30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GOD DIDN’T STUTTER WHEN HE GAVE US HIS WORD THE BIBLE

26Feb

 God didn't stutter when He gave us His Word the Bible, He said what He meant and meant what He said. God's word is the only real truth we have and it is meant to be first of all a revealing of His Holiness and standards for approaching Him because He is so Holy. Then it is also a revealer of how we can approach Him by being saved through what Jesus Christ did through His death burial and resurrection. We can come to God and be His friend through salvation, but only by His means and methods, all other ways lead to Hell. Trust Him today if you haven't for forgiveness of your sins. If you have trusted Him, thank Him for what He has done because without what He did we cannot come near a Holy God.

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:7-16 JESUS ANSWERED, “YOU COULD HAVE NO POWER AT ALL AGAINST ME UNLESS IT HAD BEEN GIVEN YOU FROM ABOVE.”

23Feb

John 19:7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God." 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then Pilate said to Him, "Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?" 11 Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." 12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar." 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" 15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!" 16 ¶ Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.

 The Jews have backed Pilate into a corner at this point. It is a matter of Jesus claiming to be King and there can be only one King in Rome. He can either save his soul or his life. If He turns Jesus loose, he loses his life, if He crucifies Him, it will be his soul. So, Pilate asks where Jesus is from, but Jesus knows it is too late for Pilate, he has already said he doesn’t care about truth and so He does not answer him. It is a bad place to be when you have rejected God for so long, that He refuses to speak to you anymore. Pilate lets Jesus know that he is powerful and can let him go or he can have him crucified and Jesus speaks one more time. He lets Pilate know that He only has power because God has granted it to him. Then He lets Pilate know that his sin is less than that of the one who delivered Jesus up and I believe He is speaking about Judas. The Bible speaks of degrees of sin and degrees of reward. Hell won’t be the same for everyone, just as Heaven won’t. Read 1 Corinthians 3:8-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10. 2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.  Revelation 22:12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

 7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God." Le 24:16; Mt 26:55,65; Joh 5:18; 10:33

Now what the Jews are going to do is they’re going to put these things together in an accusation that’s going to cut both ways and it will notch it up so far that Pilate has to do something about it.  In Leviticus 24:16 it was blasphemous for a person to call himself a king in Judaism.  Under a theocracy for you to say you were a king when you weren’t a king was guilty of death.  That’s a religious law under a religious system under Caiaphas.  A political law, if you call yourself a king, you’re fighting against Caesar as the true emperor king.  So both of these charges now of treason raise it way high and Pilate’s going to have to do something about it.

 If Pilate won’t condemn Jesus for treason, perhaps he’ll condemn Jesus if he understands that both sides of religion and the civil law would work to his benefit to see Jesus executed. 

Now, Pilate well knew that law. What was that law? Pilate knew that the Jews didn't tolerate any false gods, right? Two times Pilate had brought in the image of false gods to Israel, hadn't he? On his standards when he arrived there, on the shields that he hung up in Herod's palace, both times it had caused a revolt among the Jews, hadn't it? It had caused such a reaction among the Jews that he got word from Caesar himself to remove those things or he'd be removed. And Caesar was watching Pilate because Pilate had a problem with this same issue every time. That is, dragging, or letting false gods exist in Israel. Now the Romans weren't stupid. They knew in order to subject the people; you give them enough freedom to make them content. You don't violate their religion. And so the Romans let them worship as they wanted and they did not offend them with outside gods. And so, the Jews are saying ‑ Hey, Pilate, you remember that law about false gods? Remember that one? See. The one that almost cost you last time? Yeah, well here it comes again, Pilate, He's claiming to be the Son of God, we don't believe in false gods.

That just cuts because this is right exactly where Pilate's blown it twice before. Now they are sharp. They've got this plot, down to a science, they know what they're doing. And so, what they're doing is putting the pressure on Pilate to get rid of another false god. And the last two times he didn't do it, the first time it cost him his whole rule there, really, because he had to give in to them. The second time it almost cost him his life. Now they're saying to him, in effect, ‑ You going to let this one get by again? You're not going to execute what we believe to be a false god? You're going to let a false god run around among us again? You going to do this again? Guess who we'll report you to? Hmm? You know, so we'll tell Caesar.

And so, the threat is too much. And they know where to hit him

8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid,

That leads us to Pilate's fatal panic in verse 8.

Verses eight through eleven ask and answer the question who’s in control of all of this mess:

This is the first time the word fear comes into the storyline.  Pilate’s been acting a shrewd politician, now he’s scared.  Why is he scared?  Well, two very good possibilities.

As if it's not bad enough to put Pilate in the spot that he can't get out of, when they said to Pilate ‑ He is making Himself to be the Son of God ‑that would automatically turn on something that Pilate well knew. The Romans were very superstitious. And the Romans believed that the gods, and demigods, often came into the world and moved among men, see. And the Jews when they said to him ‑ He makes Himself the Son of God ‑ he wouldn't have thought of that in the Jewish context, he would have thought of that in a Roman context. And he would have thought of it in a pagan context. And he would have understood it that this is ... this is a man who is claiming to be a son of a god. And then he would have thought to himself ‑ If He is, I'm in real trouble, right? I've just flogged the son of a god.

The Romans were superstitious. For example, in Acts chapter 14 when Paul and Barnabas came into town and they said: Hey, these guys are terrific, we think they're gods come to earth. And they started calling them Jupiter and Mercury, remember that? That was a common superstition. Acts 28 has it again. They believed that the gods came into the world.

Remember, his wife has a dream, too, in Matthew twenty-seven that sort of sets him back a little bit.  Now Pilate's got this thing in the back of his head to add to all the rest of the stuff that's scrambling his brain. Maybe I've been beating up the son of a god, little did he know. That it was God Himself, the only true God.

9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.

Isa 53:7; Mt 27:12,14

You say, "What's he saying? Does he want to know His address in Nazareth?" No. He knows where He's from. He is asking Him if He's the son of a god, that's what he's asking Him. Where did You come from? Are You earthly or are You from up there where the gods are?

Before the flood God said: "My Spirit will not always strive with man." The Bible tells us Pharaoh hardened his heart, Pharaoh hardened his heart and then it stops and it says: "And God hardened Pharaoh's heart."

There comes a time in the life of an individual who willfully rejects Jesus Christ that all of a sudden it becomes impossible. And God in Christ knew Pilate. He knew it was over. He knew Pilate had gone past the point of return. You see, back in chapter 18:36, Jesus had even said to him Every one that is of the truth hears My voice." He had given him an invitation. He declared who He was. He told him He was a King from another realm, not the world and Pilate wouldn't buy it and Pilate kept going further and further and further and further and Jesus just knew it was over.

10 Then Pilate said to Him, "Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?"

It's a shocking thing when you study in the Bible the silence of God. You say, "Why was Jesus silent?" Well, He was silent, I think, in response to prophecy. Isaiah 53:7 says: "As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth." In a sense He knew He was fulfilling prophecy in silence. But, let me give you something even greater than that. Jesus knew Pilate's heart. And Jesus knew it was over with Pilate...it was over. Nothing that Jesus said anymore would have mattered to Pilate. So, He didn't say anything. You know, it's a shocking thing to realize that a man can come to the place in his own experience with God that God stops talking to him. But it can happen.

 11 Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." Lu 22:53; Joh 7:30

You say, could anybody ever be that guilty?" Yes, anybody who knows the truth and rejects it, according to Hebrews 6 is guilty of crucifying the Son of God afresh, putting Him to an open shame. And men today are just as guilty as the people who screamed for His blood then when they reject Him, willfully knowing the truth.

And so, it's hard for me to conceive of anymore guilt than Pilate but there's more guilt than what he did in ignorance. Much more on those who should have known the truth. Theirs was the greater sin. And that shows you there's degrees of sin. It only takes one sin of the smallest degree to condemn a man to hell, but the hottest hell and the severest punishment is reserved for those whose sin is a travesty on what they know to be true. Like Hebrews says of how much greater punishment shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden underfoot the blood of the covenant, the Son of God. The greater sin is that.

Now, the one who’s delivered Him raises several questions.  Who?  It’s a singular verb, a singular pronoun.  The one who delivered.  So He’s talking about one person.  Is it Judas?  Is it Caiaphas?  Is it Satan?  And I don’t have a clear answer.  Caiaphas is representing Judaism at its worst and Pilate is representing Roman civil law and these are the things colliding in the charges right now.  Some would lean towards Caiaphas as the one.  He says, “He has the greater sin,” because under the religious theocracy, he should know.  “He came into His own and His own know Him not.”  He should know who Jesus is and he’s going to deliver Him over to get rid of the problem because it’s expedient that Christ die for the nation.

John’s expression, “handed over,” is used 11 times previously in this Gospel (6:64, 71; 12:4; 13:2, 11, 21; 18:2, 5, 30, 35, 36). In its first 8 occurrences (6:64–18:5), this verb is consistently rendered “betray” by the NASB, and in each case, it clearly is used in reference to Judas. The next 3 instances of this verb (18:30, 35, 36) are found in the context of Jesus’ trials, after His betrayal and arrest, and thus they are rendered “handed over” by the NASB. I would have to conclude that when this verb is used here, it may be referring to Judas.

why would Jesus mention Judas to Pilate? And why would Jesus’ reference to Judas strike such fear into the heart of Pilate? From Matthew’s Gospel, it would seem that Judas may already have died by his own hand (Matthew 27:3-10). Is it possible that Pilate knew about Judas’ role in all this, and also that Judas had already killed himself? That might give Pilate pause for thought!

Jesus has pointed out that Judas was guilty of a great sin. Judas is now dead, by suicide. While Judas may be guilty of greater sin, Jesus implies that Pilate will also be guilty, of a somewhat lesser sin. Now we begin to see why Pilate is getting more and more uneasy about condemning Jesus, and why he wants so much to release Him. Pilate seeks to instill fear in Jesus, by trying to impress Him with his authority. Instead, Jesus instills fear in Pilate, by reminding this governor where his power comes from, and by indicating that any harm done to Him is God’s will. Even though the death of Christ is God’s will, it will also be the result of Pilate’s sin, for which he must someday give account. No wonder Pilate is getting nervous!

Now, technically we all know that sin is sin.  We don’t like that, but if you steal a pen from the office, or some Post-its or whatever you rip off from your office, that is somehow as bad as murder and rape and plunder and mayhem.  Now, in our view of things, well of course it’s not the same.  But from a purely technical theological stance, sin is sin, right?

 Even the Scripture attempts to deal with sins differently in the Old Testament.  Certain sins were punishable by more severe punishments.  So we can say there are sort of degrees of guilt, degrees of the scope of a crime; but is that really what’s going on here?  If Pilate is going to be a pawn in God’s program and convict Jesus Christ to die a Roman crucifixion, then how is that lesser than the one who’s delivered Him? 

Lu 12:48 "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

So, we see then that Pilate says ‑ I can do what I want. And Jesus says ‑ You couldn't do anything except God gave you the power.

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar." Lu 23:2; Ac 17:7

Now, if you think it was bad before, it's bad now. Cause now they're saying ‑ We're going to report you for letting this political threat to Rome go unpunished. Now you know they were clever enough to twist it around and Pilate knew it would be the end of his life. Pilate knew to tolerate a traitor was the end. Tiberius would never permit to tolerate a traitor. And this did it. He chose in favor of his neck not his soul. They’re saying, “You’re no friend of Caesar if you don’t kill this man.” It’s blasphemous under the religious law for Jesus to make Himself out to be a king and it’s treason for Him to call Himself king when Caesar is alive.  “If you don’t do something about this, you’re not a friend to Caesar.”

And Pilate’s relationship with Caesar and Tiberius are ticklish enough that he understands now that he can’t do anything about this.  He has been painted into a corner and there’s no way for him to win, even though he continues to maintain Christ is innocent.

 Now, look at it from his picture for just a moment.  Who’s he going to fall on the sword for?  This shredded human, Jesus?  Or Rome?  And if he takes it on the brow for Christ and says, “No, I’m releasing Him,” then his career as a political appointment is over.  He might be murdered.  So from a political standpoint, he commits suicide if he doesn’t turn Christ over to be crucified. 

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Gabbatha - This word is not elsewhere used. It comes from a word signifying to be elevated. – the one who is lifted up should not be, but Jesus should be and will be on the cross.

Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

The judgment seat in the text is the stem word “bema.”  If you know your New Testament, you know about the Bema Seat.  They bring out Pilate’s bema and they put it on the pavement.  It’s the Lithostrotos stone.  You can go and walk on these stones.  Those stones are beautiful, enormous, huge pieces of rock that for centuries have been walked over and within a stone’s throw, envision a chair of some judgment, throne-looking apparatus being brought out of Pilate’s house, sat down on these stones.  He sits to render judgment.  And, again, the layers of irony in Johannine literature.  I mean, who is going to have the Bema seat?  Who will sit on the throne judging man?  All these layers.  Here’s the God of the Universe being condemned by this little pawn, Pilate, on a stupid little chair on a stupid little rock.

 And the God of the Universe will be the King of the Universe on the throne of God, judging righteously.  Can’t miss the layers and layers of Johannine irony.  “Behold, your king.”

14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" Mt 27:62

But he won’t miss the opportunity to mock them, “Behold, your king.”

I don't know what he meant by that. I don't know whether it was cynical, whether it was desperate. I don't know what it was. By this time the man has lost his senses. By this time he is in a corner, he is cringing, he is panicky, his heart is beating, he is sweating, he just wants out. He's remembering that Jesus may be the son of a god. He's remembering the warning his wife had in a dream which connects up that whole divine possibility. He's remembering that Jesus is innocent. He knows the hatred of the Jews. He worries about the pressure of Rome. He's trapped. He's pounded down. He's ripped. He's got nowhere to go. And he says Behold your king. In other words, the emphasis may be on the "your," you decide. "And they cried out, Away with Him, crucify Him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar."

15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!" Ge 49:10

Our king does not live in a house on the corner, our king does not sit on a throne on this earth; our king is other-worldly.  Lest we love our country too much to displace our Christ as our King, be very careful.  And we see the Jews doing just this.  “We have no king but Caesar.”  And if they could do it, it would be easy.

Samuel goes to God and they have this great discussion.  He says, “Give them a king, but let them know what’s going to happen.  He’s going to take their children and their land and their animals and a percentage of their crops and he’s going to extort the people to support his kingdom so they can be like everyone else.  And warn them and warn them and warn them.”

So, you know, the king’s inaugurated, the whole story.  We now come full circle.  We want to be like all the other people and have a king; and the bitter, better kingdoms, and divided kingdoms and the time of the judges and all the cycle down and now they’re exiles and the remnants are scattered.  And now they’re coming back to Jerusalem, a handful of Jews.  It’s Passover.  There’s a lot of them, they’ve kind of got their confidence up a little bit.  “We have no king but Caesar.And this is the high priest for goodness sakes.  “No king but Caesar.” How far he’s come from his mission as high priest.

 16 ¶ Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. Mt 27:26, 31; Mr. 15:15; Lu 23:24

Applications:

  1. We must be careful not to displace Jesus Christ and put the government first.

Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

  1. God’s sovereignty never lessens an individual’s responsibility. Man’s not a puppet.  At the same time, God is sovereign.  The evil that occurs with Judas and Pilate and Caiaphas and Satan is not somehow on the fringe of God’s sovereignty.

God would say, I planned that Jesus will die for you.”

 Jesus’ death on Calvary was not an afterthought because evil got, sort of run out of hand of God’s Sovereignty.  The minute we say that God is Sovereign, and these things occurred, we say, “Well, how could God allow these things to happen?”

I mean, after all, why couldn’t He have dealt with Judas and Pilate and Satan and all those things?  Well, he could have.  And if God wanted to be a puppeteering Creator and just sort of relegate men the way He wanted to, He could sure do that.  Somehow in this context man is a moral agent who works and lives within the Sovereignty of God.  You and I have choices all the time.  Well, does man have a free-will?  Does man have a choice?  Can man make decisions?  Yes and no.  That’s the answer.  Under the sovereignty of God a lot of evil goes on. 

If your view of man is basically good and a free moral agent, then you have a huge problem.  If your view of man is basically, essentially evil and wicked and depraved, it makes great sense.  That God is sovereign even as man is depraved.  So both exist.  If God’s sovereignty somehow dismantled human responsibility, then Christ did not need to die.  Christ only died because it was part of God’s eternal plan to save man from his wicked estate.

  1. Who is responsible or guilty for the death of Jesus? Think about the disciples all running away.  Didn’t Matthew know one good attorney?  He was a tax-collector for crying out loud.  He ought to know a couple of good, shrewd attorneys.  How do we help Jesus out here?  They all run away.

And people around the world who are Jewish are incensed with the whole notion that any way shape or form that Jews are responsible.  Men and women, the text says that Jewish leaders were behind this but they were not solely responsible.  All humanity was responsible.  You see, it wasn’t just the Jews.  The Jews were His chosen people.  They are the ones that sort of incensed the thing.  You read, go home today, and read two verses in Acts.  Acts chapter two verses twenty-two to twenty-three, actually two passages, and Acts 4:27-28.  Acts 2:22-23, Acts 4:27-28.  Peter preaching saying, “All of us are guilty.” It wasn’t just the Jews who nailed Christ to Calvary.  It wasn’t just the Jews who conspired, because all men are guilty, all men are evil and there’s not one righteous, no not one.  Every one of us put Christ on Calvary.  So we say, well, “Couldn’t God have used someone besides Judas and besides Pilate?”

 Sure, He could have done anything He wanted.  He chose before the foundation of time as far as you and I know it that part of His predestined plan, He was going to use these men as pawns.  If that gives you trouble, I can’t help you.  What should give you trouble is that He would love the likes of you and me.

The God of the Universe threw everything at His Son because He loved you and He loved me.

  1. Are you going to please God or man?

Eph 6:5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

  1. How do you look at the death of Christ

    1. Is it a martyrdom or
    2. Is it a substitutionary death for our sins
  2. You say I’m not like Barrabbas
    1. I’m not a murderer – you and I helped kill him because it was our sin that put Him there. Our hard hearts that pounded in the nails, Is He was pierced through for our transgressions. James says if you speak badly of people you are a murderer
    2. Not a robber or thief – you steal every day because you do not give God the glory He deserves, stealing His rain and sunshine and not using the gifts He gave you to serve Him
    3. Not a rebel – Every day you don’t submit to God as your Lord you rebel against Him
  3. You finally have to decide what you will do with Christ, no decision is a decision to reject Christ.
    1. Who do you believe Jesus to be, and what will you do with Him?

      1. The answer of the Bible is this: Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved”.

What about it? What is this saying to us? Listen to this. It's saying this. I don't care who you are, I don't care where you live, you've got to make a decision about Jesus. And the whole point that I want to emphasize to you is first of all this: Pilate attempted repeatedly to get rid of Jesus. You know what? He couldn't do it. You know why? No man can do it. If you think you can wiggle out of a commitment to Christ and a final decision, you are wrong. No decision is a decision with Pilate.

