Scripture Reading: Prayerfully read Luke 23:6–12.
Context: Herod Antipas was ruler of Galilee, which was north of Jerusalem and the territory where Jesus spent most of His time preaching. Since Herod was in Jerusalem at the time, Pilate decided to send Jesus to him for judgment. Perhaps this was done as a courtesy or perhaps it was an attempt on the part of Pilate to remove himself from this heated situation.
Herod was the one who had recently beheaded John the Baptist. John had spoken openly about the immorality of Herod taking his brother’s wife as his own, and so Herod imprisoned John and later killed him. Herod always seemed to be haunted by this decision and feared that Jesus was John risen from the dead (See Matthew 14:1–2.).
Herod is portrayed as a curious man who lives a life of luxury and debauchery. Herod wants to see Jesus because he wants Him to do a miracle for him, primarily for the sake of entertainment. As Herod interrogates Jesus, he also mocks Him to his amusement, eventually dressing Jesus in a gorgeous and elegant robe as a joke before sending Him back to Pilate.
Reflection: Ponder the scene prayerfully using the following points if useful.
- Begin by reflecting upon the context. Pilate wanted to let Jesus go. The Jewish leaders and crowds wanted Jesus dead. Herod was in town, and when he heard that Pilate was sending Jesus to him, he was thrilled, hoping to see some miraculous sign.
- Imagine the moment that Jesus appeared before Herod. Think about the initial encounter. What was Herod thinking and feeling? What was Jesus thinking and experiencing?
- Reflect also on Herod’s interrogation of Jesus. We do not know what he asked Jesus, but we know he interrogated Him at length. Jesus, however, remained completely silent. Ponder Jesus’ silence before Herod. Though Jesus briefly responded to both Pilate and the Jewish high priests, He says nothing to the mockery of Herod.
- Call to mind the fact that Herod had felt the sting of John the Baptist’s condemnation. He must have felt guilt over killing him. And he thought Jesus may be John raised from the dead.
- Finally, reflect upon Herod sending Jesus away, dressed in a fine royal robe as a mockery.
Featured Image: Nicolaes Knüpfer – Christ before Herod Antipas
Introduction to Meditations for Lent
- Life Decisions and Resolutions
- Palm Sunday
- Leading up to Holy Thursday
- Last Supper
- Agony in the Garden
- Jesus is Arrested and Brought Before Annas
- Jesus is Brought Before Caiaphas
- Jesus is Brought Before Pilate
- Jesus is Brought Before Herod
- Second Trial by Pilate
- Jesus Carries His Cross and is Crucified
- Jesus Speaks From the Cross
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Jesus’ Body in the Arms of His Mother
- Jesus is Buried
- Holy Saturday