Thursday, March 5, 2015
Nothing but the truth, Conclusion
The next nugget of truth that we find in our verses is this: everyone is controlled by someone or something.
Pilate thought that he was in control of this whole situation, and was trying to assert his control over Jesus. The Pharisees recognized that Pilate was the one who could determine the life or death of a person, much like Caesar and the crowd's watching him to see if it was "thumbs up" or "thumbs down".....all of which meant that a person was going to live or die.
But Pilate was not really in control that day. Whoa, was Pilate wrong if he thought he was . . . he was being manipulated by the religious leaders, as well as influenced by popular opinion, and in the end, Jesus was given into his hands because of the Father's plan.
How about the Pharisees? They sure thought they were in control; but the whole reason they were angry at Jesus was that they were controlled by that green monster -- jealousy. They were envious of the power and popularity of Jesus with the people.
Yep, there was only One who was in control that day -- and it was the One being led about by the soldiers.
Have you ever noticed how we humans value our independence? Boy, do we hate being told what to do! Whether we are two, or twenty-two, or eighty-two, we just don't like it. We each want to be in control; we want to be our own gods. Oops. There is only one God, and none of us is Him. In fact, we are all His servants. Well, we are either His servants or the devil's servants, let's put it that way. There is absolutely no middle ground.
We humans would sometimes rather die than admit that God is the One in control. That's sad, isn't it? Humans sometimes think that maintaining control gives them security. In reality, whenever men and women try to take control of their own lives, that is when things really get messed up.
True security is found when we turn over control of everything we are and have to Jesus.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his
life for Me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)
Here is another truth: Jesus was crucified on a tree for you, and for me. (verse 16)
Let this thought sink in . . . as important as being in control is to us, Jesus gave up control over His own life to His Father and to mankind, so that He could save us all. Remember that on the night before He stood in Pilate's courtroom, He prayed to His Father, "Not my will but yours be done." The truth is that no matter what else is going on in our lives, His death on the cross and His sacrifice to pay our sin debt are proofs that He is guilty of loving each one of us. Enough to die. And then live again, interceding for us.
The last nugget of truth is this: when we are faced with the truth, we must either accept it or reject it; and we must be willing to face the consequences of our decision. The Truth was staring Pilate in the face. Did he acknowledge it? Nope. He chose to believe a lie, instead.
Did Pilate know what he was doing was wrong? Yes, and he tried to wash away the responsibility for his decision. But there was no one else to blame. The consequences were his own.
The courtrooms of today are very different from Pilate's. They look a lot different, yes, but there is another difference: when everything has been said and done, and a final decision handed down, the judge can walk away. That judge's life can continue as it was before; whatever the decision, it does not affect them.
That wasn't the case with Pilate. His decision affected Jesus, the Jewish nation, and it also affected Pilate personally. It didn't just determine Jesus' life or death -- it determined where Pilate would spend eternity.
The sequence of events that Pilate's decision set into motion were already planned by the Father. Those events affected more people, more history than any other events before or since. Now, we are the judges. We must determine "what is truth?"
Is it true that Jesus is the King, and that all must yield to His authority? Yes.
Is it true that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins? Yes.
Is it true that everything Jesus said would happen in His lifetime did? Yes. Jesus said He would die to pay for the sins of all mankind, and rise from the dead three days later. And He did.
Is it true that many times we are more interested in being religious, than in working on our relationship with Jesus Christ?
Is it true that we are comfortable with our "religion" and don't actively work on our growth in godliness?
Is it true that we have allowed other things or persons to control our lives, instead of letting God have full control?
Is it true that we are hanging on to our sin, instead of receiving Jesus' forgiveness, and we are allowing this to poison our lives?
These last four questions are ones that we must look into our hearts to answer. How we answer and what we do as a result of our answers will determine the rest of our lives. Jesus told us:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me. (John 14:6)
Today's study has been an intense one. We may have uncovered some truth about ourselves. We may not like the look of it. Are we going to sweep it under the rug? Or will we look it over, repent, ask our Lord to help us, and rise to meet the day with His help?