Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate.
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”
But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Mark 15:1-5, 8, 13-15
Whenever I read this passage, I just want to yell, “Jesus! Say something! Explain yourself! Get out of this situation! You did nothing wrong!” Pilate seems to like Jesus; however, at this point the government, the religious leaders, everyone there has made the decision that Jesus has to die. Instead of fighting hard and defending himself, Jesus has accepted what is happening because he knows this is all part of the greater good that is about to happen.
There are so many reasons in our lives to fight against God’s plans; they can be painful and hard, they can be boring or take forever, but they are aways good. Jesus recognized this, and even though, humanly, he didn’t want it, he knew it was for the greater good of all of us.
And the last line in this passage, “He had Jesus flogged,” just pains me. Jesus accepted the punishment for all of us, the plan God had for Jesus was flogging, humiliation, and ultimately crucifixion. This is likely not God’s plan for you and me, but his plans could include unpleasant things, and we don’t need to fight against them.
Meditate on Jesus’ choice to accept the plans of God, no matter how hard they were. Thank him for accepting a plan for our lives that included pain for him on earth in exchange for our eternal lives. How might we better accept God’s plans in our lives even when they aren’t pleasant?
Ask the Kids:
Have you ever been in big trouble? (Have them tell stories)
What was the consequence for your big trouble?
Have you ever gotten in trouble for something you didn’t do, or have you ever heard of that happening to someone? (Because us parents never get our kids in trouble wrongfully, ha)
How would you feel if you got in big trouble for something you didn’t do? What would you do?
Read today’s scripture.
What did Jesus do when he got in trouble for something he didn’t do?
What would you have done if you were Jesus?
Explain to them that Jesus didn’t fight against this particular consequence because he was part of a bigger plan to save you and me from our sins. Talk about how the kids said they felt when wrongfully accused and explain that Jesus felt those emotions, too, because he was human. He loves them so much that he was willing to withhold all those tough emotions to die for them. Have them pray, or you pray, a prayer of gratitude for Jesus’ love for us.