The hard questions in life often demand answers when difficult circumstances stand bleeding and broken before us.
It is then we yearn for truth.
Frustrated, fearful, even irritated, we ask rhetorically and prayerfully, “What is truth?”
The normalcy of life has a way of coming to a screeching halt. A debilitating illness or injury – bankruptcy or a loss of a job – a painful divorce or the tragic death of a loved one.
When the rhythm of life is disrupted, when routines are broken, anger and frustration seep in.
The continual rebooting of hope that sustains purpose and optimism flickers off when that source of power is internally driven. The cords of comfort and security are ripped out of the socket and our self-driven philosophy provides inadequate answers to life’s most important questions. Comfort and normalcy regularly block ears to the Truth.
Hearts are exposed during times of difficulty. Typically, in those times of stillness when grief or worry clutch our thoughts and emotions, we ponder life, God, and eternity. Broken and battered, the Truth stands before us. We ask, “What is truth? And who can I trust?”
Jesus Christ came to this earth to proclaim that he is the life, the way, the truth – the only hope for eternity. And the world hated him for it.
A Roman governor during the time of Christ confronted this hate when the living Christ, the promised Messiah, stood before him battered and bleeding.
Christ had arrived at a most inconvenient time.
Pontious Pilate’s dilemma was not unlike our own. He desired peace, comfort, and safety… and so do we. The claims of Christ and the accusations of the Jews were threatening his authority, his ability to control his normalcy in a time of uncertainty.
The last thing Pilate wanted to do was to confront truth even when the Truth was standing right before him.
Frustrated, fearful, even irritated, Pilate asks, “What is truth?”
His question was rhetorical because he didn’t want or have time for an answer. The consequences of proclaiming Christ’s innocence was too great.
Politically speaking, caving to the Pharisees was the right thing for Pilate to do.
Culturally speaking, he had no other choice.
Judicially speaking, he cowardly washed his hands from the truth.
Even a family member, his wife, tugged at his sleeve, pleading with her husband to pursue truth. “Believe in this man,” she begged. “For he is innocent.”
Excuses often occur when confronted with truth – or even when we have the opportunity to speak it.
Do we refrain from speaking the truth in order to keep the peace?
Do we withhold the truth out of expediency?
Do we wash our hands of opportunities God gives us Christians to share the Truth to a soul parched and receptive for the Living Water? Do we keep the Truth hidden from view, ashamed or afraid to introduce his presence to the world, or even to our friends or neighbors?
I can appreciate Pilate’s dilemma.
He was inconvenienced. And his name still resonates today with his condemnation and crucifixion of the Truth.
It is inconvenience that can stand in the way of building bridges of trust, receiving broken and battered souls, and lovingly, courageously, proclaim the gospel message.
In a busy world full of distractions, perhaps Christ is calling upon us Christians today to be inconvenienced.