What are you going to do? You going to go for your soul or your neck? Your soul or your body? You want eternal salvation or do you want to go for the things of the world now and live it up? At least you think you live it up. You don't really live it up till you meet Christ and find out what livings all about. That's your choice. And God wants nothing more than to put you in a corner and force you to make that decision. But I say to you with all the love in my heart, make it before it's too late and you find that Jesus is silent and there aren't any answers anymore. And don't do what Pilate did. Don't pass the buck. Don't compromise. Don't run away. Pilate said that and you have to say it too. What shall I do with Jesus? And the only wise thing to do is accept Him as Savior and Lord.

Mr. 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WE NEED TO USE THE GIFT OR GIFTS GOD GAVE US

19Feb

Hi, I'm Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  In 1Timothy 4:14 Paul said  Do not neglect the gift that is in you.  Romans 12:4 says there many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function.  The Bible says if you are saved you have at least one spiritual gift.  Do you know what your spiritual gift or gifts are and are you using them?  If not you are hurting your church.  Just as a person that is sick or hurt cannot function properly, the church can't either, without the use of your spiritual gift.  One day God will hold you accountable for what you did with the gift He gave you

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 18:39-19:6 PILATE SAID TO THEM, “YOU TAKE HIM AND CRUCIFY HIM, FOR I FIND NO FAULT IN HIM.”

16Feb

John 18:39 "But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" 40 Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber. So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands. 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him." 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!" 6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him."

 Here we see how the Romans would pacify the Jews by releasing someone convicted of crimes to them on the Passover.  Pilate hopes he can finally get Jesus set free and His blood off his hands.  But the Jews have outmaneuvered Pilate again and they have told the crowd to ask for Barabbas the robber.  Pilate scourges Jesus, mocks Him, puts a crown of thorns on His head, and a Kingly purple robe on Him and yet the crowd still will not feel sorry for Jesus, they want him killed.  He finally tells them to behold the Man, in other words look at this pitiful fellow, don’t you want Him to be released and they cry out Crucify Him, Crucify Him.  Then for the second time Pilate tells them I find no fault in Him.  Jesus has done nothing wrong for Him to be convicted of and especially crucified, so Pilate says if you want Him crucified, you do it.

 And then we come to verse 39 and John picks it up from there. And this is the story of Pilate's inability to get rid of Jesus. May I make a spiritual point at this time, and I'm going to remind you of it at the end? You have here exactly what every man has to face, listen to it, an ultimate decision about what to do with Jesus Christ. Pilate tried every single thing he could to get rid of Jesus and he couldn't get rid of Him, God forced him to make the decision himself. And so he will every man.

In Leviticus 24:16 it was blasphemous for a person to call himself a king in Judaism.  Under a theocracy for you to say you were a king if you weren’t a king was guilty of death.  That’s a religious law and a religious system under Caiaphas.  A political law, if you call yourself a king, you’re fighting against Caesar as the true emperor king.  So both of these charges now of sedition raise it way high and Pilate’s going to have to do something about it. 

So, Pilate's really got two options on his hands. Now he's a man of some justice. He's not any kind of average commoner, this guy's a pretty sharp guy or he wouldn't be placed in such a position by Rome. And to his benefit we should say that he's got some sense of justice. They bring to him an innocent man and he's faced with two options. All right, the man is innocent, I could let Him go. That would be right cause He's innocent. But I let Him go, I've got a Jewish revolution, word goes to Caesar and I get either removed or my head removed because Tiberius didn't tolerate messing around. Tiberius Caesar was quick. And when he saw something he didn't like, it was over and he happened to be the emperor at that time. And so, Pilate had the option of doing what was right and losing his job and maybe his head because the Jews would undoubtedly revolt, or he had the option of doing what was wrong, executing an innocent man, and therefore cross‑graining all the Roman justice and judgment that he had ever learned and crucifying his own soul because in some sense he had a morality. So he had two choices ... either save your soul or save your neck.

Now, there's something kind of vague about your soul. There's nothing vague about your neck. Right? So when it gets down to the nitty‑gritty, chances are you'll go for your neck. You know, that's what's going on in our world today? And Jesus said: "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?" Fools, people live for money, pleasure, sex ... whatever. And they crucify their souls.

Well, that was Pilate's option. And his neck was so tangible, you know. And so they had him where they wanted him. And with that in his mind, he has just tried to get this thing over with by saying to the Jews ‑ I find no fault in Him. But then he's faced with another problem. He doesn't know what to do with Jesus. He can't give Him back or he's going to have this whole problem on his hands, so he now begins a process of figuring out schemes to get rid of Jesus, see, out‑the‑back‑door deals. First thing he thinks of ‑ Oh, let's see, this is Luke 23 and this is the second phase of the trial which John skips, but Luke picks it up. He says ‑ Jesus is originally from Galilee, right? Nazareth of Galilee. Herod is the chief cheese in Galilee. Herod also happened to be in Jerusalem at this time. Pilate says ‑ I'll pass the buck to Herod. So Luke 23 verses 4 to 12 says he sends Jesus over to Herod. Herod looks at Jesus a while, soldiers mock Him, beat Him a little bit, then Herod says ‑ Take Him back to Pilate. And Pilate is stuck again.

All right, as we move into the trial in verse 39, I'm going to show you three things: Pilate's failing proposals, Pilate's fatal panic, Pilate's final pronouncement. And here we see the absolute dissipation and destruction of a human being. And by that I don't mean Jesus ... I mean Pilate. By the time this deal is over you're going to see a raving maniac, a man who has momentary insanity ... Pilate. He completely loses it.

 39 "But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" Mt 27:15; Mr. 15:6; Lu 23:17

Hoping to strengthen this suggestion, Pilate offered to bargain with the Jewish leaders. It was a custom at Passover for the governor to release a prisoner and please the Jews; so, why not release Jesus? Or, he could release Barabbas; but why would the Jews want Barabbas set free? After all, he was a robber (John 18:40), a notorious prisoner (Matt. 27:16), a revolutionary and a murderer (Luke 23:19). Who would want that kind of a prisoner turned loose?

Incredible as it seems, the crowd asked for Barabbas! The people were persuaded by the chief priests and elders (Matt. 27:20) whose religious convictions did not motivate them toward justice and equity. National feelings always increased during Passover, and a vote for Barabbas was a vote against Rome. Even though Jesus had been a popular figure among the people, many of them no doubt were disappointed that He had not led a popular uprising to overthrow Rome. Perhaps they had even hoped that His “triumphal entry” a few days before would be the start of Jewish liberation.[i]

At this point, Pilate seems to have an inspiration. Perhaps they would settle for a victory in principle. Pilate could appease them by declaring Jesus guilty, and then graciously releasing Him to them, as was his custom at Passover. In this way, Jesus would not be put to death, but He would have been declared guilty. It was a sort of compromise, which gave both sides (the Jews and Pilate) a token victory. The Jews could boast that Pilate had declared Jesus guilty; Pilate could be at ease that he had not crucified an innocent man. And so he put the matter before the Jews. Should he release Jesus to them on this Passover? If Pilate expected this ploy to work, he had greatly underestimated how determined the Jews were to kill Jesus. In John’s Gospel, the name “Barabbas” seems to appear out of nowhere, mentioned first by the Jews. One senses that some orchestration has already occurred behind the scenes.

Now, there was a custom evidently that Pilate had with the people. It may have begun before Pilate was the governor; that every year at Passover they would release from the jails of the Romans one Roman prisoner, a Jewish criminal who had been taken by Rome in prison. Now it is very obvious that this was a concession on the part of Rome to the people because the other gospel writers tells us that the people had the right to choose who it was that they desired to be released. And so Pilate in his little brain begins to think ‑ Aha, it's Passover time and they get to choose whomever they will to be released. And he thinks here's my out. I'll offer them Jesus.

When the Jews approached Pilate, to request the release of a prisoner, he leaped at the chance to release Jesus in this way, but they immediately rejected this proposal, insisting rather that Barabbas be released to them. I do not think that all of this happened spontaneously, but rather that it was planned by the Jewish leaders, and then the crowds were persuaded by their leaders to carry out this plan. It may have appeared spontaneous to Pilate. It was probably designed to look this way. But from the beginning, the Jews sought to gain the release of Barabbas, knowing that Pilate’s desire was to release Jesus. In my opinion, they were skillfully removing this option.

They don't want Barabbas. Barabbas was the scum of the earth. I mean, nobody wanted Barabbas. I mean, this wasn't any little petty guy, this guy was a real notorious criminal. And besides that, the other Gospels tells us that he was a revolutionary, he had been involved in an revolution. The other writers also indicate to us that he had murdered and here it says in verse 40, at the end: "...Barabbas was a robber." And the Greek word is bandit. This guy was a highwayman.

Likely, the highwaymen always frequented the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. And you go down that road, it's just a steep road going down into the desert where Jericho is, and the highwaymen always hid along ‑the way. This guy was a bandit, murderer, rebel, the whole routine. And so Pilate puts him up there with Jesus.

Even Mark’s account leaves room for the view that the idea of releasing Barabbas originated with the Jews, rather than Pilate.

Mark 15:6-15 During the feast it was customary to release a prisoner to them, whom they requested. 7 A man named Barabbas was imprisoned with rebels who had committed murder in a riot. 8 Then the crowd came up and asked Pilate to carry out the custom for them. 9 So Pilate asked them, “Do you want the king of the Jews released to you?” 10 (For he knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of envy.) 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. 12 So Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate asked them, “Why, what has he done wrong?” But they shouted more insistently, “Crucify him!” 15 Because he wanted to satisfy the crowd Pilate released Barabbas for them. Then he had Jesus flogged and handed over to be crucified

 40 Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber. Lu 23:19; Ac 3:14

It is interesting that some manuscripts refer to Barabbas as “Jesus Barabbas,” and thus the question of Pilate, as rendered by the NET Bible: “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?” (Matthew 27:17).

If you could do a black and white image of Jesus, you would see the negative and positive image in the person of Barabbas.  Even the name is a word playBarabbas means son of the father, not really the son of the Father, but of the Devil, delivered up the Son of THE Father

Suffice it to say this, Barabbas is guilty of the very charge they falsely weigh against Jesus Christ.  So even in their release of the prisoner Barabbas we see redemption occurring, because Barabbas deserved to die.  Jesus is innocently dying.  Jesus is falsely accused.  Barabbas is accurately accused.  The irony in the Gospel of John continues to unfold at many levels.

Barabbas is a very, very important individual because, you see, he exemplifies to us the depravity of man. Here is the best in the universe, God incarnate, and the worse in humanity and whom to men choose? The worst. So typical.

 Well, Pilate’s going to try another tact.  That one didn’t work, so he’ll try another one and he’s going to punish Christ and see if that sort of takes the sting out of the Jew’s attitude toward who this Jesus is. 

You see, this is the fickle mood of the mob and this is exactly what you have right here in Mark chapter 15, it tells us what happened. I'll read it to you. Mark 15:11 says: "But the chief priests stirred up the people that he should rather release Barabbas unto them." Guess who stirred the people up? Religious leaders ... Barabbas, Barabbas, Barabbas ... you know. That's people for you ... sheep, witless, following their leaders. What does the Old Testament say? "Like people, like priest," Hosea, that's what he said. So the chief priests, supposed to be the leaders, we want Barabbas. And all the people chime in and they want Barabbas and Pilate can't believe it. So typical of men.

Well, why did they choose Barabbas?" Well, Barabbas was insurrectionist, the Bible tells us that. And it is very possible that they wanted Barabbas released to start an insurrection. Maybe they figured this was their leader, possible. Kind of interesting that they brought Jesus to be condemned because of His insurrectionist and then wanted an insurrectionist back so they could have an insurrection. Well, needless to say, Pilate is dumbfounded at this point and in Matthew 27, fitting in the slot right here, Matthew says "Pilate looked at the people and said, What then shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?" And you want to know something? That's a profound question. And you know something? That wasn't just a question on Pilate's lips, that was a question that came out of his aching torn heart. What do I do with Jesus? He had to release Barabbas and he's still stuck with Jesus...failing proposal. And when he said ‑ What do I do with Jesus? ‑ The Bible says they screamed in frenzy ‑ Crucify...crucify... crucify.

John 19:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. Mt 20:19; 27:26; Mr. 15:15; Lu 18:33

Pilate is sinking at this point. His dilemma is unresolved.

So he comes up with another proposal, verse 1: "Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged Him." Now this is an effort at compromise. Luke 23:16 tells us that Pilate had said before this ‑ I will chastise Him and release Him. That's good intentions. So now he says ‑ I'll scourge Him. This is a great example of a coward, isn't it? What are you going to scourge Him for, what did He do? Why you going to beat Him, what did He do? What's His crime?

No crime, I'm just going to do this to pacify the people so I can get rid of Him. You see, he figured if he beat Jesus up and mutilated Him that the people would say ‑ That's enough, that's enough. And if he beat Him up and mutilated Him and made Him look like anything but a king, maybe they wouldn't hold on to that accusation that He was a king. And so, the Bible says he scourged Him.

It's hard for us to imagine scourging. A Roman scourge was a stick, thick and it was wrapped in leather. At the end of it were leather thongs of some length and in the end of those leather thongs were held bits of brass and lead and bone filed to sharp points. The victim was then either stretched flat on the ground with his back up, or tied to a post, hanging, or strapped suspended from the ground. And then the man who was accustomed to doing it and knew how well to do it would lash the back 40 times with the scourge. And from what we understand, the back was torn and lacerated to such an extent that even the deep seeded veins and arteries and sometimes even the entrails and the inner organs were exposed. It was a total shredding of the back.

This was such a horrible torture that no Roman citizen, no matter how great his crime, could ever undergo scourging. It was forbidden. And it gives us some indication of why Jesus died so soon upon the cross, because He was beaten so raw before He ever got there and the loss of the blood before He ever made it to the top of that hill with His cross would have made His death much more rapid than it would have otherwise. And so, Pilate thinks if he does this it will pacify the people, but he doesn't understand beast of prey, does he? He doesn't understand that when you wave a little blood in front of them, that doesn't pacify them that only makes them more hungry.

The flogging was done with a whip-like device and on the many tongs of the whip were embedded pieces of metal and/or bone.  There are three levels of scourging and flagellating a person and we would see a bare backed person tied to a post and he’d be whipped.  A flagellation is not like a whipping in the west.  A flagellation would shred the flesh and muscle tissue clear down to the bone.  All the way around the abdomen it would often disembowel a person and many people died just from this scourging.  This is not a little whipping.

 You know the verse in Isaiah 53 “By His stripes you were healed” and when you cut across a scourge on the back of a person the first time, you lay red ribbon shreds of blood and tissue right away.  By those stripes you and I are healed.  He’s a bleeding hemorrhaging mess when He comes out of this scourging.

Isa 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.

The crown of thorns, then, is put on His head.  Typically, depending on how you grew up, you saw a picture of Jesus Christ carrying a cross with maybe one or two inch thorns in His brow and blood sort of down His face in different degrees.  That’s partly true, but there’s at least two more things we don’t often think about.

 The first is Genesis 3:18, the thorn is the result of the curse.  And so now Jesus Christ who will be cursed on a cross is beginning to pay for the curse with the very crown of thorns on His head.  So He breaks the curse that happened back at the fall. Ge 22:13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

And secondly, and more importantly, and frankly probably obscure to most of us, is then the oriental kings, if you look at old pictures, art works, you’ll see oriental kings with these spires off their head with radiant coming off the top of their head.  And typically they’ll be larger in the middle and sort of taper off.  That’s their deity, their god deity type things, their human gods on earth as a king. And so we have a palm thorn, which would be very different than the crown of thorns we think of that would be up to 12 inches long, and again, it’s a mock crown.

 So we have this shredded, hemorrhaging Christ, then a purple robe’s going to be put on him.  And so we have the crown, is jammed on His head, this mocking Him as this would-be king.

 3 Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands.

Now you see, if you can even imagine this kind of thing. In Fort Antonius where Jesus would have been, the very pavement that they believe is the base of the fort, is well preserved, on that floor are etched little Roman figures in the stone. And they're there, because the Romans use to play a game. When they had all these prisoners waiting down there to be crucified, they teased them. You see, the Romans had always played games about kings. They had a game, Flaccus tells us, that they played with idiots and imbeciles. They would catch them and they would dress them up like kings and they would sit them up on places and they would mock‑worship them and they got great entertainment out of making fools out of idiots. And the Roman soldiers liked to play this game, too, where they'd take one of their prisoners and they'd make a king out of him and his great crowning event would be when they nailed him to the cross and dropped it in its hole. And so they're playing the game with Jesus and it fits because He claims to be a king and Pilate's going to use it and so he lets them play it. And they get Jesus down there and they cram the thorns into His head, it's a mock crown and they throw and old faded robe on Him and they tell Him He's a king and they stick a phony scepter in His hand and they sit Him up. And then Matthew tells us they walked by and first of all they spit all over Him. And then when they've done that they beat Him in the face with their fists. And they made a caricature of Jesus as a king. The irony of it is that they just didn't know, did they? That indeed He was a King. King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

You say, "this is so horrible. Why did Jesus have to suffer all of that?" Number one, I think the fact that He claimed to be God was one great reason why they couldn't let up on and they went to such extremes and punishment because, you see, Romans 8:7 says: "The carnal mind is hostility against God." You see, an unsaved man despises the fact of God. And men are opposed to God. And so, you have here this violent reaction against Jesus' claim to be God.

Another reason He suffered so greatly is because men are such vile sinners. you read Romans chapter 3 if you want a good identification of humanity. They're throat is an open sepulcher with their tongues they have used deceit, their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their ways. How do you like that for a definition? Jesus suffered because men are cruel and vile.

Thirdly, Jesus suffered so greatly because this is Satan's hour, the hour of darkness. Don't you remember that why back in Genesis, the Bible tells us the serpent was going to bruise His heel? And don't you remember that Jesus said in Luke 22 verse 53, He said: "This is your hour and the power of darkness?" Who's the power of darkness? Satan. This is Satan's hour and he was giving all his shots.

Fourthly, I think Jesus suffered so greatly because He was bearing punishment for our sin and He ... and our sin deserves every possible punishment conceivable, and He bore it all.

Read Isaiah 53

 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him." Joh 18:38; 19:6

Again Pilot tries to appease the crowd.  He’s going to bring out this beaten, pathetic figure with a purple robe mocking royalty on Him and this ridiculous crown of thorns on His head and he’s going to tell them, “This is what you’re worried about?  This is the threat?”  And that’s why he has Him scourged.

 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!"

Dripping with sarcasm.  Who is Jesus Christ?  The man-God incarnate.  “Behold the man of God!”  No, “Behold the man that I’ve shredded to nothing and, let me jab you one more time, your king of the Jews.  He’s no threat to anyone.  I find Him innocent.” Well, Pilate’s efforts don’t work.  Verses six and seven, it enrages them.  They are unhappy and they scream out, “Crucify, crucify!”

6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him." Ac 3:13

Then verse 6, in desperation Pilate says unto them: " You take Him and crucify Him," "for I find no fault in Him."  It really says Yourselves, you, take Him, I, I, even I find no fault in Him per the Greek

Pilate says ‑ You kill Him. Pilate gives them the right of execution in a Roman fashion now. Desperately wants to get rid of Jesus. But you see, they don't want him to get rid of Jesus cause that lets him off the hook and they've got Pilate right where they want him and they're not about to let him get away. And so, Pilate's effort doesn't make it. " You take Him and crucify Him," and for the fifth time he says, "I find no fault in Him."

They don’t want justice, they don’t want a fair court, they don’t want a fair hearing, they want Him dead. 

Now, Pilate’s response is interesting, because he knows they can’t crucify Him, so it’s clearly a taunt.  “Well, if you don’t like what I’ve done, you bring Him to me with the deck stacked, you want me to just sign off on your condemnation and execute Him, then you go crucify Him.”

 He continues to taunt them and mock them all the way down.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 18:39). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WE NEED TO ASK GOD TO HELP US SEE THE WORLD LIKE JESUS SEES IT

12Feb

Matthew 14:14 says And He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. We need to ask God to help us see the world as Jesus sees it. There must be a radical difference between what He sees and what we see because we don't act like He did. What He saw produced compassion in Him. Sick, lost, hungry and homeless people ... these were not just things to be avoided. These were real people with real needs. Jesus always gave….His time, His power, His wisdom ... and ulti­mately He gave His life. What is your response? Are you willing to give like Jesus?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 18:31-38 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.

9Feb

John 18:31 Then Pilate said to them, "You take Him and judge Him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death," 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" 34 Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?" 35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?" 36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." 37 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." 38 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.

 We see Pilate still trying to get out of crucifying Jesus, but the Jews will not be persuaded. Jesus is then questioned by Pilate as to who He really is.  We know that Pilate’s wife has had a dream about Jesus; he knows they delivered Him up for envy and so he is still desperately trying to find some way out.  Jesus then puts Pilate on the hot seat and even while He is under threat of the cross, He is still concerned with Pilate’s soul.  Jesus wants to know why Pilate is asking the questions He asks.  Jesus admits He is a King, but of a heavenly realm, not earthly.  He then tells Pilate the reason He came is to bear witness of the truth and poor Pilate responds what is truth. Jesus realizes Pilate is not going to trust Him as Savior, so He ends the conversation and ultimately refuses to speak to him anymore.  Pilate’s fate is sealed.

 The purpose of this lesson is to consider the condemnation of Jesus as John portrays it, so that we see the guilt of Jews and Gentiles alike. No one but our Lord comes out of this looking good.

Verse 31, again, their minds are made up, “We just want you to execute him.” Now the Jews are in a predicament. The Sanhedrin wants Jesus dead, but if they’re given Jesus back, they can’t execute Him. So, they had to play ball with Pilate, and they don’t like this.

I find it very difficult to believe that Pilate is as ignorant and uninformed about Jesus as he lets on to these Jews. I believe there must have been the equivalent of what I would call “the Jesus file” in Pilate’s possession. Think about it for a minute. Today, the CIA, the FBI, and who knows how many other federal agencies make it their business to keep track of any person or group that seeks the overthrow of our government. The identity and activities of every known enemy, as well as all those even suspected, are closely monitored, and all of this information is kept on file. So each possible enemy of the state would have his or her own file, containing all kinds of information concerning their statements and their activities.

Do you think it reasonable that Rome and Pilate kept track of anyone who was popular and had a following among the Jews. Such people had the potential of leading the Jews in rebellion against Rome. Every time Jesus made an appearance in Jerusalem, there was some kind of commotion or disturbance. Surely Pilate was aware of this and kept track of Jesus’ activities. When the Jews brought Jesus before Pilate, it is difficult to believe that He was unknown to the governor, at least by reputation. Pilate no doubt knew what Jesus had claimed, and how the Jewish leaders reacted to Him and His teaching.[i] But Pilate is initially playing out this trial “by the book,” and so he insists that they declare formal charges against Jesus.

31 Then Pilate said to them, "You take Him and judge Him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,"

Crucifixion itself, a Roman form of execution, was forbidden by Jewish law because it was torture.

Since the Jews did not charge Jesus formally there was nothing that Pilate could do except hand Him back to them for discipline in their courts. The Jews' response explained why that was an unacceptable alternative. They wanted Jesus executed, but they did not have the authority to execute Him themselves.

Be that as it may, they could have killed Him if they wanted. But they wanted the blood to be on Rome’s hands. Which is another layer of irony, as you know how the story progresses, and the blood is on their hands. Okay? Full of layers of irony in this section. We know from Deuteronomy 21:23 and Galatians 3:13 that cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree. Prophecy in Deuteronomy is shadowing ahead the kind of death Jesus is going to face.

"The Pilate disclosed in the [ancient] historical documents almost certainly acted like this not so much out of any passion for justice as out of the ego-building satisfaction he gained from making the Jewish authorities jump through legal hoops and recognize his authority."

John noted that the Jews' admission that they could not put anyone to death was in harmony with the sovereign plan of God. Jesus had predicted that He would die by crucifixion, not by stoning (cf. 12:32-33). The Romans were the only ones who could condemn a person to death by crucifixion. The Jews did stone people to death for blasphemy (e.g., Acts

6:11; 7:58), but these seem to have been instances of mob violence rather than independent legal action. They probably wanted Jesus crucified too because the Mosaic Law regarded such a death as proof of God's curse (Deut. 21:22-23).

"Ironically, the death that the Jewish hierarchy regarded as a final negation of Jesus' claims became the means of justification apart from the law

Ga 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"),

32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. Mt 20:19; John 12:32-33

John the Gospel writer, while center-stage is crowded with this experience in the Praetorium with all these religious leaders and Pilate, John puts this parenthetical “By the way, time out” verse in the record.

"It was necessary for three reasons for Jesus to be crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jews: (a) to fulfill prophecies  (e.g.,  that  none  of  His  bones  be  broken;  cf.19:36-37); (b) to include both Jews and Gentiles in the collective guilt for the deed (cf. Acts 2:23; 4:27); (c) by crucifixion,  Jesus  was  'lifted  up'  like  'the  snake  in  the desert' [3:14] . . ."

Luke 23:1-2, 1 Then the whole group of them rose up and brought Jesus before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation, forbidding us to pay the tribute tax to Caesar and claiming that he himself is Christ, a king”

 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" Mt 27:11

the Greek says, "You, are You the king of the Jews

The Jews' accusations motivated Pilate's question. He asked Jesus if He was claiming to be the King of the Jews.  Messianic  expectation  was running high in Jesus' day, and many people were saying that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jewish leaders had charged Jesus with claiming to be this king (Luke 23:2). Now Pilate wanted to hear if Jesus Himself claimed to be this king.

Are you king, not of a slice of geography; are you king of this people called the Jews? Are you king of this rag-tag group?”

 And I think there might be a little distain, astonishment and disgust in Pilate’s voice when he looks at this bound Jesus Christ before him.

 “Are you the king of the Jews?” with some astonishment. “You’ve got to be kidding! You? Are you the king? You don’t look like a king.”

 Fast-forward, how he mocks them, “Here’s your king. This is what your king looks like to me.”

 34 Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?"

The Synoptics reported that Jesus replied, "It is as you say" (Matt. 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3). John also recorded that Jesus gave that answer (v. 37), but he included additional conversation first. This added material included Jesus' explanation of the nature of His kingship

Jesus asked Pilate His question to determine how He would answer him. If his question had arisen from his own understanding and curiosity, Jesus presumably would have dealt with Him as a sincere inquirer. If he was merely trying to clarify the essence of the Sanhedrin's charge, Jesus would need to answer differently.

It would surely appear that Jesus was gently probing Pilate, testing for any spiritual interest on his part. Our Lord knew who His sheep were (John 10:14, 26-27; 13:18), but even so He sought to encourage Pilate to seek Him.

If Pilate meant, "Are you a political king conspiring against Caesar?" the answer would have been, "No." If he meant, "Are you the messianic king of Israel?" the answer would have been, "Yes." The object of interrogation, Jesus, became the interrogator temporarily.

 35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?"

Pilate’s answer effectively shuts off this line of conversation: It ticks Pilate off and in verse thirty-five, he responds to Him, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own people delivered you to me.”

Pilate's reply clarified that he had no personal interest in Jesus' kingship, and he was indignant that Jesus would suggest such a thing. He simply wanted to understand what Jesus was claiming in view of the Sanhedrin's accusation. Beyond that, he wanted to discover why the Jewish leaders were so intent on doing away with Jesus. His question, "Am I a Jew?" sarcastically denied that Jewish matters such as Jesus' kingship were of any interest to him personally.  Ironically Jesus was Pilate's King.

Pilate's comment about Jesus' own people handing Him over to him confirmed John's statement that Jesus came unto His own, but His own did not receive Him (1:11).

The word delivered is very important to John. It’s the same word for betrayed when Judas delivers Him. In fact, every time in the Gospel of John, the word delivered, lifted up, handed over, and betrayed are the same word. It’s just the context that tells us the meaning. Just like Judas betrayed Him, just like His own people, the Jews, betrayed Him to Rome, just like He’s going to be delivered up, or lifted up.

And I think the human, incarnate side of Jesus Christ bristled when He heard that remark, because He knew that He came into His own and His own didn’t welcome Him.

