God Knows…When I Wonder if Anybody Loves Me – Part 1
Everyone has moments of feeling unlovable and/or unloved. When we wonder whether anybody loves us, we can travel back in time to Jerusalem year AD 27 in our imagination. It’s before dawn on a Friday. First we go to the court room. Council members are seated on both sides of Caiaphas, the chief justice and high priest. On a platform below him stand Jesus with his hands bound, and a squad of Roman soldiers. Bribed witnesses are accusing Jesus of stirring up revolt and trying to set up a new government. “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’”
Quietly Jesus listens to His angry accusers. The chief justice rages, “Do You answer nothing?” Jesus holds his peace. As a last resort, Caiaphas says, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Respectfully Jesus responds, “It is as you said.” The high priest acts horrified. He tears his clothes. “What further need do we have of witnesses?” he yells. “Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?” Back comes the answer: “He is deserving of death.”
By law, a prisoner cannot be tried at night, so the court’s decision will be made legal at dawn. In the meantime Jesus is led to the guardroom. People spit in His face. They slap Him. Satan moves them to try again and again to rouse Jesus to anger. They fail.
When day dawns, again Jesus is taken before the court. Judas has been watching the trial, expecting Jesus to reveal himself as king and set up a new government. Why doesn’t He? Judas wonders: Did I make the biggest mistake of my life? “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” he calls as he pushes through the crowd to give back the 30 pieces of silver to the priests.” They reply, “What is that to us?” In despair, Judas leaves and hangs himself.
The court condemns Jesus a second time. But there’s a problem. They want Jesus dead, but only a Roman officer can sentence someone to death. So the mob of angry people go to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. He looks none too happy to have this group at his door so early. “Who is this Man?” he asks. “What law has He broken?”
The priests know Jesus has done nothing against the Roman laws. So they hedge. “Would we bring Him here if He weren’t a criminal?” Lying lips bring false charges: “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding paying taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is a King”
“Are you the king of the Jews?” asks Pilate. Christ’s face light up as He answers, “It is as you say.” Pilate is astonished at the innocent bearing of Jesus. He talks briefly with him, then announces. “I find no fault in this Man.”
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