John 18:19-38; 2 Chronicles 27-28; Psalm 84
The “trial” of Jesus was chaotic. People were shouting accusations from all around Him. He saw first one “High Priest” and then a second one. (The understanding is that the son in law was the official high priest, but everyone knew who ran the show.) People struck out at Him. He was shuttled from place to place because everyone wanted a piece of this man who would be Messiah. In the midst of the chaos, though, his accusers maintained their decorum: “Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.” (John 18:28) They brought Jesus to the civil authority, Pilate, but didn’t go so far as to do anything to get their hands spiritually dirty. They wanted to be able to participate in their religious feast. They could arrange the death of an innocent man who had become inconvenient to their political aspirations and still keep their religious obligations. When our religion becomes more a system of obligations and meetings instead of a life changing relationship, we can do whatever we want, just so long as we make the next church service or pay our pledge to the church. If God has really made a difference in our lives, we can’t contain our beliefs to obligations and services; they should permeate our whole being. Our beliefs, really our relationship with God should cause us to deal with all people in a godly fashion seeking to restore relationships between ourselves and others and between those people and God. If we really believe that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, then our relationship with Him means that we will be fulfilling that call also. We should never be able to stab someone in the back with a smile. We should never be able to rush to stab someone in the back so we can make our church service. God wants us to work to restore relationships between God and man.
Lord, remind me that each person that I have wronged is someone that You love. Remind me that You want to develop a relationship with them as You draw them into Your kingdom. Let me always see people as You see them and seek to restore relationships, not break them.