Jesus stands there and Pilate says ‑- What have You done? Now we come against the same problem we saw two weeks ago. In the Jewish court and the Roman court the judge had no right to ask that question. Remember that? Under no circumstances was a man to be condemned at the word of his own testimony. It's like the Fifth Amendment. He could not be incriminated by His own testimony. So, Pilate is asking an illegal question and you will notice that Jesus does not answer it. What hast Thou done? Jesus doesn't answer that. Jesus just takes off in verse 36 and starts talking about His Kingdom. He never answers that. Why? It's an illegal question. He did the same thing to Annas, the same thing to Caiaphas; He'll never capitulate to illegalities. And thus He indicts them because of those illegalities. And so rather than answer the question He just explains what kind of a King He is. Now Pilate understands that He is no political King so He says ‑- Now I'll explain to you what kind of King I am.

 36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." Da 2:44; 7:14; Lu 12:14; John 6:15; 8:15; 1Ti 6:13

  1. Jesus is telling Pilate, “Look, I’m not the kind of king you think. I am not a king who brings armies together and rebels against existing governments and takes over land and controls by subversion. I’m a king of another world. My kingdom is not of this earth.”
  2. He’s also telling Pilate implicitly, “Don’t worry about me as a threat to Rome. I’m not here to threaten your assumed kingship role with Rome’s imperial government.”

Jesus was not denying that His kingdom was an earthly kingdom. He was not saying it was only the spiritual rule of God over the hearts of His people. He was not saying that His kingdom had nothing to do with this world either. This should be clear from Jesus' other references to His kingdom as being an earthly kingdom. His point was that He and His kingdom were not a threat to Rome (cf. 18:10-11). The reason was that God had postponed the messianic kingdom due to Israel's unbelief, though Jesus did not explain this to Pilate.

Now, Pilate was right when he saw nothing in Jesus to resemble an earthly king, but he was wrong when he then concluded that Jesus wasn't a King. He was a King, indeed He was a King. And in Revelation 11:15 it says that He shall reign and rule over every nation and that He shall be King of kings and Lord of lords.

 37 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." John 8:47; 1Jo 3:19; 4:6

Pilate did not understand the distinctions between Jesus' kingdom and his own that Jesus was making. He did understand that Jesus was claiming to have a kingdom. Consequently he next tried to get Jesus to claim unequivocally that He was a king

The Kingdom of Christ is a spiritual Kingdom. And so, Paul says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:13: "I commend thee in the sight of God who maketh all things alive, and before Christ Jesus," who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession." What confession did Jesus make before Pontius Pilate? "Which in His times He shall show who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords." That's the confession Jesus made before Pilate. That He was indeed a King.

This is talking about God coming into human form. Jesus is claiming to be incarnate God. It's a powerful claim. I love the fact that John makes sure we know that He said: "I came into the world." Before the world began, He was there. Jesus claims to have come into the world. Paul says in Philippians 2, "Christ thought it not something to hold onto to be equal with God, but let go of it, came into the world, humbled Himself, found in fashion as a man," right? God coming into the world. So, in a brief statement, Jesus claims eternal preexistence.

He’s saying, “Yeah, I’m a king. [Change subjects.]  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world.”

To be king? No, to testify to the truth. You see where I’m trying to make the distinction? It’s not the antecedent. It’s what follows. He’s not saying, “I’m a king, for this I was born,” which would be true. That’s not His point. His point is, “I have come and have been born into the world to testify to the truth.”

Our Lord’s response informs Pilate that he is right to understand Him to mean that He is the King of the Jews. But Jesus wants it to be clear that His purpose in coming is revelation, not revolution. He has come to testify to the truth. Those who belong to the truth pay attention to His words.

The main reason Jesus had come into the world was to bear witness to the truth. By this He meant that He came to reveal God (cf. 14:6). Jesus made subjects for His kingdom by revealing God, by calling on people to believe on Him, and by giving them eternal life. This prepared them to participate in His kingdom. Everyone who truly wanted the truth followed Jesus because His teachings had the ring of truth. Jesus' words were an invitation for Pilate to listen to Him and to learn the truth. Jesus showed more interest in appealing to Pilate than in defending Himself. This desire for the welfare of others marks all of Jesus' interviews in the fourth Gospel.

I came into the world to bear witness to the truth." What truth? The truth about God, the truth about men, the truth about sin, the truth about judgment, the truth about love, the truth about holiness, the truth about life, death, the truth about everything. And when you know Jesus you know the truth ... because Jesus came to proclaim the truth.

verse 37: "... Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice." A lot of people claim to know the truth, you know that? A lot of people claim to have answers. Everyone who really knows truth hears the voice of Jesus Christ. What does it mean "to hear?" The Greek word is to listen intently and obey. There's no such thing as knowing the truth unless you obey Jesus, for He is the truth. He is God revealed to men and there's no truth outside of Him.

 38 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. Mt 27:24; Lu 23:4; John 19:4, 6

Obviously Pilate was not one who truly sought the truth. He turned away from Jesus' offer to reveal it with a cynical comment that implied that the truth was unknowable. Undoubtedly Pilate's experience as a Roman official to whom others constantly lied and his personal desire to use the truth to accomplish his own ends accounted for his cynicism. The very idea that someone would aim his whole life at revealing truth was both foolish and improbable from his perspective.

Other views of Pilate's statement interpret it as despairing, impatient, or sincere. However the context seems to imply that it was facetious and mocking. Pilate turned away from the One who claimed to reveal the truth without waiting for an answer.

Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” What does Pilate mean by this question? It echoes down humanity’s hallways. What is truth? What is truth? What is truth?

 Well, is it this sort of wistful desire, “You know I really wish I knew the truth.”?

 Is it this philosophical distrust with knowledge, “Well, what is truth? Hmm. Let’s think about that.” That would be the Starbuck’s conversation, “What is truth?”

 Is it an indifference to something so impractical? Is it some jaded politician, “What’s truth.  Who cares about truth?”

 Or is it irritation, “What’s truth?” And then he turns and he’s going to declare Him the first of three times, innocent, to the audience.

Now, the interpretation of Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” I don’t know the answer to, but I make two observations. One, the question remains. It’s a great question. What is truth?

Secondly, I think what John the Gospel writer wants you and me to understand with this question is, Pilate lays it out there, but then he walks away. He turns away from the question. He turns away from the One who was born and came into the world to testify to truth. Remember in John 1:29, John the Baptist says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who comes to take away the sin of the world.” The innocent one comes. And here Jesus says, “I came, I was born, I came into the world to testify to the truth.”

Let’s try to make some application from this. First of all there are three applications.

The first is that Peter denies Christ. We looked at his denial last week, the three-fold denial.

 Secondly, the Jews want to destroy Christ. Their clearly stated objective is to kill Him

And Pilate is going to dismiss Christ. At any layer of this story, I think this is a pretty good snapshot at how men and women, look at Jesus Christ. You can deny Him; you can want to destroy Him. And if you don’t think there are people who’d like to destroy the Christian faith, you’ve been in a Christian bubble a little too long. The largest populations of the world don’t merely tolerate, or dislike, or hate Christianity. They loathe it. They would love to destroy what Christ stands for.

 And then of course, there’s the apt politician’s statement in a worn-out sarcastic politician’s viewpoint. That he just dismisses it, “What’s truth?”

Those are pretty good responses that people could have toward Christ, aren’t they? They could deny it, they could try to destroy it, or they could sort of dismiss it, out of hand.

Now, I don’t know how much you as a believer in Christ sort of get your mind out of this Christian experience. Some Churches, have a pretty clear understanding of authority and of truth. Now, you may have to take that by faith, but take it by faith. If you travel around at all and visit other churches, and talk to other believers in Christ, you will discover very quickly that if you hold to the things the truth, and when we talk about this Book the way we talk about it on Sunday mornings, you’re a pretty narrow-minded, bigoted person. If you think this Book is truthful and authoritative, you think it’s the Word of God and He did not stutter when He gave it to us. You think it is an authority and you should submit to it and follow it, you are a rare breed.

This text is about the King of the Universe being accused of treason. About the God of the Universe in man’s court, being alleged to be an evildoer, a person who makes Himself out to be God and treasonous in threatening the world government.

 You now, in a way, the last two are true. If you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, men and women, Jesus Christ is your King, and you salute Him and say, “Yes, Sir.” If you call yourself a believer in Jesus Christ this is the authoritative, truthful Word of God and you do not play with it, but you submit to it. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, this world is not to be Heaven. This world is not your home. This world isn’t to be better and better, and God has a wonderful plan for your life. Yes, He may well bless you and it seems to me He loves to bless us, but that’s not the posture of the believer. It is reporting for duty, that, “You are my King. You are my God. You are the Master of the universe. You are the Master of my soul and I am here because you are Truth, and I submit to your truth. Amen.”

You know, this penetrating question of Pilate’s, “What is truth?” is the question that has echoed through the ages, both among Christians and in the popular culture. I mean, that question of “What is truth?” is a central question for all of us today, isn’t it?

In the post-modernity of America has just muddied this.  You know, it’s whatever you want it to be. I hear young college students out of Christian homes saying, “Well, if that’s truth for you…”

And it just takes us back to the fact that there is one Truth, and it is Christ and His Father, and we must submit to the Word, not to our own opinion.

And when you stop and peel it back and say the question, “What is truth?” what you’re really asking is, “What’s your source of authority? Where does truth come from for you?”; because everybody has some source of authority in their lives. It’s either your own opinions and your own ideas or it’s something outside of you. And when Pilate says, “What is truth?” Jesus is already answered it. He has said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.”

The sin nature of man is always trying to make it into his truth. Clear back to Adam and the woman. From Cain all the way down till today. We’re trying to make God in our image. We resist authority. We resist truth.

