05/20/W – Like a Lamb

Numbers 15:17-41; Mark 15:1-24; Psalms 54:5-7; Proverbs 15:22-23

NT: “As soon as it was morning, having held a meeting with the elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin, the chief priests tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate questioned him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many things they are accusing you of!” But Jesus still did not answer, and so Pilate was amazed. At the festival Pilate used to release for the people a prisoner whom they requested… Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?” For he knew it was because of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead. Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Again they shouted, “Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Why? What has he done wrong?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them; and after having Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified… They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull ). They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. Then they crucified him and divided his clothes, casting lots for them to decide what each would get.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭15:1-6, 9-15, 22-24‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

In Isaiah 53, Isaiah describes the suffering servant going to His death like a lamb led to the slaughter… not kicking and screaming or defending Himself, but going willingly. Mark’s gospel was written to portray Jesus as the Servant of All, always on the move, meeting people’s needs wherever He went. Here we see Jesus moving willingly to His ultimate act of service. Even when He was offered a mild narcotic to cloudy His senses and take the edge off the pain, He refused. He willingly received the full measure of our punishment in order that we may go free. Interestingly, Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent of the charges and was not deserving of the death penalty. However, instead of standing for righteousness, he appeased the crowd. Choosing the desires of the crowd over what is right is never a good thing. It may save your hide in the moment, but ultimately, it causes innocent people to get hurt. We should never give into the fear of man over the fear of God. We should never choose convenience over righteousness and justice. Nevertheless, God, in His divine Providence, can accomplish His purposes even in the midst of man’s failings.

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