Today we celebrate the life of Uncle Freddy, and his family who loved him.
At this moment, it is also 14 Nisan in Jerusalem. In the Jewish calendar, that date is called the Preparation of Passover. It is the day that Jesus Christ was arrested, brought before Pilate, innocently condemned, and crucified. He died and was buried before sunset that same day. Listen to the interchange Pilate had with Jesus.
John 18 (NIV-2011)
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.
It was about fifty years ago, on a sunny day in Sweet Hill. The whole extended Smith family was at Granny and Grandpa Smith’s, and as usual, there was a small army of kids playing all over. Vehicles were stacked like a used car lot, and one small boy was out playing by himself near them. Throwing rocks. Up in the air. High up in the air.
One of the cars just happened to be in the way. More precisely, the windshield was in the way. With the ping of stone on glass, the boy’s heart sank.
He wondered if anyone had seen what he’d done. He lingered, but not too close by, waiting and watching. Fearful. He didn’t even know whose windshield he’d broken. Maybe it wouldn’t be noticed?
It wasn’t long before Uncle Freddy came out of the house and discovered the cracked glass.
“Who broke my windshield?” he cried loudly, noticing the boy still nearby.
The young culprit now wished he’d been farther away, but something had held him back. His uncle’s voice sounded like a bullhorn, but something inside overcame his fear, and he replied timidly, “I did it, Uncle Freddy. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.”
It wasn’t what happened next that stunned the boy. Its what didn’t happen. Angry no doubt, Uncle Freddy seemed caught off guard. The boy did not remember his uncle’s exact words—he didn’t have to. They weren’t hot or hurtful.
What I learned that day, when I broke my Uncle Freddy’s windshield, was the value and virtue of truth. It has long since been a comfortable companion for me. In Ephesians 6, Paul says this.
Ephesians 6 (KJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
“What is truth?” Pilate retorted.
Truth is no less than the covering protection of our most vulnerable and vital inner parts. When we know the truth, it will set even a small, foolish boy free.
Thank you, Uncle Freddy. I love you.