So, we come full circle and Jesus is as pure at the end as He was at the beginning. There's nothing to hold against Him. He is the perfect man, the prophetic God, the supernatural King, the preincarnate One, the proclaimer of truth, the personal Savior and the proven faultless. I hope you see Him that way and I hope you respond to Him differently than Pilate did.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] For example, we read in Matthew 27:18 and Mark 15:10 that Pilate knew the religious leaders had delivered Jesus to him “out of envy.” This would seem to be information he had discerned or obtained before this trial.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR THINKING?

5Feb

Hi, I'm Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries. In Colossians 1 Paul prayed for them to have wisdom and spiritual understanding.  In Chapter 2 Paul said all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ.  He also said do not let anyone deceive you with philosophy and useless deceit.  The world is constantly trying to adjust our attitudes and thinking through the media.  James 1 says if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives it liberally and without reproach.  Where do you get your opinions and attitudes from, the truth of the Bible, or from Man’s opinions? 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 18:28-30 PILATE THEN WENT OUT TO THEM AND SAID, “WHAT ACCUSATION DO YOU BRING AGAINST THIS MAN?

2Feb

John 18:28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?" 30 They answered and said to him, "If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you."

 In this section we see the Jews just assume that Pilate will kill this ”Man” Jesus that they want killed because of envy.  Pilate lets them know real quick that it isn’t going to be that simple, but asks what is He accused of? They come up with this general if He weren’t an evil doer we would not have delivered Him up to you. In other words, we want Him killed, don’t worry about the charges, just kill Him. The Jews have Pilate right where they want him and they are ultimately going to force Him to kill Jesus. We will see that Pilate has messed up three times in insulting the Jews and their God by some of the things he did. This is ultimately how they force him to do their will, because if he messes up one more time it is means the loss of his political position at the least and most like it will cost him his life.

 The Jews are going to make three allegations against Jesus Christ to Pilate. First they’re going to claim that He is an evildoer. He’s a wicked person. The second accusation is that He Himself has made Himself out to be the Son of God. And the third claim is treason. Anyone who makes himself out to be king is a threat to Rome. So, He is guilty of treason.

John reported much more about Jesus' trial before Pilate than did any of the other Gospel writers. He omitted referring to Jesus' appearance before Herod Antipas, which only Luke recorded (Luke 23:6-12). He stressed Jesus' authority, particularly His authority as Israel's King (cf. v. 36; 19:11, 14). John seems to have assumed that his readers knew of the other Gospel accounts of Jesus' passion. This assumption supports the view that this was the last Gospel written. The other Gospels stress the legal aspects of this trial.

John presented it more as an interview between Jesus and Pilate similar to His interviews with Nicodemus (Ch.  3), the Samaritan woman (Ch.  4), and the blind man (Ch.  9). It proceeded as Pilate asked four questions: "What accusation do you bring against this man?" (18:29), "Are you the King of the Jews?" (18:33), "Do you want me to release the King of the Jews?" (18:39), and "Where are you from?" (19:9).

My goal in this lesson is to focus on the “big picture” of our Lord’s trial before Pilate. Once this picture is clear in our minds, the details will be more easily grasped.

I shall attempt to set the scene by concentrating on four statements found in our text. The first is a statement by the Jews in verse 31: “We cannot legally put anyone to death.” The second is the question raised by Pilate in verse 38: “What is truth?” The third is the declaration of our Lord in verse 37: “You [rightly or correctly] say that I am a King.” The final statement is made by John in verse 32: “This happened to fulfill the word Jesus spoke, indicating what kind of death he was going to die.”

Before we turn to these four statements, I want to call your attention to a summary[i] of the sequence of events which occurred from the time the Jews decided that Jesus must be put to death, to the time when Jesus rose from the dead. This summary not only reminds us of the final events of our Lord’s life, it also points out the unique contributions of each of the Gospels. Allow me to call your attention to some of the unique contributions of each of the four Gospels.

MATTHEW. Matthew’s Gospel has several unique contributions. It is Matthew’s account that includes an account of the suicide of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus and handed Him over to the Jewish religious leaders. This story is inserted into Matthew’s report of our Lord’s arrest. Matthew 27 begins with Jesus being brought to Pilate by the chief priests and elders of Israel (verses 1-2). Verses 3-10 then contain an account of Judas’ suicide. Then, at verse 11, the account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate continues.

  1. It seems to me that Matthew wants his readers to know that in the midst of our Lord’s trials, the one who turned Jesus over to the authorities has already come to regret his treachery. The testimony of Judas is added to that of others, including Pilate: “Jesus is innocent!”
  2. Matthew also records the intervention of Pilate’s wife, who had a sleepless night and therefore warned her husband not to be a part of the execution of Jesus, since He was an innocent man. Actually, she did not refer to Jesus merely as innocent, but as righteous (27:19, NAB).
  3. Matthew is the one who includes an account of Pilate washing his hands (27:24), a symbolic gesture intended to indicate that he did not approve of the crucifixion of Jesus. This does not release him from his guilt for taking part in the death of Jesus. He gave Jesus over to the Jews to put to death, and he facilitated their plans by having Roman soldiers conduct the crucifixion. And this Pilate did, knowing that Jesus was innocent.
  4. Finally, Matthew 27:25 records that incredible statement of the Jews: Let his blood be on us and on our children!

MARK. Mark has the distinction of being the shortest account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, a mere 20 verses long. Mark makes no unique contribution here, although he does join Matthew in telling us that Pilate had figured out that the Jews had turned Jesus over to him out of envy (Mark 15:10; see also Matthew 27:18).

LUKE. Luke’s account is only 25 verses long. Luke alone informs us that Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, who declared Jesus innocent as well, and then returned Him to Pilate (23:6-12). We also learn that these two men were at odds with each other, and that they were somehow reconciled in the midst of their mutual dealings with Jesus.

JOHN. John has the longest and most detailed account of our Lord’s hearing before Pilate. In John, we see an increasing sense of awe and dread on the part of Pilate. We are also told of his cynical remark, “What is truth?” (verse 38). But perhaps the most interesting contribution John makes is his record of the conversation which occurred between Pilate and Jesus. In the other Gospels, Jesus says almost nothing, either to the Jews, to Pilate, or to Herod. In John’s account, Jesus and Pilate do have a conversation of sorts. There is no contradiction here, however. When Jesus refuses to speak, it is (1) because the law does not require Him to testify against Himself, and (2) because He refuses to defend Himself. Jesus would not interact with Herod because he was merely hoping to see some miracle. If Jesus had defended Himself by speaking or performing miracles, it could have prevented His death. When Jesus refused to speak, it was when He was in the presence of the Jews. When Jesus did speak with Pilate, it was inside his residence, where the Jews would not enter. The conversation was not of His guilt or innocence, but about His identity and His mission. We might say that it was evangelistic.

28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. Mt 27:2, 27; Mr. 15:1; Lu 23:1; Ac 3:13; 10:28; 11:3

"They" refers to all the Jewish authorities

They led Jesus from Caiaphas in that he was the head of the Sanhedrin that had passed sentence on Jesus

The text tells us that it’s early in the morning. In fact, there are two night watches. This is probably about six a.m. Now that may seem like an early time to go to work. It was not uncommon for them to start early in the day.

If you put verse 18:28 and John 19:14 together, Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" you have the sixth hour of the day. What we have here is about six hours from the time that Christ appears before Pilate before He goes through the whole trial. Get a picture.  It’s six hours in length. It’s a very quick process through which Christ goes.

They don’t want to be defiled, but inside they’re wicked and defiled. They’re hearts plotting murder, but they want to look clean; not going into the Gentile’s house lest they be defiled for their ritual. He doesn’t comment, he just tells the facts.
They are anxious to avoid external defilement in order to observe a festival whose real significance was that, as well as reminding God's people of the ancient deliverance from Egypt, it pointed forward to the true Passover Lamb, whose sacrifice would bring to an end all distinctions between what was ceremonially clean and unclean, and effect an inward cleansing; and it was the death of that true Passover Lamb that the Jews at this moment are anxious to bring about."

Why then were these Jews concerned that entering Pilate's Praetorium might preclude them from eating the Passover? Had they too not already eaten it the night before? The "Passover" was the name that the Jews used to describe both the Passover proper and the entire festival that followed it including the feast of Unleavened Bread (cf. Luke 22:1). Evidently it was their continuing participation in this eight-day festival that these Jewish leaders did not want to sacrifice by entering a Gentile residence.

There are six different trials taking place, and in each case nobody wants to take responsibility for this verdict.

  1. Herod says, ”Well, it’s not my jurisdiction.”

2 The Jews say, “Well, we really can’t handle this. This has got to be the Romans who do it.”

  1. Pilate washes his hands of the whole deal and even tries to work things out so that there can be the exchange with Barabbas. Nobody wants to be the one who the crowds look to and say, “You’re responsible for putting our prophet to death.”

27:1-2; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-71). The Sanhedrin had condemned Jesus for blasphemy (Matt. 26:63-66; Mark 14:61-64), which was a capital offense in Israel (Lev. 24:16). However the Sanhedrin could not execute the death sentence for this offense without Roman agreement, and there was little hope of Pilate giving it. Therefore the Jewish leaders decided to charge Jesus with treason.

The word "Praetorium" identified the headquarters of the commanding officer of a Roman military camp or a Roman   military  governor's  headquarters.  Pilate was such a governor.  His normal headquarters stood at Caesarea, the capital of the Roman province of Judea. However during the Jewish feasts Pilate came to Jerusalem with Roman troops to discourage uprisings. His headquarters in Jerusalem was either in Herod's palace on the western wall of the city or in the Fortress of Antonia immediately north of the temple enclosure. The traditional  site  is  the  Fortress  of  Antonia,  the  beginning  of  the  Via Dolorosa or "way of sorrow" that Jesus traveled from the Praetorium to Golgotha.

