Friday, May 5, 2017, 8:41 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Gift of God.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 19 (quoting select vv. NASB).
The Son of God (vv. 5-7)
Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate *said to them, “Behold, the Man!” So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate *said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”
Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God), left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer, and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. During his earthly ministry he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, encouraged the timid, delivered people from demons, and fed the hungry, etc. He also preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God, confronted sin in sinful humans, warned of divine judgment, called for obedience to himself, and to the Father, and promised the hope of eternal life with God to all who would put their faith and trust in Him.
Many of the Jews, but especially the Jewish leaders within the temple, such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, the chief priests, and the teachers of the law, opposed Jesus from very early on in his ministry. Partly this was because they were jealous of him and of his popularity among the people, and they feared that their own positions of power were being threatened. They also resented him because he didn’t do things their way. He healed people on the Sabbath, and they didn’t like that, and so they made it their business to attack him verbally at every turn, and to try to discredit him. He didn’t follow all the ceremonial laws or the traditions of the elders, and they objected to that, too. And, they despised him over how he confronted them with their sins, and how he regularly exposed their hypocrisy. But, mostly they hated him because he claimed to be God, which is who he is (John 10:33).
Their hatred and jealousy of him, thus, led them to trump up charges against him, to plot his murder, to lead the crowds to join with them in calls for him to be crucified, and to have him arrested, tried, beaten beyond recognition, mocked, spat upon, slapped in the face, and then hung on a cross to die, as though he was a common criminal.
No Authority Unless (vv. 8-12)
Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”
Pilate was a politician, but he had a conscience, and he could see that Jesus did nothing worthy of death. Yet, he also wanted to stay on the good side of the people, so he tried appealing both to Jesus and to the people to try to reconcile this situation in a peaceful manner, I believe. He did not want to sentence Jesus to death, but he also did not want to anger the people.
When Jesus did not answer Pilate’s question, Pilate made the presumption that he (Pilate) had the true authority over Jesus, to either release him or to crucify him. But, Jesus set him straight. Pilate had no authority over Jesus but what was given him by God the Father. Amen! And, Satan and ungodly humans also have no authority over us, Jesus’ followers, except for what is given them from above. Nothing can happen to us but what God allows it, and he allows it for a purpose. So, we don’t ever need to fear what humans may do to us, nor should we fear Satan’s evil schemes against us, because God is absolutely sovereign over all things, and his purposes will always prevail. He will go with us every step of the way, and he will work his will in and through our lives for his glory, honor and praise. Glory be to God!
You see, it was God’s will that Jesus should die on the cross for our sins so that we could be set free from slavery to sin, and so we could become bond-slaves of his righteousness, as well as that he might free us from the punishment of sin and give us the hope of eternal life with God. And, it is God’s will, too, that we should suffer, that he might conform us to the image of Christ, and purify us, make us holy, mature us, strengthen us in our faith, and teach us perseverance, faithfulness, and steadfastness in Him. He will allow us, too, to be hated, persecuted, rejected, falsely accused, arrested on false charges, attacked verbally and/or physically, and to even be put to death for our testimonies for Christ and for his gospel of salvation.
They Crucified Him (vv. 13-18)
Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” So 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.”
So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.
They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.
Pilate did make efforts to try to save Jesus from death, but his fear of public opinion won over his conscience and good judgment, and he caved to popular opinion, instead of doing what he knew was right. Some people will only hold on to their principles as long as it doesn’t cost them anything, but they will bow to pressure to compromise if it means their own necks will be on the line if they don’t. And, that is a sad reality, but it should serve as an example to us that we need to hold to our beliefs, values, morals and principles, even if it costs us everything, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because belief in Jesus Christ is not just words, but it is putting feet to our faith, and because to do otherwise would be to betray our Lord.
So, Jesus was put to death on a cross, but this had to take place, not just to fulfill scripture, but so you and I could be delivered from bondage (addiction) to sin, and so we might now be able to walk (in lifestyle) in holiness and righteousness, in the love of the Lord, and in his ways and in his truth. Jesus had to die that we might have life in him, and he had to be resurrected from the dead, as well, that we might have life with him eternally. So, when we believe in him as Lord and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life (new birth), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Because Jesus died, and was resurrected from the dead, we can now walk in the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. We can now live for him, instead of just living for ourselves. We now have a friend who is closer than a brother who will walk with us through everything we go through in this life, and who will lead us and guide us in the right way; who will love us, care for us, watch over us, and bring us safely home to be with him forever one day.
Gift of God / An Original Work / October 25, 2016
Based off Various Scriptures
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross;
Conquered death, sin, and hell,
So, with Him, we would dwell.
For, by His grace, we are saved.
He set us free from all sin.
Thanks be to God for His Gift.
Through faith in Him, we’re forgiven.
Holy Spirit of God,
Given to us who believe,
Gives us new life in Christ;
Made to be just like Him.
We died with Christ to our sin.
New lives in Him we begin,
Walking with Christ day by day.
We read His Word, and we pray.
Jesus, He is our Lord.
Follow Him where He leads.
Tell the world of His grace.
We’ll see Christ face to face.
Soon He is coming again.
We’ll be forever with Him.
He’ll wipe our tears all away.
Oh, what a wonderful day!