John 18:28

Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

In this verse, we see Jesus being shunted from the religious authorities to the Roman authorities. The Jewish leaders bring Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor, early in the morning. They did not enter the palace because they wanted to maintain ceremonial uncleanness.

In Jewish law and tradition, there were many ways a person could become ceremonially unclean, which would prevent them from participating in religious rituals and feasts until they underwent a purification process.

One of these ways was by entering the dwelling place of a Gentile. The Jews considered Gentiles to be unclean, and they believed that this uncleanness could be transmitted by contact. Entering a Gentile's home, where there might be items and practices considered unclean by Jewish law, was thought to make a Jewish person unclean.

This is why the Jewish leaders, who wanted to be able to eat the Passover, did not want to enter Pilate's palace. They were afraid that by entering a Gentile space, they would become ceremonially unclean and thus unable to participate in the Passover feast.

This belief is not explicitly stated in the Torah, but it seems to have been a tradition that developed in Judaism. It reflects the strict separation that existed between Jews and Gentiles in that time and culture.

Interestingly, this concern for ritual purity seems to have blinded the Jewish leaders to the more serious moral issue at hand - their unjust treatment of Jesus. They were careful to avoid ceremonial uncleanness, but they did not seem to be concerned about the uncleanness of false accusation and murder.

This is a reminder for us to be cautious of focusing on external religiosity while neglecting internal righteousness. True purity is not just about following religious rules, but about having a heart that is right before God.

May we be people of integrity, pursuing righteousness and justice in all our dealings. And may we trust in the unwavering plan of God, who works all things together for good for those who love him.

God bless you.

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