The Jewish religious leaders appear to have incorrectly assessed the situation. They may have assumed that since Pilate had provided Roman soldiers to assist in the arrest of Jesus, he was giving them a “blank check” to deal with Jesus as they saw fit. Their appearance before Pilate early on this morning does not look like a humble petition being made by the religious leaders of a subject nation. The Jewish leaders boldly arrive at Pilate’s home in the early hours of the morning, with Jesus in their custody (verse 28). It may have been at the very first signs of light. Their arrival at this early hour could almost be characterized as “cruel and unusual.” They further insult Pilate by refusing to enter his residence. In their minds, to do so would be to defile themselves by entering the house of a Gentile. Consequently, they virtually force Pilate to come outside to speak with them. Such actions would not be unusual, if it were Pilate demanding such things of the Jews, but for the Jews to act this way toward Pilate is nothing less than insulting.

Pilate’s response to their demands caught the religious leaders off guard. They seem to have expected Pilate to “rubber stamp” their indictment of Jesus and to quickly authorize His execution. Instead, Pilate required them to declare formal charges against Jesus, charges that they had not been able to establish, even though they worked at this all night long (see Matthew 26:59-60; Mark 14:57-59). Before the Jews, Jesus had confessed that He was “guilty” of being the Son of God. They reasoned that this “confession” made Him guilty of blasphemy, and that because of this, Jesus must be put to death (Matthew 26:62-65, Mark 14:64). However, they were not able to substantiate any charges that would make Jesus worthy of death under Roman law. As they stand before Pilate, they find themselves in a real bind. They believe Jesus is guilty of blasphemy, and deserving of death, but they do not have any solid evidence that Jesus is guilty of any capital offense under Roman law; thus, they are hard pressed to convince Pilate that Jesus really should be put to death.

It wasn’t that the Jews never put anyone to death without Rome’s consent. We know from the account of the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7 that the Jews were more than willing to put someone to death, without permission from Rome. Stephen’s death was different, however. It did not occur during the feast, and it would seem that Rome was not even aware of what took place. It was very different with Jesus and with Pilate.

The words of the Jews in our text mean something like this: “We really want to kill Jesus ourselves, by stoning, but we can’t get away with that at the moment—not now anyway, during the feast, while all of your Roman soldiers are ‘on alert’ and watching us like a hawk.” If they could kill Jesus without Rome’s help, and even without Rome’s permission, they would gladly do so. But they are powerless to do so now, and they know it. Their words convey a feigned submission to Roman authority, but this is all hypocrisy, as Acts 7 underscores, and as Pilate surely knows.

It must have been their fumbled attempt to arrest Jesus in John 7 that convinced the Jewish religious leaders they needed all the help they could get if they were to arrest and execute Jesus.

Did they seek to employ Roman soldiers in this final attempt to arrest Jesus because they felt confident these soldiers would not be favorably impressed with the words of a Jew (as the temple police had been)? Many failed attempts to stone Jesus may have led them to conclude that they must go about this legally, so that the power of Rome could be enlisted in their efforts to be rid of Jesus. It never seems to occur to these Jews that their words to Pilate were a confession of failure on their part  to prove Him guilty and also an admission that our Lord was really in control.

Rome chose to give its subject provinces a fair degree of freedom, so long as they were submissive and cooperative. This meant that the Jews were allowed to govern themselves by making and enforcing laws, and by trying and punishing law-breakers. Rome could intervene at any time, at its discretion, but under normal conditions, they would not do so. The one exception came in the area of capital punishment. There was too much risk of abuse here, and so (in theory, at least) any execution required Roman permission and was normally carried out by crucifixion, at the hands of Roman soldiers.

Normally, Pilate would reside at his palace in Caesarea. During the Passover season, the population of Jerusalem would swell considerably. Pilgrims came from afar to celebrate this feast, and there was a very high level of messianic expectation and enthusiasm. Consequently, the chance of some kind of uprising was considered much greater at this time. Therefore, a sizeable force of Roman soldiers would be stationed in Jerusalem or nearby, and Pilate himself would temporarily reside in Jerusalem. Because of the season, Pilate must bear the burden of responsibility for dealing with the Jews and for determining the fate (humanly speaking, of course) of Jesus.

 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"

The Jews are just saying, “Confirm our judgment.”

Pilate is going to insult them by starting a new trial. Pilate is going to say to them, “If you don’t like what I’m doing (verse 31) take Him yourselves and judge Him according to your laws.  If you don’t like my approach to rubber-stamping your thing, I’m going to start over here. If you don’t like it, you judge him yourself.”

 30 They answered and said to him, "If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you."

You don’t go into a court saying, “We want to kill the guy. We don’t want a fair trial. We don’t want a fair hearing. We don’t want you to hear it. Just execute him, that’s all we want from you.”

 Pilate won’t be easily manipulated. He won’t be swayed; he dispatched soldiers to arrest Him just a few hours before. He’s not ready to execute Him for some crime that he’s yet to see or hear.
Readers of the New Testament are familiar with Pilate, who is not portrayed in a very favorable light. Luke’s Gospel informs us that Pilate was governor when John the Baptist commenced his ministry (Luke 3:1-2). Later in Luke, we read of his abusive and blasphemous treatment of the Galileans: “Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices” (Luke 13:1).[ii]

What we know of Pilate from history is not very flattering either. He made several major mistakes,[iii] which set the scene for what takes place in our text. Normally, when Roman governors arrived in Jerusalem, they removed their standards (a pole with a Roman eagle or an image of the emperor mounted on the top) because of the Jews’ disdain for such images.[iv] In spite of his awareness of these Jewish scruples and past Roman practice, Pilate’s troops marched into Jerusalem carrying medallions with the emperor’s image or bust among their standards. This precipitated a protest demonstration by the Jews lasting five days, and eventually, Pilate was forced to give in to public pressure by removing the standards.

A second incident occurred when Pilate later constructed an aqueduct to convey water from cisterns near Bethlehem to Jerusalem. This provoked a riot, not because of the aqueduct itself, but because Pilate funded the project with funds he took from the temple. Roman troops had to be used to put down the riot, and Pilate warned them not to use their swords. His instructions were not carried out properly, and there was bloodshed. Paul Maier enumerates some good reasons why Pilate’s actions may not have been as evil or as foolish as they seemed,[v] but this did not prevent the riot or the resulting bloodshed. It was yet another black eye for Pilate’s administration.

The straw which broke the proverbial “camel’s back” seems to have occurred when Pilate set up several golden shields at his headquarters in Jerusalem. These shields had no images, but only an inscription of dedication to Tiberius. Nevertheless, the people protested strongly, backed up by Herod Antipas and his brothers. This time, Pilate refused to back down. In other places like Alexandria, shields were tolerated by the Jews. This was Jerusalem, however, and this was a “golden” opportunity for Herod to make Pilate look bad to Tiberias. Herod wrote a letter of official protest to the emperor, who ordered Pilate to have the shields sent to Caesarea, warning him about offending the Jews by violating their customs.

All of this is to say that Pilate was none too popular with the Jews at this point in time. I doubt very much that he cared either, because his actions toward the Jews seem to indicate that he held a great disdain for them. You can imagine, then, how Pilate must have responded to the knock on his palace door early that fateful morning. “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him” (Proverbs 27:14).

The Jews are in a hurry, and they need to dispense with the legal formalities as quickly as possible if they are to have this whole horrible thing finished by sunset (so that they can “worship God” at this Passover). They have been up all night with Jesus, preparing for this moment. Now, they demand to see Pilate, but they also refuse to “defile themselves” by entering into the dwelling of this Gentile pagan (18:28). And then, when Pilate asks them to indicate what formal charges they wish to press against Jesus, they are unable to articulate any charges which would make Him worthy of the death penalty. Instead, they come up with a pious sounding version of “trust me”: “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you” (verse 30).

They hesitated to bring the charge of blasphemy against Jesus because Pilate might dismiss it as unworthy of his consideration (cf. Acts 18:12-16). They evidently did not accuse Him of treason because this too would have incited His many followers, and they would have had difficulty proving it. Consequently they did not name the charge but assumed that it was serious and implied that Pilate should trust them and "rubber stamp" their decision. Perhaps the fact that Pilate had provided troops to arrest Jesus encouraged them to think that he had already judged Jesus guilty. They did not appreciate Pilate's question since it suggested that they would have to go through a formal trial from beginning to end.

John’s record paints a very shrewd politician who is very smart about the issues at hand, about his own position. So don’t always write Pilate off as sort of this mealy-mouth embattled governor. He’s a very shrewd, bright man.
"It is possible that they were taken by surprise at Pilate's indication that he would try the case himself. They had had his cooperation in making the arrest; now they apparently expected that he would take their word for it that the man the Romans had helped to arrest was dangerous and should be executed."

Pilate realized that the Jewish leaders had determined to do away with Jesus (cf. Matt. 27:18), but he had no evidence that Jesus had done anything worthy of death

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[ii] A study note in the NET Bible reads, “This is an event that otherwise is unattested, though several events similar to it are noted in Josephus (Jewish War 2.169-74; 2.175-77; Antiquities 13.372; 18.55-59; 18.60-62; 18.85-87). It would have caused a major furor.” The NET Bible (Dallas, TX: Biblical Studies Press), 1998.

[iv] This disdain was based upon their understanding of Exodus 20:4-5, which prohibited the use of engraved images.

[v] Maier, pp. 148-149.

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