A Day of Waiting15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
John 19:15 (NIV)
It’s Saturday morning, April 7, 2012, a day of waiting, reflecting, and wondering. As I prayed through the Good Friday Scriptures, the words shouted by the Jewish hierarchy at the end of Jesus’ trial kept rattling through my mind, “We have no king but Caesar.” In one brief angry scream, religious leaders reject God’s sovereignty and the covenant established on Sinai, in favor of political expediency, and perhaps the fear of losing their own power.
Are we, the American evangelical church, in danger of the same, or have we already crossed the line and proclaimed another king over Jesus? Make no mistake I truly thank God for living in a nation so blessed as the United States. However, while being a patriotic American, America is not my first loyalty. Jesus is! Yet, I look at the overt political positions offered by so many Christian leaders and I wonder, “Who is their king?”
Christians should be active in politics; it’s our system of government. However, we need a spiritual reality check. Do we select our positions based on a philosophy, ideology, power, or discipleship? Are our political decisions based on what’sbest for God’s Kingdom or us? As I see it, no political party truly reflects Christ’s Way. Just as humanity lives in a fallen world, so do our institutions and organizations. Our Christian voice should speak into all parties with a clear biblical voice grounded in Christ’s love without partisanship. Jesus calls us to a new way, a Kingdom Way, following our Risen Lord and using our gifts and graces for His glory and not our self-interest.
As we await the Paschal Celebration, Easter, it’s time for a reality check. We have a choice. Will we shout that partisan politics of either party as king or we will proclaim Jesus our Risen Lord, King of creationand our lives? Tomorrow when we affirm,”He is risen!” let’s believe it. May the grace of Our Risen Lord and the Holy Spirit’s power transform us into a new people willing to be Jesus for the world.
We have no king but Jesus!
The Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox