Day 100: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 100: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

Pilate asked Jesus: “Where are you from?” (Jn. 19:9).  Do you find this odd?  Pilate knew he was from Galilee (Luke 23:6, 7).  Why did he ask: “Where are you from?” Pilate realized Jesus was not an ordinary man, though at first, he was uninspired by him.

Most people have the same first impression of Jesus, indifference. When Pilate asked this question, he thought of Roman mythical gods.  Pilate thought Jesus came from the supernatural realm, though he was fully human.  Pilate saw Jesus as a man, then maybe, as a god.  Jesus of course set Pilate straight: my kingdom is not from the world.” (Jn. 18:36).

Pilate’s boss was Caesar, and Jesus claimed their authority came from his Heavenly domain.  What an audacious claim! Pilate’s mind contorted. He did not believe Jesus, though he was very troubled by him.  Pilate turned away from truth and believed a lie.

On the other hand, the Jewish leaders hated Rome, but they hated Jesus more.  These were the religious leaders of God’s Chosen, very pious, and very evil.  Pilate wanted to release Jesus.  What did the Jews, the devout elites do?

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” (19:12).  Huh?  The Jews were advocating for Roman Law, and Caesar’s reputation?  How did theses religious leaders squeeze themselves between Pilate and Caesar?  They’re shrewd.

They served the ball back into Pilate’s court.  Now he had to deal with Jesus, otherwise Rome would land on his head. His choice was Jesus or him.  You know his choice.  So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat… (19:13).

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. (Prov. 29:25). Life can be complex, or very simple.  Living by manipulation and deception leaves one at risk. Those are choices by fearful people.  Freedom comes in serving the Lord, no matter the consequence.  Faith dissipates fear. The righteous shall live by his faith. (Hab. 2:4)

Pilate: said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” (19:14).  Pilate brought Jesus to the place for judicial judgment.  Pilate skewered the Jews with mockery, noting this beaten broken fellow was their king. Pilate used disdain as a weapon against the Jews for their manipulation of him.  This trial became a tit-for-tat, not something of high moral principles and legal values but petty politics, and racial slurs.  What did the Jews want for their king?

They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” (19:15).

What irony!  The King of kings was in front of them, yet Pilate mocked him, the Jews reject him, both miss the irony of Jesus being traded for a moral pipsqueak – Caesar.  The Jews chose a ruler who demanded their devotion – Caesar.  They were goaded by Pilate to make this proclamation, since he insisted that the broken, bloody man was their king.  Both the Jews and Pilate manipulated each other to betray their beliefs.

The Jews dismissed their King Jesus with indignation. So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus (19:16).  Pilate submitted.  He had authority, yet he relinquished it for nefarious reasons, and self-preservation.  This is not the first time Israel rejected the Lord as their King.  Really?

Israel in the Old Testament wanted a king like other nations.  They demanded Jehovah give them a king. And said, “Behold, you [Samuel] are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Sam. 8:5). But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. (1 Sam. 8:6).  The Lord manages the entire Universe, yet they wanted to replace Him with a mortal!  He will help manage your life, do you let Him? Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28).

And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. (8:7).  In both the Old and New Testament, Israel rejected the Lord as their King.

Pilate…delivered him over to them to be crucified. Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to…Golgotha.  (Jn. 19:16, 17). There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. (19:18).

Crucifixion was called the ‘cruelest and foulest of punishment’ by Cicero. It was designed to be an excruciating long death. It was a public execution with the crime being written on a sign and placed on the cross.  It was also a humiliating death, since the offender was stripped naked.  The criminal often survived for several days.  Death usually came from asphyxiation when the organs of the person collapsed within the body.  All the human functions of the offender were public.  It was a thoroughly hideous and degrading death.

So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him… (Matt. 27:42–44). All the horrid insults and invectives were meant to further hurt him.  They tort-ured his body, then they wanted to crush his soul and break his heart.  This was a thorough shameful intent to injure him with the deepest damage.  Would Jesus have a response?

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). How utterly shocking!  This would not have been my response.  What great mercy!  Did this stop the invectives?  No, the Jews and Roman soldiers kept mocking him (23:35-37). One person responded positively. One person’s mind was changed, by Jesus’ prayer.

One thief noted: “this man has done nothing wrong.” (23:41) Jesus’ desire for His Father to forgive their maliciousness, turned one man’s heart.  And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (23:42). And he [Jesus] said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (23:43).  One sinner was saved at the Cross.

In the ugliest moment in human history, the grandest thing happened.  A sinner came to faith.  The Lord lovingly accepted him into the glories of the Heavenly realm.

The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him (2 Tim. 2:11).   Have you repented?  It’s never too late.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the wonderful mercy of Jesus Christ.  He accepts the most unworthy of us, simply because we put our faith in Him.  We receive the glories of Heaven because He replaced us on that Cross.  I offer my profound thanks and add the dedication of my life, as an exchange for eternal life.  It is my gift back to you, an expression of my love and gratitude for your glorious kindness in more significant ways.  As I understand deeper truths by your Word, I come to further appreciate your goodness and purity.  I discover new glories of your character, insights to wonderful blessings you bestow on me.  All I can say is thank you for your kindness.

I want your nature to be reflected in my behavior and choices.  I want spiritual truths to emerge from my life that others will wonder at your goodness.  I desire you to receive honor that is due your name.  I want people to know you.  I want people to get a realistic understanding about you, if they watch me.  I do not want to hinder anyone’s quest to know you, rather I want anyone who sees or knows me to be assured that the Lord of Glory is a reality, not an intellectual construct.  I want the reality of my life be a picture of the truth of a good and glorious Lord.  Protect me from my old-self, so old choices have no hold on me, but new life is the engine of my soul.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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