Our trouble

    "Where do you come from?" Pilate asked.
    But Jesus gave him no answer.
    So Pilate addressed him again.
    "Aren't you going to speak to me?" he said. "Don't you know that I have the authority to let you go, and the authority to crucify you?"
    "You couldn't have any authority at all over me," replied Jesus, "unless it was given to you from above. That's why the person who handed me over to you is guilty of greater sin."
    From that moment on, Pilate tried to let him go.
    But the Judaeans shouted at him.
    "If you let this fellow go," they said, "you are no friend of Caesar! Everyone who sets himself up as a king is speaking against Caesar!"
    So when Pilate heard them saying that, he brought Jesus out and sat down at the official judgment seat, called The Pavement (in Hebrew, 'Gabbatha'). It was the Preparation day of the Passover, and it was about midday.
    "Look," said Pilate, "here is your king!"
    "Take him away!" they shouted. "Take him away! Crucify him!"
    "Do you want me to crucify your king?" asked Pilate.
    "We have no king," the chief priests replied, "except Caesar!"
    Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

-from John 19

From Tom Wright…

    When the Image of God appears in creation, the point is that the rest of creation will look at this Image and see their creator reflected. Now the son of God appears as the true Image of God, and the world is so corrupt in its rebellion that, rather than recognize the true creator God reflected in this Jesus, it must get rid of him, must blot out the reminder of who God really is, must do anything rather than be confronted by the one whose love will stop at nothing to reconcile creation to himself.

    And we who now stand at the foot of the cross have to face the most searching questions, the questions we avoid like the plague because we, too, find it desperately uncomfortable to look at the face of God's Image, the man, the king, and see there the perfect likeness of the maker and redeemer of the world. We are so stuck in the systems of Caesar — his swords, his coins, his gambling soldiers — that we too have a hard time recognizing truth of any kind, let alone speaking up for it. We are so anxious to protect the philosophies upon which our modern world is built that we will do anything to declare that we have no king but Caesar, that when push comes to shove religion is just a private thing which mustn't affect the public sphere, even when Jesus is reminding Caesar's representative that he only has power because God has given it to him. And perhaps that is one of the reasons why the church is in such pain at the moment, caught between "what is truth?" on the one hand and "no king but Caesar" on the other.

[From The Scriptures, the Cross & the Power of God.]

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