The Real Power
“Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.”—Luke 23:11–12 NIV
The story of Jesus’ death can be seen as a power struggle or clash of kingdoms. On one side, we see governments and religious rulers; on the other, God Himself and King Jesus.
This conflict was framed when Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The religious rulers already were concerned. They must have wondered what He could be planning. They had been “looking for some way to get rid of Jesus” (Luke 22:2). When Judas agreed to betray Jesus, the religious leaders seized upon the opportunity and had Him arrested.
Reflecting the interests of the government, Pilate, the Roman governor, focused on maintaining the peace and keeping control of the situation. To him, Jesus seemed a pawn to be manipulated. But history was to demonstrate that Jesus held the ultimate power. Pilate tried to intimidate Jesus, but Jesus knew that Pilate’s power was limited (John 19:10–11).
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the struggle continued. Religious rulers tried to intimidate Peter and John, asking, “By what power or what name” had they healed a lame man? But Peter wouldn’t back down, affirming, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:5–20).
This pattern is still true. Some mock believers. Others seek to minimize the impact of the Gospel or intimidate us. Remember that leaders and governments rule for a brief time. Their power is limited. But Jesus will reign throughout eternity.
Write out a prayer for your country’s leaders.
Father, I will not compromise but will stand bold for You. I seek first Your Kingdom and trust my life to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today’s Bible Reading