The Boomerang Effect: Pilate's Actions Return to Haunt Him
- Monday, October 24, 2005
Editor's Note: "Creed" is an ongoing article series that discusses the core beliefs of Christianity as expressed in the Apostle's and Nicene creeds. Links to other installments are listed at the end of this article.
Do you remember when you first learned about boomerangs? Maybe, like me, you were in elementary (or grade) school. Your Social Studies teacher was telling you all about Australia when suddenly she held up this funny wooden structure looking something like a “7” with a thyroid problem. Not that you knew what a thyroid was.
“A boomerang,” the teacher said, “is designed in such a way as to return to the thrower.”
Later on you learned that “boomerang” could also mean an act or words spoken that come back to haunt the originator.
In the story of Jesus’ trek to the cross, Pilate was about to feel the affects of the “boomerang.”
Return to Pilate
Over the past several installments of Creed, we’ve been walking with Jesus from the “Upper Room,” to “Gethsemane” to Pilate’s Court and finally to Herod’s Court, all of which were in Jerusalem and close by. (This explains why Jesus was arrested, taken before the Sanhedrin, then to Pilate, to Herod and back to Pilate again in the early morning hours of Friday.)
Herod had been quite anxious to meet this Teacher from Galilee. He’d hoped for a performance, really. Something to amuse and to entertain him. But what he got from Jesus was only silence.
In return, “Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him.” (Luke 23: 11a) Herod called for an elegant—truly magnificent, according to the Greek word, Lampros—robe to be draped over Jesus; a robe meant to scoff at the “kingship” of the Galilean. A robe that surely stuck to the fresh and open wounds about the Savior’s body.
Jesus was then sent back to Pilate.
Perhaps Pilate was, by this time, exasperated. He called together the chief priests and those who the Jewish people looked up to.
“I can’t find anything to condemn this man for and neither can Herod. We’ll punish him a bit and let him go,” he said. (Paraphrase, mine.)
The people cried out, “NO!” Having been without sleep for some time and encouraged by the leaders, they’d been stirred to a frenzy by this point. They called for the death of the one they’d hailed “Hosanna” just a few days earlier. They’d prefer the release of the criminal Bar-abbas (which means, son of the father) rather than the Son of the Father.
Barabbas’ crime was that he’d taken part in a rebellion. Jesus had, in effect, led one. His earthly work was rebelling against the forces of Hell…and nothing would stand in His way to finish it.
First the Chief Priests, Now My Wife
About that time, Pilate’s wife sent a message to him. She’d had a dream about Jesus. “Do nothing,” she warned. “Do nothing to that innocent man.”
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