MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: Pilate Said Unto Them, Shall I Crucify Your King? The Priests Answered, We Have No King, But Caesar. ~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J.
Pilate said unto them, shall I crucify your King? The Priests answered, we have no King, but Caesar.
Consider first, in this question of Pilate, how unworthy a things it was, that the Messias, who was promised to Man-kind from the beginning of the world, and expected so many ages, and at last, through the mercy of the eternal Father, sent for the salvation of the Jews; should come to such and so miserable a death, and as an unworthy & accursed person should be demanded to the horrible punishment of the Cross. Do thou look upon thyself, & mark whether perhaps thou art not in the same error. Thou knows that thou wert born into this world to this end, that at the last thou shouldest enjoy God in everlasting and heavenly felicity. Thou knowest that all the whole world was made and framed by God for thy sake, and that for the same cause the very Son of God descended down from Heaven, was born of the Virgin Mary, and consecrated all his labors, yea his Passion and Death unto thee. But thou having no consideration of all this, doest by thy sins drive away God from thee, when thou oughtest to embrace him; thou shutest up heaven, & neglects wholly thy salvation.
Consider secondly the frantic choice of the Priests. They refuse the Messias sent by God, as if it were in them to choose a Messias according to their own will and pleasure, & not rather to receive the Messias, whom God gave unto them. O intolerable madness of men! who will make to themselves a God according to their own will; or devise a new Religion; or frame the manner of serving God out of the holy Scriptures, wrested and interpreted according to their own fantasies. Wherefore they are truly called Heretics, that is, choosers. It is Gods office to appoint Religion, and the manner how to serve him; and not ours, to choose.
Consider thirdly the nature of envy, which seekesth the hurt of another, though it be to his own loss. The Roman government was very grievous and hateful unto them, and yet the Priests, both for themselves, and for the whole people, preferred it before the sweet yoke of Christ. Learn first to lay aside all evil affections of thy mind, least thou fall into more grievous sins. Secondly, not to esteem so much of outward Nobility, or power, that thou shalt therefore break the least Commandment of God, or swarve one iote from truth and justice. For Nobility, power, and authority, are of no estimation, except the same be under Christ, and for Christ, from whom all power proceedeth, both in Heaven and Earth, and unto whom all Honor and power is due.
Consider fourth, that this foolish election of the Jews is confirmed by God: for they have been both deprived of the Messias now so many years; and also given into bondage to strange Kings, who burned their City, and overthrew their Temple, leaving not one stone upon another, Did eat Jacob, & made his place desolate, dispersed them amongst the Gentiles, oppressed them with grievious servitude, that they should be a reproach to their neighbors, a mocking stock, & illusion to them which were round about them. Do thou desire nothing of God, but to be guided by him, and to take from thee the grievous yoke of that tyrant the devil.