Day 96: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 96: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

We last saw Jesus in his trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin.  He had to speak the truth, since Caiaphas: And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” (Matt. 26:63).  The priest’s head almost explodes.

Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:64). Then the high priest tore his robes… (26:65).  Jesus’ testimony of the truth was so overwhelming, Caiaphas broke ceremonial law – and tore his clothes!  The rest of the court – the moral men of ethics: Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him… (26:67).

And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. (27:2). Now the civil authorities would get the case.  Roman Law.  Another disciple, Judas takes center stage: Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders… (27:3).  Judas changes, from greed to regret.  He was a self-absorbed, man, who attached himself to what he thought was a new political administration.  He let natural desires change his heart, rather than spiritual principles of righteousness.

Judas went back to those sharks, the chief priests and the elders (27:3).  He had remorse for his behavior. What would a ‘priest’ do for a person who was genuinely grieved about their choices?  Compassion and sensitivity – right? “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” (27:4). Sincere men of God would have ministered to Judas about his contrition.  But… betraying innocent blood… just wasn’t a high priority for these phonies. “Get outa here!” was their attitude.

And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. (27:5).  Judas did not have to die.  If he had true repentance, the Lord would have accepted him back into the fold without hesitation.  The priests were hateful and uncaring, the opposite of Jesus. Their attitudes and behavior will haunt them into eternity.

What did the religious elites do with the silver? But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” (27:6). Do you believe these charlatans!?  They overlooked weightier matters of morality, then petty ordinances they obey: So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. (27:7).  This was the full measure of their pity for the poor.

Back to Jesus before Pilate – the Roman Procurator. He had power — civil authority. The gospel of John has a more detailed account.  You will see that Pilate was also a petty tyrant, who was answerable to powers in Rome, the mega authority in the world.  The Jews would not enter the Judgment Hall: So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” (John 18:29). Here comes a cat and mouse game between powerful factions from opposing ideologies.

They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” (18:30).  The Jews are being very coy, trying to manipulate their Roman ‘brother’. Pilate was no slouch at political intrigue. Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” (18:31).  They’re doing quite a tap dance with one another, neither giving up their power.  They’re savvy, and manipulative, neither party respecting the other.

Pilate does have to manage a capital offense crime though.  The Jews successfully put his back against Roman Law.  Pilate could not ignore their claim. So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” (18:33).  Huh?  Where did this come from?  King of the Jews?  The Jews wanted him dead because Jesus disrupted their business, and his claim that he was the Son of Man. The Jews were very shrewd, introducing political problems, for the Romans.

Roman authority did not allow any competing royalty to Caesar. The Jews made this a political ploy, so Pilate had to put this renegade ‘king’ to death. Pilate ignored Roman and Jewish Law and got to the core problem. Was Jesus a threat to Rome?  Pilate started with an illegal question.  There needs to be charges, and evidence presented to proceed.  Do not try and bamboozle Jesus – he’ll eat your lunch.  Pilate wasn’t prepared for what hit him.

Jesus immediately takes the Roman governor to task for his illegality: Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” (18:34).  In other words, your asking an illegal question, where are the charges and where are those who are bringing the accusation.  Jesus has the right to face his accusers.  Checkmate.

Pilate was put back on his heels, by a carpenter/rabbi, who knew the law. Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” (18:35).  Pilate lists the accusers – the chief priests. Then Pilate steps in it again, asking an illegal question: “What have you done?”  Jesus confesses to the truth.

Jesus gives Pilate a Sunday School lesson: Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (18:36). There is an immaterial reality, that is spiritual. Pilate does not have a spiritual molecule in his brain.  He asked the question about kingship, and Jesus gave him the answer. If you had an instrument to measure spiritual aptitude, Pilate’s reading would be zero.

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”  (18:37).  Pilate was fixated on political issues.  If Jesus claimed to be a king, then Rome wanted him erased.  Rome had enough rebellions in far-off provinces of their empire. Just squash the problem. Pilate’s focus was not on spiritual matters, but political.  He’s got an unreconcilable challenge.

Spiritual issues rule over practical life.  It is inevitable.  Often the sacred and the secular clash and get polarized.  Each person will have to choose.  If you think they can coexist you will often be disappointed.  One will subvert the other. In the end, the spiritual will always win.  The divine realm will rule.  Choose the winning side.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (Jn. 14:6).  There is no other way.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Infuse me with a courage that is like Jesus’ boldness.  Do not let me be cowed into submission to secular ideals, rather let me stand on the clarity of the Word of God. Even when the powerful and elites do not value your Son, let me confidently testify to His glory. Give me a certainty like Jesus.’ Let me bravely proclaim my faith in Him.  Let me valiantly stand firmly on Biblical authority.  Do not let cultural norms confuse or allure me.  Do not let worldly things attract me.  Do not let fashionable trends capture my heart.  Let me stand alone, if I must, against tyranny and decadence.

Then let that stand be attractive to those who want more from life.  Let others yearn for your good and your glory because they value you and your plan.  Let others learn that spiritual life is tangible and has rewards, and values that enhance them and their families. Let them hunger for the promises of your Word.  Let them ache for their families to experience the same redemptive life.  Let us stand as icons so others can enhance their courage to step out in faith. We see this as an opportunity Father, not a duty.  Thank you for enlisting us into this adventure.  We pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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