By Toni Smothers
Scripture Reading for the day: John 18:19-24
Scripture Quote: “Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.” John 18:28 (NASB)
The hypocrites, who condemned Jesus’ to die, refused to enter into the pagan headquarters of the Roman Governor. Religious dictates would not permit a Jew to enter the house of a Gentile - Doing so would defile the Jew, which also meant that he could not partake of the upcoming Passover feast. Keeping the ceremonial requirements of their religion was everything to them. Meanwhile, murdering an innocent man was irrelevant. Ironically, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover the hypocrites desired to celebrate so much. The religion of the hypocrites was heartless and had nothing to do with God or truth.
As Christians, we can sometimes fall into thinking that a bunch of rules is the basis for our own religious “correctness.” It is all too easy to become ritualistic in our prayer life or in our worship. Anything that we honor other than the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will lead us astray. A personal relationship with Christ which demonstrates itself in love, liberty and the practice of imitating Him, will glorify God.
Today’s meditation: Jesus is the only way to eternal life.
Memory Verse: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” John18:36 (NASB)