That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other. (Luke 23:12)
Are you at enmity with any other Christian? Have you been joined in an unholy alliance against a commonly perceived enemy?
In Luke chapter thirteen the bible reports that Pilate’s men of war attacked some Galileans who were offering sacrifices to God and slaughtered them. Galilean Jews were under the primary authority of Herod, and it may have been this incident that created the enmity spoken of here. The state of enmity exists when two kings or governments or ordinary people or even Christians reach impasse over an issue which as left open hostility between them. This was the situation among Pilate and Herod – they had open hatred of and contempt for one another. Messianic prophesies foretold of their enmity — The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed… (PSALM 2:2) ….OR… These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Rev 17:13)
Nothing more quickly heals enmity than the sudden appearance of a common enemy. Power hates anything it perceives as threat to its authority. Both Herod and Pilate expressed curious interest in Jesus, yet they were easily convinced to put Him to death.
As Christians we are to live as one in Christ. We know we have a common enemy. God established Satan as our eternal enemy saying — And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; (Genesis 3:15) but our clever nemesis still manages to spread the poison he carried in the God’s holy garden, among the those claiming the Name of Christ. As Christians the luxury of free flowing hatred must be rooted out of our hearts. Reconciliation through forgiveness is a fruit of real faith in Jesus. The forgiven become forgivers. As Satan cultivated first enmity in hatred of one another between Herod and Pilate, then unity in hatred against the Lamb of God, he will attempt to cultivate the same in our lives.
God calls us to set aside self justifying arguments and fault assignment and reunite in Christ in loving forgiveness. There is no forgiveness plan B that is sanctioned by God. We should be without an answer if asked — Who do you hate? We shouldn’t even have to consider the question. Forgiveness and the unrooting of any enmity or hatred in our hearts should find daily application in our repentance.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; (James 1:19)
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. (Col 3:8)
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Ephesians 4:31)
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.