Saturday, March 28, 2015
The Can Kicker
What used to be expressed by the words, "passing the buck" is now expressed with the idiom, "kicking the can down the road." Regardless of whether we choose the older words or the newer version, it still speaks of a refusal to accept responsibility by giving it to someone else. Pilate was skilled at the game of "kicking the can down the road." Undoubtedly, he had done it successfully many times, but in the moment set forth in the 23rd chapter of Luke's gospel, the can always ends up back in front of him. Jesus was Pilate's can that would not go away.
First, Pilate kicked the Jesus issue back to those who brought it to him., but they would not receive the word that there was no basis for their charges. So, Pilate then sent Jesus to Herod and Herod, too, sent Him back. Once more he told the angry crowd that the man Jesus was not guilty. Again, the crowd railed against his judgment and then cried for the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate kicked the can all over the place, but it was still in front of him. He knew the right thing to do, but would not take responsibility for the right action so Jesus was sent to the cross. The cross was Pilate's solution to his problem.
When it comes to dealing with Jesus, kicking the can down the road ceases to be a viable option. As much as we might like to get Him away from the front and center of our life when difficult choices confront us, He remains. He simply does not go away because we find it difficult to choose the good over the not so good, or the bad. Instead, He watches to see if we choose the way of the Kingdom or the way that makes it easy for us and pleases those around us. As it was with Pilate, so is it with us. Our choices define us.