That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies. (Luke 23:12)

 

We ought to shudder when we read Luke 23:12. Saying, in this context, that Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate became friends is something like saying Lord Voldemort and Darth Vader became drinking buddies. It means things have gotten seriously bad—no turning back kind of bad. Jesus is getting actively churned up by a conspiracy between the most unlikely of political allies—the puppet ruler of Galilee, the Roman provincial governor, and the Jewish high council. What we see two thousand years later as a grievous miscarriage of justice, his own friends and family would have experienced as a terrifying harbinger of unjust suffering. What is happening to Jesus isn’t just sad. It’s scary.

 

Let us pray: Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness of body, mind and spirit; that, being restored to wholeness, we may with free hearts become what you intend us to be and accomplish what you want us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Bless: Do you know someone in your life who is scared? Perhaps they are scared of a diagnosis, or a problem in a relationship, or an unsolvable issue at work. Reach out to them today simply to let them know that you are there for them. Even when we cannot fix one another’s problems, the simple fact of our being with one another—as Jesus asked his disciples to be with him as he prayed the night he was betrayed—is a great consolation to us. Remember that when you are scared, Jesus is with you.

A Journey Through the Passion is a daily meditation for Lent curated by Fr. Justin Crisp, our Associate Rector and Theologian-in-Residence. Meditations follow the schedule of readings for our 2019 Maranatha House Churches, feature prayers for the season of Lent according to the Book of Common Prayer and Lesser Feasts and Fasts, and are patterned on the seven practices of The Way of Love, a rule of life for the Episcopal Church.