(This week is a special 7 day [yes – Saturday and Sunday, too!] blog devotional that gives perspective on Holy Week. I encourage you to read the passage listed before reading the devotional blog. – Doug)
Friday (John 18:33-38)
Theme: The Tale of Two Kingdoms
The Gospel of John gives us this extraordinary dialogue between two rulers: Pilate and Jesus. In a pause before what will be excruciating suffering and death, Pilate and Jesus have a heart to heart discussion about reality, truth and Kingdoms.
Both his speech and his actions demonstrate that Jesus is living in a different realm than Pilate. While Pilate questions Jesus about being a king in the worldly sense, Jesus questions Pilate on whether he understands the heavenly kingdom. Pilate’s realm consists of power by force, fear, manipulation and death. His jurisdiction is based on geography. Jesus’ realm is much more dangerous. His power is based on truth, love, sacrifice and life. His jurisdiction is the human heart. The heavenly realm, as Jesus taught, is not about clouds, harps and angels. It is the earthly and supernatural reality lived under the reign of God. In the midst of Pilate’s worry-filled earthly realm, Jesus lives in the confidence of the Kingdom of God. Jesus does not fear death because He knows He is in the hands of the God who loves Him and is the source of life. It is out of this confidence that Jesus reaches out to Pilate: “Is that (the fact that I am King of the Godly realm) your own idea? …. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Which Kingdom do you live for? The one ruled by fear, anxiety, self-preservation and death. Or the one ruled by the One who is truth, love, self-sacrifice and life? Jesus invites you to His Kingdom. How can you live there more fully?