Monday, January 2, 2012

A Prayer for Monday, January 2, 2012

“Have Nothing to Do with that Innocent Man”

While we acknowledge the concern that prompted the message of Pilate’s wife, we must challenge the value of her advice, O Lord, for having nothing to do with that innocent man Jesus was not an option for her husband and it is not an option for us.

While Pilate’s options were to release Jesus or to have him crucified, our options are to (1) try to live a life that ignores him—which won’t work because he’s always there, (2) try to live a life motivated by our self-interest—which won’t work because down that way lies emptiness and frustration, or (3) try to live a life based on following him—which will work but which is at the same time the easiest and the hardest way of all.

Today—again—we choose.

Give us sufficient wisdom, courage, and faith to choose well—and then to live well, knowing that everything has to do with that Innocent Man.


”Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’ Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’” (Matthew 27:15-23)

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