Reading this verse painted a picture of peace to me. On Christmas Eve we attended the church service at the church that a brother of mine and his girlfriend attend. As I was reading this passage, it made me think of one of the verses that their pastor spoke about; Luke 2:14. It reads, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." KJV
Peace does not happen on its own. A good example is the world we live in. There is a lack of trust amongst people. If we don't get the upper hand in a deal, it means we've lost - there is no "fair deal" concept. Society says that if it feels right, to do it; even if it means taking advantage of someone else.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, justice means the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals. To fairly judge someone is difficult for someone in a fallen, sinful world. I'll get back to this one a little later on……...
When was the last time I showed mercy to someone? I think of Neil from our church who had the right to enforce punishment towards the person who put him in the state that his is in. But he did not. He demonstrated true mercy to that individual! Do I have the heart to do that? Can I show mercy like the verse says we ought to?
Do I have compassion of others? Compassion is not just having the feelings of sympathy or sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, but having a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
This is a hard verse for me to implement in my own life which is why it stood out to me. In order to implement these commands, we are required to put our own selfish desires to the side and to put others first. In other words, to do goodwill toward men. Maybe the world needs a little more of that!
In our NT reading, Pilate discovers that Jesus is from Galilee and he sees a possible opportunity to pass this problem off to Herod, who was the governor of that region, and he just so happens to be in Jerusalem at the this time. Well, his plan doesn't work, as Herod and his people simply mock and torment Jesus before they send Him back to Pilate. Luke tells us that Pilate explained to the Jewish leadership that neither he nor Herod could find a capital offence regarding Jesus.
Even though Pilate found Jesus not guilty, he was still willing to have Him illegally beaten in order to satisfy the chief priests and the people (vs 16).
We do live in a fallen and sinful world. We cave in to what others want, and Pilate was no different. He told the people in the crowds "no" three times, but it was their relentless shouting that prompted Pilate to grant the people their desires. Jesus was not judged fairly. He was not shown true justice.
Because of God's plan and Jesus' obedience, we will all experience true justice one day. Jesus has shown us mercy by following his Father's plan and paying for our sins. We will witness His compassion when we are with Him in Heaven, and all our pains with be gone; He will have alleviated our sufferings by dying on the cross for us!
Jesus lived out this verse, and I pray that I will have the desire to do the same.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Zechariah 9-12; Luke 23:26-56