Bible Reference: John 19:4-6
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” 6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”
OBSERVATION: On Easter Sunday, I believe you will be faced with a similar question to the one Herod posed to his audience: “Here’s the Son of God, what will you do with Him?”. I trust that you will begin thinking and praying about how you will respond to this life changing question in a way that will be pleasing to the God who loves you beyond all measure.
APPLICATION: Pilate presented Jesus to the crowd and asked what would they have him do with Jesus? Each weekend most churches/pastors will present the gospel and ask their congregations to respond to a similar question. Most of us leave our churches having said something very similar to that of the crowd before Pilate. Perhaps by our unresponsive action we are saying: hey, you may as well crucify Him, for we have this ‘life’ thing under control. I don’t need this Jesus interfering and telling me what to do or how I should act, or highlighting my wrongs. Perhaps we totally ignore the message, and the idea that Jesus is in control of us and all of life’s happenings. Perhaps we conclude that since Jesus is available, we could easily and quickly call on Him, if and when, we need Him. Friends, in and of our natural selves we have no desire for godly things. If we ARE alerted to the things of Christ, we are actually being personally admonished by GOD Himself. We NEED to listen and obey, not aim to crucify Him. We are about to enter into another weekend of church services. What will you do with Jesus? He loved you so much that He gave himself up on the cross of Calvary as a sacrifice for your sin, so that you might have the means of forgiveness of your sin, and the joy of entering heaven’s gates. How will you respond to that? Some in Herod’s crowd eventually responded ‘surely this was the Son of God’, but others joined with their friends in responding ‘crucify Him’. Please pray that God will speak to you individually about how you should respond this Sunday. The whole purpose of God sending His Son Jesus, is to save His people – you and I, and to give us the opportunity of living and dying in hope, and to be with our Creator throughout eternity!
PRAYER: Lord God, thank You for loving us so much that You showed evidence of that love when You allowed Your precious Son to suffer the disgrace of the people that insisted on His death. Lord, we are not a whole lot better, for we stand by and watch our family and friends ‘spit in Your Son’s face’ in our world today. They are convicted by You, yet they turn away in rejection as if to say that they would rather reject Your unbelievable love and accept the horror and disgrace of the Evil One. They would never be so evil to an earthly friend who blesses them today, by turning their face and rejecting them in spite of their sacrificial giving to them. Dear God, please don’t give up on my family members, friends and coworkers who have chosen to follow this unfortunate pattern. Please, Heavenly Father, bear with them a little longer. Please tender their hearts yet again to the fact that You showed Your love in very obvious and sacrificial ways. Their acceptance of that gracious gift is so valuable that it contains the keys to Heaven and an audience for eternity with the creator of this entire universe. We are truly a blessed people, to have such a loving God. Thank You dear Lord, and hear my plea yet again for those I love. For I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus – the crucified, sacrificial lamb of God, AMEN!