Daily Devotional for July 6
July 6 Luke 23:13-25
One of the ironies of history is that the release of Barabbas
at the crowd's demand neither accomplished the goals of Pilate
and Herod nor satisfied the crowd's anger and hysteria. Before
that weekend and the ugly deed of the crucifixion were over,
rumors of the Resurrection had spread with such persistence
that their decision must have tormented both of them. Now
they and their successors had to contend not only with Barab-
bas, the insurrectionist and murderer, but also with Jesus, who
was being proclaimed as the risen Christ. As Christ's followers
multiplied and became legion, Christ's fame burst through
Palestine's borders and spread across the known world. Tor-
ture in prisons, persecution in dungeons and in arenas filled
with lions, conflagrations and immolations served only to
spread the exact opposite of the message that Pilate and Herod
had intended to spread.
The ironical consequences of short-sighted choices persist for
all of us when we seek quick solutions to complex, turbulent
situations. We want to rid ourselves of our most immediate
pain and confusion and preserve as much of our power and
prestige as possible. But difficult choices seldom afford us the
luxury of easy decisions. Truth and justice have their own
terms that recognize neither expediency nor popularity.
Difficult and unresolved situations, then, may call us simply
to bear the painful tensions of the moment, watching and
waiting for a shift in the landscape of reality that opens a
pathway to the truth. Such, at least, is the stance that Jesus
displayed in the midst of the turbulent circumstances pressing
in on him in today's Gospel. In the end his patient endurance,
which was simply an expression of his deep trust in God,
brought him through the difficulty to a resurrected life.
Jesus, when turmoil and confusion swirl about me,
teach me to be still as you were, trusting that, no matter
how hopeless things may appear, God is in control.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.