Sunday, May 1, 2011

John 19: The Man Vs. The System

Yesterday a sister commented on the John 18 post. Her good and gracious point about Peter's training and potential is included in the amended version of the post, which can be seen at

For any who might doubt the physical and moral courage of Jesus, read John 19. Flogged, mocked, tortured and beaten by Roman soldiers, he is then brought before their governor, the one man with the power to make the suffering end. It is not Jesus but Pilate who who is afraid and he responds with the empty threat of the middle-man trapped in an authoritarian system, "Don't you realize I have power to free you or to crucify you?"

Bloody, bruised, but unbowed, the Son of Man stands alone before his executioner and admonishes without hate or accusation, "you would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above." This is not bravado. It is courage born of truth and a rock-solid sense of his calling and identity. In some ways it resembles the old-fashioned military virtues of honor and duty: "because this is who I am, this is what I must do." The Nazarene is a truly free man, speaking and living truth unfettered by fear of what others may think, say and do. Behold the Man. Behold the Man. Behold the Man.

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