Webster’s Dictionary defines “accountability” as “the quality or state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.” Accountability doesn’t mean punishment. Accountability is a willingness to accept responsibility for our own actions.
This word carries a lot of weight and it isn’t an easy task. However, by the very definition it is clear that it is a great virtue and it is important to pursue it. Taking accountability for our own actions and holding others accountable both requires a great deal of courage. The former requires humility and the latter requires a hunger for righteousness. While it can mean different things to different people, as a Christian the standards are already set so it isn’t a matter of how to find it but on making it possible in our day to day lives.
Whether it be politics, religious organisations or private organisations, the leaders tend to set up the accountability very clearly for others who work under them but it is not an easy task to setup accountability for them. The same applies to relationships whether it be family, friends, children or spouses. While in an organisational setup it would be a hierarchical structure in relationships it is more likely to be a circular structure. There cannot be perfectness as we live in a fallen world but anywhere we see this has been given more importance will definitely thrive whether it be organisations or relationships.
Jesus, when He walked on this earth over 2000 years ago was the only one who was able to live out this 100% and how He did it is made evident in the gospels. He is the one whom we have to look up to. His Kingdom is the only one that will never be shaken and it is important to build our relationships with Him in our circle. He not only gives us courage, humility and increases our hunger for righteousness but makes it practical in our lives when we surrender every aspect of it to Him.
Regardless of the sinless and guiltless life Jesus lived when He lived in this earth, He wasn’t beyond reproach but no one could prove that He was sinful or guilty. When they couldn’t find proof, they just made some statements and cooked up stories. Hearing their argument, even Pontius Pilate wasn’t convinced and he made it point blank that he didn’t find any fault with Jesus to the chief priests and the crowd. But the very chief priests who had to uphold the law gave Him up. The reason why they wanted to crucify Jesus is mentioned in Luke 23:5.
“He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”
When I read this I couldn’t continue without pausing and reflecting on their actual motives. Jesus was sharing a different and powerful message and His fame is reaching to distant lands and it had to be shut at any cost. I could find similarities in our current world in events that happened in recent times which bears a lot of resemblance.
In this case, Jesus was hung on the Cross with the inscription “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”. The chief priests couldn’t simply tolerate it so they had to go back and tell Pilate to rephrase it as Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews which Pilate refused. May be Pilate was fully convinced that the chief priests and the crowd were at fault but he cared less about the innocence of Jesus than to appease the chief priests and the crowd.
In Luke 23:50,51 we talk about one man who had a different understanding and perspective
50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.
He just went to Pilate, asked for Jesus’ body, took it down from the Cross, wrapped it in linen and laid it in the tomb. The characteristics of Joseph is what stood out when I read this. He was good, just, didn’t consent to the multitude’s decision and deed. He had the courage to go to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body and as he was waiting for the kingdom of God, his faith was unshaken. He believed the message Jesus conveyed before His death and just waited for God’s timing.
The chief priests made sure that the tomb was secured as if they can forever bury The Truth and in Matthew 28:11-15 their plan is mentioned when they found out that The Truth had resurrected.
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The most important part in this passage is the last sentence that this cooked up story was widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. Till date, there are several people who believe that Jesus never died on the Cross which changes the complete Christian message but it still prevails because Truth doesn’t stay dead.
As a conclusion from reading from Jesus’ life, the perfect man, The God Incarnate who walked this earth showed us The Way. Let Him be the ultimate role model for us to live a fully accountable life and holding others accountable. Do not let anyone dilute the standard set by Him but abide in His grace to work out our Salvation with trembling and fear.
May God bless you!!