Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.1
I woke in the night, yet still in a dream. The feelings as real as the voices still echoing in my heart. I was in a paneled room, dark wood lit by flickering lanterns fitted into wall sconces. There were two heavy doors at the back of the room with an aisle down the middle between rows of wooden pews. The voice was almost a whisper, yet sounded to me like a shout. It was speaking of things I knew, of past deeds and roads travelled. I was seated in an elevated box next to what appeared to be a jury. There was an old television set on a rolling stand in front of me, its screen flickering with the noise of snowy static, yet periodically clearing to play movies of my past. My memories. The Accuser stood beside it, his face lit weirdly by the cold TV light and flickering of the torch-lit room. He was describing what he saw there to me and the crowd of onlookers seated in their pews. He spelled out in painful detail the wrongs I have done and the hurts I have caused to those I love the most. His speech is compelling as the movies play in the background in silent affirmation as he dares me to contradict his testimony. I try to look away, but the images are burned in my memory. Feelings of shame flood my heart. I have no reply. More whispered reminders, one after the other like a damning train of finger-pointing witnesses. I feel doubt seeping in like smoke preceding the consuming flames of despair. My wounds are many, and the wounds I have incurred to others are many more still. My flaws are obvious to all, the sentence all but proclaimed. I sit mute, unable to reply, unable to refute. I am going once again to the Place of Chains. I feel cold and empty inside as Despair steps forward to usher me away.
“I need truth.” The thought came unbidden. Like an unexpected note slipped to me by an unseen friend. I woke as if from a drug-induced state and looked around me at the courtroom with its accuser and television, witnesses and gallery. My lips spoke as my voice cracked, “I need truth.”
The courtroom erupted in laughter, and the Accuser smiled and said, “It is all the truth.” But the smile died on his lips and the noisy laughter trickled to an uneasy murmur as I cried out loud and strong, “I need Truth!” Then silence fell like a stone as the doors to the room opened with a rumble like thunder, my Defender striding in. His eyes blazed with eternal fury at the illegal proceedings. The crowd shrank back as the heat of his anger passed them by. I looked for the Accuser, but he was gone. The witnesses were pretending to be mere onlookers. My Defender knocked the TV off it’s stand and it smashed to pieces on the floor with the loud crunch of scattering glass. He stood between me and the crowd, surveying the room with the cold eye of authority. “It is finished!”, he said loudly. And the murmuring crowd was silenced as the room began to quickly empty. Then, turning to me and looking me straight in the eye, he spoke softly and gently, “It is finished.”. His eyes were filled with compassion and the deepest love and I believed.
He reached his scarred hand out to me and I took it, stepping out of the box to meet him. We walked out of that smoky room together, out into the fresh air of freedom.
As he took me down the path toward home, he began to talk of our relationship and who I was to him. He showed me his healed scars as evidence of his great affection for me, even before I knew him. He carefully examined my wounds and reminded me that my healed scars are also record of his love for me. He told me that I will have more wounds in this life and that I will also wound others, but his grace is sufficient for both. “My healing is always available for those who believe and who ask Me knowing I can heal them, just as it is available for you, my beloved.” We walked and talked as he strengthened me, pouring the truth about myself into my heart. Renewing. Restoring.
What is truth? He is truth. The truest thing about me is not my past or my deeds good and bad. The truest thing about me is not what I have done or what has been done to me. The truest thing about me is the life of Jesus in me. The truest thing about me is that I am his Beloved. I am loved just as I am in each present moment by the Great Lover. His life in me and love for me has made my heart new and has set me free. Free to live. Free to be. Free to love.
He is the Truth, and I know him, my Deliverer.