Through The Motions

Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. John 18:28

This is what you call true irony. The Jewish leaders were handing the Sacrificial Lamb of God over to the Roman governor but didn’t want to defile themselves by entering the palace because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. Of course they didn’t see Jesus as the Sacrificial Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. If they had, it would be a very different story.

No, the leaders were caught up in ritual to care about the individual.

Don’t for a moment think that the rituals end when we come to Christ. We probably have more rituals than we realize. Anything that is “going through the motions” is a ritual. Consider Sunday Morning worship service: 1-2 songs, announcements, another song or two, offering, sermon, prayer at the altar, benediction. I”m not saying these rituals are wrong but they are things we do regularly and “religiously”.

Christmas and Easter are also celebrations that are ritualistic (and have very pagan roots) and traditional.

Prayer before a meal is a ritual. Again, rituals in themselves are not bad.

The Jewish leaders were clearly going through the motions with their faith. From this account they certainly didn’t care about a Jewish brother. In fact, they were the source of his angst at the moment.

Rituals and traditions are fine, but when they get in the way of true worship, it’s a problem.

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