What Do You Do with Christ? by Pastor Jeremy Collins
The story of Jesus before Pilate is very relevant to our cultural moment. Let's review the story before we come to the truth of that statement.
In verses 11-14, there is a three-way conversation between Pilate, Jesus, and the Jewish religious leaders. Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus said, "You have said so." His answer required Pilate to make his own conclusion. Before Pilate could arrive at a decision, the religious leaders interjected. Their voices were like a cloud of angry and confusing emotion that pelted Pilate with a flurry of unsupported charges.
Pilate wasn't offered a clear path to guilt and execution, so looking past the Jewish leaders, he turned to the Jewish people who had gathered. Following an annual custom to release a prisoner of the Jews' choosing, Pilate offered them a choice between Jesus and a prisoner named Barabbas. Barabbas was a murderer, thief, and rebel against governing authorities. Pilate relied on the Jews to use logic to make a choice that worked in their best interests. It would be better to have Jesus freed than a murderous psychopath.
The Jews abandoned evidence and logic and made an emotional choice. It is puzzling to think that the same people who lauded Jesus as the promised Messiah when he entered the city on a donkey, the same people who witnessed or heard eye-witness accounts of Jesus' miracles, the same people who heard Jesus' mastery of scripture resigned themselves to the desires of their self-interested religious leaders. In other words, they abandoned evidence and truth and rejected Jesus for false and repeated lies about him.
Just like Pilate, the Jewish people and the religious leaders… we are faced with a question: "What do you do with Jesus?" Pilate washed his hands of Jesus by letting the Jewish people decide what to do with Jesus. The Jewish religious leaders rejected aligning Jesus' life with the scriptures. The Jewish people abandoned the miracles they witnessed and chose instead the lies of their leaders. So, what do we do with Jesus?
Many, including some of our family members, may reject the truth about Jesus being God, our Savior from Sin, and the Lord of our lives. You can argue all you want with evidence and reason. You will not get anywhere. Instead, you have to look to Jesus and follow his lead. Love the person in front of you with the love of Jesus and step towards them. Be genuine in a desire to listen to them and hear their questions, doubts and desires. Resist the temptation to argue and puff yourself up with opposing emotions. Make sure you know the truth of the good news about Jesus. At the proper time, the Holy Spirit will help you point to the facts that:
The world and human beings are broken and unfixable;
There is a universal recognition that goodness and truth are real, but they are unreachable on our own,
Jesus embodies truth, selfless love, and the way to be reconciled to a holy and good God who loves us even when we reject him,
Jesus will come again to restore our broken world and judge between the unrighteous and righteous, and
The righteous put their faith in Christ's washing of their sins and covering of his righteousness over them.
The story of Jesus before Pilate is very relevant to our cultural moment. We still ask: What is truth? How do you know it? Who has the authority to declare it? The answer to all of these questions is "Jesus." Come on Sundays at 10 A.M. or livestream our worship services to be regularly reacquainted with Jesus, the Truth of God’s love for sinners like us.