The Crowd Had The Attention Of Pilate
Even the powerful like governors know the taste of fear. If Pilate did not allow Jesus to be crucified, there could be a riot. “Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified… They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him.” (Mark 15)
World leaders and their governmental assistants are paying close attention to the spread of Covid 19, and its power to cause large scale death to vulnerable segments of their nations. Some leaders are most fearful of the overwhelming of their Health Care Systems. Others are anxious about the power of the virus to strangle their country’s economy.
National leaders recognize the need to face the pandemic with actions. Recognizing a virus that can kill those who contract it is a definite fear. Isolating people can help prevent the overwhelming of hospitals. Jesus had the attention of his enemies, for they feared the people were turning to him. Jesus’ enemies were afraid of losing the attention and control of the people.
Will we use our attention on Covid 19, as an opportunity to consider our own death in the reality of Good Friday? We know of the brutal flogging Jesus endured, we know of his nailed wrists and feet holding him to his cross, and his thorn encircled brow. We accept that death happened to Jesus, but do we accept the death of ourselves.
Our own death is a topic that we may ignore or refuse to think about or discuss. Jesus knew that his death by crucifixion would be one of forsakenness. Death is the last great enemy we face. I honestly do not want to suffer and be caught by disease or sickness, where I cannot escape. A fight with Covid 19 may well mean I cannot win. We cannot always ignore, hide from, or avoid death. Death is always stalking us, but mostly we do not want to consider it could grab us and not let go of us.
Death deals all complete isolation. No one can die for us. Two other men were crucified at the same time as Jesus. There were three men, but they were each dying alone on their own cross. Jesus cried out in his forsakenness before dying. Jesus had promised one of the men being crucified with him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus and one other faced death knowing paradise or heaven would follow their deaths.
Heaven here on earth is beginning to look like being able to interact with others without social distancing and isolation. How heavenly when we can work, worship, shop, see and do endless activities together. Jesus went ahead of us in his death on the cross that he could overcome death for us. Trust in Jesus helps us defeat death and ushers us into paradise with him. He says to you, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25