“Christ in Front of Pilate” by Mihály Munkácsy (1844-1900), oil on canvas, painted in 1881, housed at the Déri Museum, Debrecen, Hungary. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/PUBLIC DOMAIN

Spiritual Life

Only the reign of Christ, King of Peace, will heal our land

“Are you the king of the Jews?”

Pilate enters into conversation with Jesus by asking him a political question. Sadly, Pilate was not seeking to know who Jesus truly was. He was simply seeking to ascertain whether or not Jesus was a threat to Roman imperial rule.

Was he going to upset the power structure they had fought so hard to put in place? The masses were submitting to their rule and the last thing Roman authority wanted was for some upstart rabbi carpenter from Nazareth to preach about the kingdom of God being at hand and disrupting the good thing they had going.

Both the Jewish leaders and the Roman officials had reason to be concerned about Jesus’ claims. Though not of this world, his kingdom would indeed challenge both religious messianic expectations and the political powers of this world.

We live in an age where it seems that everything is politicized for the increase of power and authority rather than for unity. Just look at the political landscape over the past decade or so. Wearing masks, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, climate, immigration, identity and the question of when life begins and ends are just a few issues that have taken center stage throughout all social media platforms and even in family discussions and arguments. Maybe these topics have become so volatile in your family that bringing them up is considered taboo. I know of some families whose members have become polarized over one or more of these issues. 

Jesus came to establish his reign and his kingdom in our hearts and lives, uniting us by giving our restless hearts peace in him. If our desire for unity is focused on political unity, into which we try to force others according to our wills, perhaps it is time we look deeper into our own hearts and past all of our failed attempts to heal the world through political “unity,” that is, dominance.

It is time, then, for us to admit that only a reign of heavenly peace will heal our land, because it is only the reign of Christ, the King of Peace, that will heal our hearts.