LENT Day 41 – Ashamed

Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man.  It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover.  Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”

They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!”

– John 18

I’m sure you all have seen the cute pictures of dogs who are ashamed of their behavior while their people have been away.  It will be a cute dog, sitting with his ears down, while his human shows us the couch cushions completely destroyed, or the garbage can dumped on the floor, or the toys torn apart.  It will make you smile and feel bad for those cute, furry friends.  But not all instances of people feeling ashamed are cute and cuddly.

My son loves sports.  Everything about sports.  He loves playing organized sports, playing sports for fun, watching sports, following sports, talking about sports…..you get the picture.  There was one season of his playing organized sports that didn’t go so well.  It was a season where within the first few weeks we realized just how hard it was going to be.

He was being bullied verbally by more than a few players.  Most of the time the comments were so bad that I cannot repeat them here.  He was being beat down every single time they were together.  I’m not sure why he was the one to receive it or I’m not even sure why they did it.  In the end, I think they just wanted him to think that he was worthless and didn’t belong on the team.

Every time he came home from practice he would tell us the next comment that was said to him and by whom.  After a few days of this, I realized this wasn’t just a one or two time deal.  This was going to continue.  It wasn’t okay.  I’m completely ashamed to tell you that my first thought was how much I wanted those boys to be hurt.  I wanted them to feel exactly the way my son did.  I knew this wasn’t what I should be feeling, but I did.

After some more time went by I am ashamed to tell you that my second thought was how much I hated those boys’ parents.  Like how could they even walk around thinking their son’s were the best when they were continually beating down my boy?  Do they know how their boys behave when they aren’t around?  Who doesn’t know that?  I knew this also wasn’t what I should be feeling, but I did.

After more time went by I am ashamed to tell you that I did nothing about it.  Per my son and older daughter’s request, they felt I should not say a thing.  Not a thing to the coach or to the parents of the students, not to anyone.  My son actually was concerned that if I did, the bullies would turn their verbal assault into a physical one.  This was the hardest for me.  I was feeling so upset about the hurt my son was experiencing.  I just wanted to make it better.  This was the ONE area that I could have some control over, but I felt I needed to honor my child’s request.  I did nothing.

I’m happy to tell you that we made it through that season.  My happy and energetic son never lost his mojo for long.  He never let the words sink so deep that he lost his love of the game.  He never lost his smile.

He never retaliated or acted different to those around him.  For that I am grateful.

My behavior…well that I’m not so grateful for.  I should’ve been a better adult to not think or tell my family how much I wanted those boys or those parents to suffer as we were.  I’m not sure I will ever feel good about that season or what went down with it.  During the reading of The King of the Jews I feel very similar feelings.

They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace.  It was early morning.  They themselves didn’t enter the palace because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover.  So Pilate came out to them and spoke.  “What charge do you bring against this man?”

They said, “If he hadn’t been doing something evil, do you think we’d be here bothering you?”

Pilate said, “You take him.  Judge him by your law.”

The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.”  (This would confirm Jesus’ word indicating the way he would die.)

Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus.  He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”

Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”

Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew?  Your people and your high priests turned you over to me.  What did you do?”

“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you.  If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews.  But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s king.”

I’m so ashamed at the way the Jews and the high priests handed Jesus over to suffer for being God’s son.  I’m so ashamed at the way the disciples ran away when Jesus needed them. I’m so ashamed at the way the Jews had a chance to change their mind and instead they chose another criminal to be pardoned.

Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”

Jesus answered, “You tell me.  Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth.  Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”

Pilate said, “What is truth?”

Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man.  It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover.  Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”

They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!”  Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.

I’m ashamed that sometimes I am like the disciples and run away from Jesus.

I’m ashamed that sometimes I am like the Jews and the high priests and choose something else in place of Jesus.

I’m ashamed that sometimes I think and act like Jesus isn’t important to me.  That I forget how much he suffered and died for me that day.  But that is exactly the beauty of Easter.  Even though we don’t always act like it.  Even though we don’t always think like it.  Even though sometimes we push away and forget.  Jesus still rolled that stone away three days later and pronounced us free, alive, and loved forever!

As in the words of a well known church hymn:

Allelu  Allelu  Allelu  Alleluia…..Praise ye the Lord!!

STUDY – John 18 (The King of the Jews) – The Message Bible
They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace.  It was early morning.  They themselves didn’t enter the palace because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover.  So Pilate came out to them and spoke.  “What charge do you bring against this man?”
They said, “If he hadn’t been doing something evil, do you think we’d be here bothering you?”
Pilate said, “You take him.  Judge him by your law.”
The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.”  (This would confirm Jesus’ word indicating the way he would die.)
Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus.   He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”
Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”
Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew?  Your people and your high priests turned you over to me.  What did you do?”
“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you.  If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews.  But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”
Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”
Jesus answered, “You tell me.  Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth.  Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”
Pilate said, “What is truth?”
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man.  It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover.  Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews‘?”
They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!”  Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.

 

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