Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea at the time of Jesus’ arrest asked the crowds
a question, trying to show them that Jesus was not deserving to die. He asked,
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus, who is called Christ?” Different people in the story of Jesus’ final days answered this question in different ways. Some of them wanted to serve Jesus and did so in very special ways. Others wanted nothing more than to get rid of him to keep their power and position. Still others, full of fear, ran away from the question.
First we have Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Mary loved Jesus and liked to
sit at his feet as he was explaining things about the kingdom of heaven. On a certain day,
she wanted to show Jesus just how much he meant to her. She took a jar full of
expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus feet and then wiped his feet with her hair.
What shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ? Mary’s answer was to worship him
with everything she had. Jesus said that her story would be told wherever the gospel
would be preached to honour her deed.
Judas had a different answer. Eager for money, he made a deal with Jesus’ enemies.
He promised to lead them to Jesus if they paid him 30 silver coins. He kissed Jesus to
show them which one to arrest.
The chief priests and elders arrested Jesus in the garden. What would they do with
Jesus? They would tie a rope around his hands as they led him to the city. Pontius Pilate
asked Jesus questions and realized he was not a criminal deserving to die, but he listened
to the crowds. He tried to say, “What happens to Jesus is not my fault” by bringing a
bowl of water to wash his hands.
The soldiers, who were used to dealing with prisoners with the power and weapons
they had, did not see in Jesus anything special. Maybe he was called Christ, but this was
more of a reason to make fun of him than believe in him. They mocked him with a
purple robe and thorns.
When he was on the cross, the soldiers wanted the one thing that belonged to Jesus,
his robe. Instead of ripping it in pieces, they rolled dice to see who would win this
Even though Jesus closest friends ran away when he was arrested, there were two
secret followers who acted bravely after Jesus had died. Joseph of Arimathea asked for
Jesus’ body so that it could be buried with respect and honour. Nicodemus brought 34
kilograms of aloes and myrrh, along with strips of cloth. Together they wrapped Jesus’
body and placed it in a tomb near the garden.
Two thousand years later and with the recognition that Jesus rose again from the dead,
the question still stands: What shall I do, then, with Jesus, who is called Christ?