Lent.35: No More Answers

holy week

Mark 15:1-5

At daybreak, the chief priests—with the elders, legal experts, and the whole Sanhedrin—formed a plan. They bound Jesus, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “That’s what you say.” The chief priests were accusing him of many things.

Pilate asked him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? What about all these accusations?” But Jesus gave no more answers, so that Pilate marveled.

Common English Bible (c) 2011

They “formed a plan.”  As I read and prayed with these texts this year, I’ve noticed how Jesus’ enemies wanted him to disappear but (a) they were afraid of the crowds (Mark 12:12) and (b) they really had no idea on how to make it happen.  “Delighted” when Judas offered to give Jesus up (Mark 14:11), they couldn’t manage to find two witnesses who agreed on Jesus’ crime (Mark 14:56, 59).  Having Jesus in custody seems too good to be true.  But now what?  They seize the opportunity to do harm.

Meanwhile, other than answering one question from the High Priest and one question from Pilate, Jesus is silent.  Silent.  Accusations fill the air and Jesus says nothing.  I, too, marvel at the silence.

Over the centuries, Christians have broadly blamed the Jews for Jesus’ death.  The gospel accounts point to the Jewish leaders of the day who first arrested and convicted Jesus.  But they were not the only ones who saw Jesus as a threat.  To be identified as “King of the Jews” is to be marked as an enemy of Caesar.

-Teressa Clark, 2019

Lenten Reflections 2019:  Following Jesus from the Mount of Olives to the Tomb ~ Day 35


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