When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see Him ... So he questioned Him at some length, but He made no answer. ... And Herod with his soldiers treated Him with contempt and mocked Him. Then, arraying Him in splendid clothing, he sent Him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. (Luke 23:8a, 9a, 11-12)
I'm not sure why Herod and Pilate's friendship creeps me out. Is it because they are both rather horrible people, and any friendship between them has to be something awful? Is it because they are passing back and forth an innocent Man as if He were a game piece or a playing card? Is it because this friendship is built on Jesus' death?
Whatever it is, it makes me squirm. It's true Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but this is a sort of peace I think we could do without.
And yet ... There was a different friendship Jesus was mending that day, or maybe we should call it a relationship, as it goes far beyond friendship. That was the relationship between God and His people. We broke that love way back in the Garden of Eden, when we rebelled against God and insisted on going our own way. That should have been the end of it—the end of us, really—but God would not give up. He came after us.
And now we are restored to friendship with God—not by our own doing, but by the willing suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God made His own death the basis for our new relationship. He did it freely, because He loved us once, and loves us still. And that isn't creepy at all.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for restoring us to You. Amen.
* Do you know any relationships that make you shudder? Why?
* What have you done in the past to restore a relationship with someone you love?
* Are you comfortable using the term "friendship" for your relationship with God? Why or why not?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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