Good Friday, April 7, 2023 | 29 Days
Although the Gospel writers seem to be implying that no particular blame attached to the Roman soldiers for crucifying Jesus (and they add that later the centurion in charge of them believed, or at least semi-believed), the case is quite different with the Roman procurator who ordered the crucifixion. ‘Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus…they crucified him’ (John 19:16–18).
Pilate was culpable. In fact, his guilt is written into our Christian creed, which declares that Jesus was ‘crucified under Pontius Pilate’.
__Stott, John. The Cross of Christ . InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
Like the death of Jesus, it is not uncommon to hear reports of the slow demise of the religion founded on his life and teaching.
If Jesus is truly who he says he is that will not happen, for he pledged that he would build his church…even at the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18), but…it will not be for a lack of trying– “Pilates” abound.
But my concern today is the “Roman soldier” type, those who have no particular ax to grind with Christianity. Matter of fact, they may even have a Christian background and even participate a bit from time to time in some of it’s observances (Easter, for example). But for all practical purposes Christianity is a non-factor in their lives.
It matters little to them if Christianity thrives and Christ is proclaimed. They’re not against the Church, they’re just for themselves.
Matter of fact, they’re pretty decent folk going about their daily lives – just doing their job, trying to feed the family, keep a roof over their head, and hope to find the occasion diversion and fun time.
And the presence of Christ and His Church is slowly but surely dying out in their lives and the lives of those they care for the most.
What a sad, sad, tragedy. Far sadder than the death of Jesus.
The ONE THING for today: Christ and his Church have always had their enemies. But it is sad that most are not declared enemies, they are simply apathetic acquaintances.