Daily D – John 19:10-11
John 19:10, 11 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?”
Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” (NLT)
Power is intoxicating. Power makes us feel smarter, better, faster, and taller than we are. Power, like money, is a nice servant and a horrible master. What most powerful people fail to understand is that power is delegated. It is a stewardship responsibility. All authority under heaven is on loan from God. It is temporary. It demands a final accounting. Maybe this is why the Bible repeats frequently, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.”
Pilate was a mid-level appointee in the cultural backwater of the Roman Empire. It was the kind of place you never wanted to serve. The austere local residents were opposed to just about anything fun. The people who served under his leadership understood the grunt work nature of their positions. Even if they performed well under the circumstances, there wasn’t much chance they would be promoted significantly, not when words of their derring-do and outstanding achievements were buried in middle-eastern dust far from the front pages of the Capital.
So a dead-end leader met face to face with him who through whom “God created everything . . . and nothing was created except through him (John 1:3). The created one acted as if all authority had been given to him. The one who created him allowed this hick-town sheriff to use his delegated authority to have him crucified.
What it all comes down to is this: The only ultimate authority we have is to say, “Your will Your way,” or “My will my way.” Pilate sang, “My Way.” Jesus showed him a superior Way, Truth, and Life.
The only One with full and final delegated authority is Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20). He is the only One who can liberate the dead from their graves. He is the only One to whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:10, 11).
Jesus has delegated some measure of authority today. Use it well in a manner consistent with the mission of Jesus and the glory of God.
I will exercise what authority I have to help others see God for how good he his and how graciously he extends his offer of full, meaningful, and eternal life.
Our Father, empower me to live and serve in a manner that honors you blesses others. Forgive me for how I have used what you have placed in my hands to benefit others for my own personal gain. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“