THEME

Pilate

BIBLE REFERENCE

Mark 15:1-20


INTRODUCTION

This football match was always going to be a difficult one. Your star player can be a bit temperamental sometimes and the referees don't always appreciate it.

Today you're playing your toughest rivals, a team known for fouls and bad-mouthing - and big for their age! And they're a bit dim, in your opinion. Of course in one way it's their problem. After all, there's no reason for them to have it in for your school. Just jealousy maybe. Anyway, you know it may be a bit hard to keep your dignity.

The first ten minutes are OK. There's not much between the sides and you're all doing a lot of running up and down. But then... You can see, it's that rough kid on the other side, the one that looks like he knows it all. He's floored your star striker, but it's him that's rolling round on the floor shouting!

The ref, who is very small and looks just a bit wimpish, you think, awards a foul against your star. He protests, but accepts the decision. All the spectators are shouting for the other team. You wonder if the ref is frightened.

All is quiet for a while, then suddenly... It happens again! The ref comes running up the pitch. But you could see it wasn't a foul. It's that rough kid again. He's still trying to make it look like it's your player's fault. 'That's enough' shouts the referee. 'You're OFF... OFF'. You can't believe what you're hearing. You protest, 'But it wasn't him... you can't!'

'Oh yes I can', says the ref, 'and I'm just following the rules.'

As you look around, you can see that you are not the only person who knows that this is not justice. You wonder if you'll ever trust that ref again.


KEY VIDEO CLIP


From Episode 11: Tried and True


PRAYER

At times there are things we know are right and wrong but we just can't be bothered to choose between them. What would the world be like if everyone were like that all the time? Could we have a just world?

Help us to stick up for what we believe in, to realise that all our lives are linked together and that what we choose makes a difference. Help us believe that when we make a stand it will have a good effect in the end.
Amen.


NOTES

The gospels contain portrayals of many human reactions and weaknesses. In the narrative recounting the last week of Jesus' life, they show people who cannot, for one reason or another, see - or face - the truth when they see it. Pilate appears to be one of these people. His weakness lies in the way he wishes to wash his hands - literally - of anything that may cause trouble. Although he believes Jesus is innocent, he won't impose his view, probably for fear of unpopularity.

This collective worship reflects on the idea that Pilate's unwillingness to act creates a barrier between himself and real freedom. He thinks he is taking the easiest way out, but long-term this is a trap because he is allowing negative values to rule his life.

In Storykeepers, this story is part of a discussion on whether it is worth being brave. It represents the first success for Justin as a public story teller - an act of bravery on his part to stand up in public.

This collective worship reflects on the idea that Pilate's unwillingness to act on his belief creates a barrier between himself and real freedom. He is not brave. He thinks he is taking the easiest way out, but long-term this is a trap because he is allowing negative values to rule him.



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