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Afraid: Lenten Devotions

by | Mar 23, 2024 | Fear, Lenten Devotions, Salvation

The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die because He has made Himself the Son of God.’ When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, ‘Where are You from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, ‘You will not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You and authority to crucify You?’ Jesus answered him, ‘You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered Me over to you has the greater sin.'”

(John 19:7-11 ESV)

Pilate is afraid. Jesus’ enemies have just brought up the possibility that Jesus might be something supernatural. Pilate is a Roman, and his culture is full of stories of gods and demigods—and the revenge that they take when human beings mistreat them. Now he’s worried about Jesus.

Really, it’s a pity Pilate didn’t take warning and refuse to go any further with Jesus’ case. At least, it would have been better for Pilate!

But maybe not for us—because Jesus is different from those Roman gods and demigods. He is gracious and merciful, and has come into the world, not to punish sinful human beings, but to cleanse, forgive, and restore us to God. His death and resurrection are good news for us—because they are the way He brings us home to the true God of peace.

We pray: Thank You, Lord, that You are gracious. Help me to trust You and not be afraid. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* Do you know much about Greek and Roman gods? What about gods from other religions?
* Would you feel safe around any of those gods? Why or why not?
* How is Jesus different from them? Give examples if you can.

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 24, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights