And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. – Mark 14:1-5
Dismayed. Distressed. Sad: such is my reaction to the events in Egypt this Palm Sunday. The death toll there in the bombings of two Christian churches there has reached 47. Lord, have mercy! This is so very sad. There may be other appropriate responses, but this is certainly a time for lament and prayer.
Perhaps we will be amazed that people who have experienced such horrific and cruel violence respond in lament and prayer rather than vengeance and retribution. Such a response can be inspired only by the faith-filled confidence of our Lord Jesus. He didn’t take the bait of evil accusations and attacks against the truth of God and all that he stood for and came to accomplish.
It is amazing to see someone under dire circumstances remain faithful to God. Too often the slightest wind of suggestion will blow us off course in our Christian walk. But when we embrace Jesus’ righteousness and believe that his faithful obedience – even in the face of false accusation and gross injustice – was an act of love for God and for us, we are better to stay on the path of life.
We need never justify ourselves. We need not give in to fear, hate, or respond to evil in like manner. When the love of Jesus sustains us and his righteousness and faithfulness is our guide we might even amaze others…which means that they might actually consider the truth for which we stand and think about the Lord in whom we believe.