Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Under control

Today’s Reading: John 18:38b-39 (NIV)

38b With this, [Pilate] went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against [Jesus]. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

Good morning!

Pilate thought he had everything under control. He could simply go to the people, give them a choice, and let them decide what to do with the Nazarene. In his mind, he figured he would relinquish personal responsibility over the one known as “the King of the Jews.” How much control do you think Pilate really had over Jesus’ life? How much control did the people really have in determining Christ’s fate?

Jesus was being charged with loving unconditionally. He healed the sick, raised the dead to life again, and demonstrated the Father’s love for all people. He taught us how to pray. Jesus saw through the schemes of religious hypocrites, calling out sin for what it is, and offered a whole new life to all those were willing to let go of the past and begin again. Do you think Pilate had as much control over the life and death of Christ as he thought he did? Do you think the people had ultimate control that day?

It is easy to believe we have more control over the direction of our lives than we actually do. And sometimes, we allow our circumstances to imprison our hearts. In captivity, we feel a false sense of security. Have you ever allowed yourself to be held captive by something? Maybe you are imprisoned by a painful memory that keeps you from living life to its fullest measure. Have you lost someone you love? Do you find it hard to go on living without them? Do you suffer with a physical infirmity? Do you feel like you are stuck at the bottom of a deep pit, afraid to climb out because the light at the end of the tunnel is scarier than the darkness that surrounds you now?

We can look at the circumstance surrounding Jesus’ trial and try to place blame upon those who seemed to have authority over His life at that time. If we’re not careful, we may miss out on a tidbit of truth. Jesus came to free human hearts from the captivity of sin. We had fallen far and away from the One who loves us more than life itself. Christ came to restore a right relationship between God and man forever. He knew how the people would react, how some would try to control the course of His life, and how He would free them from their own self-controlled imprisonment. There comes a time when each of us must let go of the things we think we control and trust the Lord to lead us forward by faith. He has the power to heal, forgive and redeem us. He can pull us out of the pit, if we’ll let Him.

Will you surrender control and let Jesus heal your heart today?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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