* You can now watch a video of this message at: https://new.livestream.com/rickpina/live.
(Read John 18:29-37)
We are just two weeks aways from Resurrection Sunday morning. So this morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing with our mini-series, “The Road to the Resurrection.” In our last message we saw how Annas and Caiaphas questioned Jesus all night and then took Jesus to the Roman governor’s palace early in the morning. After Pilate came out to meet the Jews, he asked, “What is your charge against this man?” And just like I have been telling you, they did not provide a real answer or a true change. The Jews responded, “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” Pilate saw right through it, so he responded, “Then take him away and judge him by your own law.” But Pilate underestimated how angry these men were with Jesus. They responded, “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone.”
I am sure Pilate was somewhat taken aback by the fact that the Jews wanted Jesus dead, so he decided to spend some one-on-one time with Jesus. Pilate asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus only said what the Father told Him to say, which is why His answers were always full of wisdom. Instead of answering the question, Jesus responded with his own question, asking, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate retorted, “Am I a Jew?” The governor went on to say, “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Once again, Jesus never incriminated Himself. Jesus responded, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate keyed in on the fact that Jesus spoke of a Kingdom. Pilate responded, “So you are a king?” But Jesus never claimed to be anything. He let others speak for Him. Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” As you can see, Pilate was getting nowhere with Jesus. We will stop here for today.
So what does this mean to you today? Two things.
1. The enemy will twist the truth against you. We all know satan is wicked. Wicker furniture is furniture that is made from twisted wood and those twists give us an image of how satan will twist the truth against you. This is how Jesus was convicted on ‘trumped up’ charges. The Jewish leaders never gave a true charge to Pilate and Pilate could not find Jesus guilty of doing anything wrong. But the good news is that Jesus was only convicted because He allowed it and because it was part of His purpose. The Father will not allow the lies of the wicked to triumph over you. No weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isa 54:17). So if the weapon has been formed, and it looks like it is prospering, then it must not be against you… it will work out for your good!
2. The Father will give you what to say. Even though Jesus was illegally arrested and falsely accused, He did not get upset and He carefully responded as the Father gave Him the words to say. You can do the same thing. If you allow yourself to get emotional and upset, you will not be in a position to hear from God, and you will invariably say the wrong things. But if you hold your peace, you keep your composure, and you listen to the Holy Spirit, you will know what to say and how to say it.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me about the amazing life of Jesus, Your Son. Jesus was illegally detained, falsely accused, violently assaulted, and endlessly questioned, but He never once allowed His emotions to get the best of Him. Jesus remained calm, He kept His peace, He held His tongue, and He only spoke what You gave Him to say. I learn from Jesus. I know I have a real enemy, and I know He will come up against me. The enemy will twist words, twist truth, and twist situations, all in an attempt to make me look bad and to cause me to step outside of Your love. But by faith I declare that I will be just like Jesus. I maintain my peace, I remain in divine love, I hold my tongue, and I only say what You give me to say. That way, I will not be ensnared by my own mouth and I will be able to endure and overcome every attack. Like Jesus, I will face challenges on the road to fulfilling my destiny, and like Jesus, I will come out on top every time, because of Your grace. So by faith I declare that I am the head and not the tail, I am above only and never beneath, I am the winner and not the loser, I am the victor and not the victim. The enemy may attack me, but I shall not be moved. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.