Another Look At Holy Week
As we navigate Holy Week, the time between Palm Sunday and the betrayal, arrest, burial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ Jesus, let us reflect on the week culminating in the first rising again.
An illegitimate debauched Caesar held power in Rome. Tiberius Caesar was tired of Rome’s political theater and indulged every sexual perversion in his self-exile to the island of Capri. While there, he appointed Sejanus, Praetorian Prefect, to rule in his absence. He found the wily appointment in the attempt of a coup and had him summarily executed. (1)
One of Sejanus’ many friendly appointments was a man from a noble family of the line of Samnites demoted to the Roman equestrian (middle-class) order named Pontius Pilate (2). He was the prefect of Judea for about ten years, Jesus’ ministry within, and presided over the Lord’s trial.
Having been appointed by the man executed for attempting to overthrow Caesar, Pilate fell on Tiberius’ grace and must have been very methodical in his pronouncements to keep peace in Judea. It is generally understood that demonstrations and even riots in protest of Pilate’s effigies met some of his building and enforcement practices, quelled only through the Romans’ violent auxiliaries’ excessive force.
The Passover celebration was at hand, with possibly hundreds of thousands of Jews pilgrimage to Jerusalem to sacrifice and celebrate. With the knowledge of Pilate’s heavy-handed tactics at keeping the peace and his precarious political stature, when the Pharisees brought Jesus to trial for a capital offense, he needed to tread lightly.
Interrogating the Man himself and considering his wife’s plea to have nothing to do with Jesus, Pilate urges the crowds to allow Jesus, King of the Jews, to be released. Instead, the throng begs for Barabbas to be released.
I find it intriguing that Barabbas’ name means “son of the father (or teacher).” With many “messianic” figures in this time claiming to be the Christ, causing insurrection in Judea, it appears that the people asked for a false Christ to be released instead of the Son of Man.
Frustrated with the peoples’ obstinance, Pilate washed his hands and condemned the Lord to crucifixion.
Today, again, we find a leader in exile. The man selected to his position of power has usurped the reigns and placed friendly appointments securing the illusion of propriety. All manner of violence in the streets and unlawfulness on the borders is being overseen by an inept, absentee, misemployed Caesar pontificated before a cajoled populace. The cyclonic winds of political atrophy brew a discontented multitude whose extreme patience and self-control appear to be nearing exhaustion. The oblivious Praetoriate is continuing its abatement of natural law. The people are looking to a false Christ to “save” them from the self-imposed destruction our monetary system and western idealism are currently engaged. The celebration of debauchery and necromancy catapults our culture to hedonistic orgasm scarcely achieved without catastrophic consequence. We, the people, sit back in our leather chairs, comforted by the thought that this, too, will pass.
And it will pass, just as Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion by the pagan who had the authority to do so, Pilate, so will his return be ushered in by a pagan, masquerading as a false Christ.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 ESV
Be encouraged and celebrate with me the resurrection of the Lord, proclaiming His death until He comes again in glory.
- I wish to thank Dr. Kenneth Calvert, of Hillsdale College, for his lecture on “Understanding the Death and Resurrection of Jesus in the Roman Empire.”
About the Author
Robert Socha, BIO Robert Socha (so-ha), was born in southern California. He served 5 years 3 months active duty in the United States Air Force; honorably. After his service he took an Associate’s Degree in Practical Theology, where, through his studies, developed a deep love of God and Country and sincere appreciation of the value of Liberty. Robert and his beloved wife of 21-plus years are raising 4 beautiful Texan children. They moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2013, to put their children in Hillsdale Academy. Robert is a sales professional. He and his wife consider Michigan a hidden gem, and absolutely love this city and state (current political environment notwithstanding) they’ve adopted.