I hardly dared breathe: the voice of Pilate’s Servant

I hardly dared take a breath as I continued about my work around the house, minding my own business, keeping my head down. I knew that things had been strained in the household, I had felt it.

I worked for the wife of the Governor, Pontius Pilate. I had been in post for many years when it happened and the mistress had shared many things with me. And that night, I remember, she shared her dreams and fears with me, as I share them with you now.

It was a few nights before that that the nightmares began – the same one every night.  She would wake up in a sweat and could hardly draw breath; her dreams were turning her into a nervous wreck.

The dreams were of Him, this Jesus character that had transformed the whole of Jerusalem, Jews and Romans alike. Some had changed for the better, some for the worse. And now my mistress’s dreams saw Him bound and beaten standing in front of her husband, who was to pass judgment on Him.

The man had eyes that bore into her very soul, she said. He was not angry, or full of hatred, in fact He stared at her and her husband with compassion and even love, not that she was very good at recognising that emotion.

The dream had warned her to stay away from this man, to leave him to the Jews, to do with him as they willed, but Pilate just had to get involved. He said that he had no choice, that the crowd were threatening him with going to Rome, to the Emperor. It could have meant losing everything.

The position, the power, and all that comes with that, the honour, the glory, the praise of Rome. But instead they lost even more than that, they lost their very selves.

Jesus came, just as the dream predicted, Pilate got involved, again as predicted. He tried to walk away, to wash his hands of the whole sordid affair, but it was too late by then, the die had already been cast.

Jesus was led away, stripped, whipped, and crucified, and for Pilate and my mistress, the real nightmare began.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Advertisements

I Hardly Dared to Breathe: The Voice of Pilate’s Servant

I hardly dared take a breath as I continued about my work around the house, minding my own business, keeping my head down. I knew that things had been strained in the household, I had felt it.

I worked for the wife of the Governor, Pontius Pilate. I had been in post for many years when it happened and the mistress had shared many things with me. And that night, I remember, she shared her dreams and fears with me, as I share them with you now.

It was a few nights before that that the nightmares began – the same one every night.  She would wake up in a sweat and could hardly draw breath; her dreams were turning her into a nervous wreck.

The dreams were of Him, this Jesus character that had transformed the whole of Jerusalem, Jews and Romans alike. Some had changed for the better, some for the worse. And now my mistress’s dreams saw Him bound and beaten standing in front of her husband, who was to pass judgment on Him.

The man had eyes that bore into her very soul, she said. He was not angry, or full of hatred, in fact He stared at her and her husband with compassion and even love, not that she was very good at recognising that emotion.

The dream had warned her to stay away from this man, to leave him to the Jews, to do with him as they willed, but Pilate just had to get involved. He said that he had no choice, that the crowd were threatening him with going to Rome, to the Emperor. It could have meant losing everything.

The position, the power, and all that comes with that, the honour, the glory, the praise of Rome. But instead they lost even more than that, they lost their very selves.

Jesus came, just as the dream predicted, Pilate got involved, again as predicted. He tried to walk away, to wash his hands of the whole sordid affair, but it was too late by then, the die had already been cast.

Jesus was led away, stripped, whipped, and crucified, and for Pilate and my mistress, the real nightmare began.

(From the Shadows of Victory:  Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week by Deacon Becky Lovatt.

For further information and to download this inspirational book please go to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L9UYDKS/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Holy Saturday

The women who had accompanied him from Galilee – took note of the tomb and observed how his body was laid.

Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumed, and on the Sabbath day rested in obedience to the commandment

(Luke 23:55-6)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next day, the morning after that Friday, the chief priests and the Pharisees came to Pilate.

‘ Your Excellency’, they said,  ‘we recall how that imposter said while he was still alive, “I am to rise after three days”.

So will you give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day? Otherwise his disciples may come, steal the body, and then tell the people that he has been raised from the dead; and the final deception will be worse than the first.’

‘ You may have your guard’, said Pilate;’ go and make it secure as best you can’.

So they went and made the grave secure; they sealed the stone and left the guard in charge.

(Matthew 27: 62-66)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Matthew depicts men in frantic anxiety, seeking by poor human means to lock up God’s Almighty resurrection power, and eliciting from Pilate permission to make the grave secure.

Luke writes of the faithful women, perplexed and distressed no doubt, but following, taking note, observing, and preparing their last act of fragrant devotion.

That done, they rested in obedience to the commandment.

Next morning would be the time for action, and though they could not see it for the depth of their grief, the time for revelation and exultation.

Today, we look back to the glorious fact of the resurrection of the Lord; but we also wait and look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come – we look for our resurrection based on his who is the first-fruits of them that believe – wait and look in  quiet confidence.

 

Good Friday

After that, Jesus, aware that all had now come to its appointed end, said in the fulfilment of Scripture,’ I thirst’.

A jar stood there full of sour wine; so they soaked a sponge with the wine, fixed it on a javelin, and held it up to his lips. Having received the wine, he said,’ It is accomplished!’

He bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Because it was the eve of Passover, the Jews were anxious that the bodies should not remain on the cross for the coming Sabbath, since that Sabbath was a day of great solemnity so they requested Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers accordingly became to the first of his fellow victims and to the second, and broke their legs; but when they came to Jesus, they found that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs.

But one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a lance, and at once there was a flow of blood and water. This is vouched for by an eye witness, whose evidence is to be trusted.

He knows that he speaks the truth, so that you too may believe; for this happened in fulfilment of the Scripture: ‘ No bone of his shall be broken’. And another text says,’ They shall look on him whom they pierced’.

After that, Pilate was approached by Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, but the secret disciple for fear of the Jews, who asked to be allowed to remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission; so Joseph came and took the body away.

He was joined by Nicodemus (the man who had first visited Jesus by night), who brought with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, more than half a hundredweight.

They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of cloth according to Jewish burial customs.

Now at the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden there was a new tomb, not yet used for burial.

There, because the tomb was near at hand and it was also the eve of the Jewish Sabbath, they laid Jesus.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today, we watch our Lord at the receiving end, taken in charge by the authorities and receiving at their hands and at the hands of the mob, insults, mockery and shame.

He is given up to the people’s will at the dictate of Pilate. He is the passive recipient of the men’s malice.

And yet, he is the great Actor in this drama of redemption. He reigns from the tree…….

Even in his death throes, he is sufficiently master of time and circumstance to be able to care for his mother in her loneliness; and sufficiently in control to heed his fellow victim’s cry for help and to assure him of a place with him in Paradise; sufficiently aware to be able to utter the great cry of achievement: “it is accomplished!”

O Jesus, King most wonderful, 
Thou conqueror renowned!

(John 19: 28 June-42)

With many peaceful and joyful blessings

Geoffrey