Tuesday, March 31, 2015

REPROACHES of THE PASSION Set 4: You Handed me over to the Chief Priests and Pilate

O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me.

  1. I led you out of Egypt, overwhelming Pharaoh in the Red Sea; you have delivered me to your high priests. (Reproach #5)
  2. I went before you in a pillar of cloud; you have led me to the judgment hall of Pilate. (Reproach #7)

What was the Sin of the chief priests? It is not that they were priests - that was a special calling to minister in the temple of the Lord. In a way, they were to mediate between God and the people. That was not a sin. The problem with the chief priests of Jesus’ time was that they were liars; they gave lip service to God, but did not really seek His will; they dictated the law to others without actually living it themselves; they were, as Jesus pointed out, “Hypocrites and Unmarked Tombs.” They replaced the Pillar of cloud with their own judgment. Like Pilate, they were after self preservation and self righteousness instead of seeking to listen to God’s voice and follow in his ways.
Before we start pointing fingers at the “ordained priests” of our time, let me just remind all of us that by virtue of our baptism, we have been incorporated into the Royal Priesthood of Jesus. We are priests too, so maybe we are guilty of the sin of the Chief Priests in our day: we sit in judgment over others, yet we are guilty of the same charges we bring against them; we look so pious, yet we are very poor Christians; we appear very devout, but we are divorced from Christ; we keep the commandments, but we are cold and unsympathetic towards others.

Therefore, from the Cross, the Savior says to us: I went before you because I wanted to be your leader. I want you to follow Me, not the other way round. I want to light up your way with the radiance of My cross. I want to teach you the truth which will set you free. I want you to live your life for Me. I want you to be true to your calling to share in My Royal Priesthood. I want you to lead others to Me, to be a light for those in darkness, a guide for the blind, encouragement to the faint-hearted. I am the Crucified Savior because I chose the Cross. I want you to accept me as such, and help others find Me.

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