Sermon HMP Durham, 23/11/03.
My story. Here training to be a vicar.
Wasn’t choosing a career.
Felt God calling me to do that. Ask me afterwards.
I really didn’t want the hassle.
People laugh at me, hard work, earn more money doing something else.
Got to know God better. He’s right when we’re wrong. Ryan
! Need your help
Want you to help me imagine the scene. Court
Judge: Pontius Pilate, robes
Defendant: Jesus, in dock
Prosecution: Jewish leaders
Public gallery: packed, crowd.
Jewish leaders – envious of Jesus, want to get him killed.
“King of the Jews”. God’s Kingdom, peace. Make his own kingdom. Terrorist.
Even though it was dodgy trial. Jesus calm and collected.
Judge: Pilate. Wasn’t stupid. Didn’t look like a terrorist.
Scared. Bizarre thing to say really. In charge.
People who like to think they’re in charge are the most scared – got most to lose.
Doesn’t know what to do. Turns to the public gallery. “What do you think?”.
Knew Jesus was a good man but he didn’t want the hassle.
2000 yrs on not a lot has changed. We don’t want the hassle.
People don’t like the hassle.
Lessons in school. “Hands up if you believe Jesus existed”
Some classes no one put hands up.
Other classes. One brave person. Looking round room. Half hands in class would go up.
Most people didn’t want to feel stupid. Didn’t want the hassle.
Bit like that at school. I think we can be like that as adults too. How much is it your own decision what you believe. Do you just go with the flow? Why are you letting other people tell you what to think.
Some people here who aren’t like that. Make their own mind up whatever other people think. Really respect that. Know that in this jail it is really hard to take a stand for what you believe. I’m sure on the way here this morning people took the mick. If you’re one of the people who does stand up for Jesus good for you. Most powerful man in Israel- Pontius Pilate wouldn’t do that.