And Herod with his soldiers treated Him with contempt and mocked Him. Then, arraying Him in splendid clothing, he sent Him back to Pilate. Luke 23:11
The newspapers are full of stories that tell how leaders in government are letting their people down.
One that sticks in my memory involved 106 public officials in New York City. At the time Rudy Giuliani was a U.S. attorney. He was the one who set up a sting operation to uncover some of the graft that beset the city.
When his police were done, Giuliani made the following statement: "On 106 occasions, bribes were offered or discussed. On 105 of those occasions, the public official involved accepted the bribe."
Now, if you're saying, "Thank heaven for the 106th individual. At least there was some official who held to his principles!" you'd be partially right. The man held fast his principles and declined the bribe. But he did so because he didn't think the amount was large enough.
Although there was no graft involved on the day Jesus appeared before Herod and his henchmen, that doesn't mean that the ruler acted with dignity or class. Herod was shrewd enough to play the political game. Given a choice between freeing a prophet and pleasing his priests and Pharisees, the ruler knew what he had to do.
Thankfully, Herod was able to avoid making a final decision concerning Jesus. With relief he put the ball of Jesus' life back into Pilate's court.
Of course, that didn't mean Herod and his pals couldn't have a bit of fun with the soon-to-be crucified Savior. With his blessing Herod's soldiers ridiculed and mocked the Redeemer. It was an act of derision that has been repeated over the centuries by countless governments and rulers, which have followed.
Although still loved by Jesus, those who blaspheme will have their reward.
Knowing that many (thank heaven, not all) officials will continue to take a stand against the Savior because they believe it is both profitable and politically expedient, we Christians need to take a stand. It may not be popular for us to do so, but we need to take a stand.
* We need to stand side-by-side with our brothers and sisters in the faith who are being falsely accused, beaten, incarcerated and murdered because they will not let go of Jesus.
* We need to rally around those people in college and the business world who find an outspoken Christian faith is often targeted by those in authority.
* We need to provide a wall of protection around our children who have been targeted for some of Satan's special temptations.
The day Jesus was mocked by Herod and his henchmen nobody stood up for the Savior. To the best of our ability we should try to make sure that never happens again.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the ruler who could have set You free chose to play games and be amused by Your seeming helplessness. Today, I pray You will bless the rulers and judges of our countries and communities. Grant that they will treat You, Your Word, and Your people with respect. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries