part of the Father's will that Jesus was flogged and crucified for the sin of the world. Often I've thought about the things Jesus endured just so that we would know He understands and sympathizes with our pain. Flogging or having one's back whipped was still happening in our country up to the Civil War and after. All those who had been whipped knew their Savior had experienced it too. He endured it all out of His love for us.
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for being willing to go to the cross for me. Thank you that you did not fight it, but showed me what it looks like to obey you completely. Help me to live my life surrendered to your will. Help me to be at peace and not fight for my will to be done. Lord, I surrender my life's dreams to you and pray for your will to be done in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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