Today we continue our PASSION WEEK 2020 series as we follow Jesus down The Road to the Resurrection. Yesterday I dealt with John 18:1-10. Today I will deal with John 19:12-18.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s get into it.
1. It will all work out for your good in the end! (Romans 8:28)
After Jesus was arrested, He was taken from mock-trial to mock-trial in the middle of the night, without any witnesses testifying against Him. There were no true charges against Jesus, but somehow, the crooked justice system processed Him from stage to stage and Jesus ultimately wound up in front of Pontius Pilate. He was there because the Israelites were under the captivity of the Romans. The Jews did not have the power to fully prosecute Jesus. They were hoping to get Pilate, the Roman governor, to approve Jesus’ execution. However, Pilate could find no fault in Jesus. He wanted to set Jesus free. But the Jews were aggressive and persistent. They did all they could to have Jesus killed.
Pilate had a dilemma. He knew Jesus was innocent, but he also wanted to maintain his relationship with the Jewish elite; the people he had to govern. So Pilate offered one last-ditch attempt to save Jesus. Pilate gave “the people” an opportunity to commute one prisoner’s death sentence. To hedge his bets, Pilate juxtaposed Jesus with Barabbas, a known criminal. To his dismay, the people picked Barabbas. With that crazy decision, the only innocent man to ever live was sentenced to death.
The point I will bring out is that we live in a fallen world. The devil is busy. He will do all he can to ‘rig the system’ against you. The good news is that the Father only ALLOWED this to happen to Jesus (and Jesus ACCEPTED it) because it was part of His purpose. If it were not part of His purpose, there is no way the crooked system of Jesus’ day could have done to Him what it did.
What I am saying is that God can PREVENT and He can PERMIT. Whatever He PERMITS, He has purpose wrapped up in. So if you are facing it, it is either because it is a result of you reaping what you have sown (in which case this is not God’s fault), or it is because God is working His purpose through it. If you have done nothing wrong (like Jesus), and it is still happening to you, then rest assured that when it is all said and done, it will work out for your good! What the devil thinks He is doing TO you, He is actually doing FOR you! Just like his attack against Jesus backfired — the cross sealed his fate forever — every attack against you will backfire as well!
2. Take a few moments to truly consider what Jesus endured FOR YOU!
Jesus had the Last Supper with His disciples, He washed their feet, and He then prayed for hours. He prayed for Himself, for the disciples, and for all believers before Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. The policemen tied Jesus up and arrested Him like a dirty criminal. They dragged Him from mock-trial to mock-trial under the cover of darkness. They pleaded with Pilate to have Jesus convicted. Once convicted. They ordered a skillful torturer to take a cat-of-nine-tails (a long leather whip with nine lashes on it that had bits of metal and bone tied to it) and hit Jesus with it 39 times. Every time he hit Him once, it was like he was being hit 9 times. Every time the lashes hit His back, the bits of bone and metal sunk in. When the torturer pulled it back, he ripped chunks of Jesus flesh off His back. This was repeated 39 times.
They punched Jesus in the face. They put a hood over His head, slapped Him and chanted for Him to prophesy who hit Him. They twisted up a thorn branch and drove it into His head as a supposed crown, in mockery of Him being the King of the Jews. Blood came dripping down His face. They then took Jesus’ battered and bruised body and made Him carry the same cross that they would soon nail Him to. Jesus had to carry that cross up to Golgotha’s hill while the crowd yelled at Him, mocking Him along the way. As Jesus looked out at the crowd I am sure He saw some of the same faces that were praising Him (singing Hosanna, Hosanna), just a few days prior, as He made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Jesus’ disciples had scattered, the people had turned on Him, and they sentenced Him without one witness and without one crime.
Can you picture Him? He has been beaten silly. His back has been ripped open. His skull has been pierced with the crown of thorns. He is painfully carrying His own cross. He finally makes it up the hill and they then take the cross He was carrying and lay Him down on it. They stretch out His hands, take huge (railroad-like) spikes and drive them through His flesh. Have you ever heard a large hammer? Can you hear the sound now? Bang, bang, bang, bang, as they drive the nails through our Savior’s hands. Can you imagine? They then bring His feet together and repeat the process.
Why all of this? Why this pain? Why this torture? Why this crucifixion? The answer is simple: it happened FOR YOU! Think about that for a minute. Jesus looked beyond all that pain and looked forward some 2,000 years… and He saw your face. The thought of you is what kept Jesus through it all.
3. Make your life worthy of Jesus’ death!
a) Jesus paid a great price for you. Whatever you are going through for Jesus, it will always pale in comparison to what Jesus went through for you.
b) Jesus understands. If you are in pain, He knows about pain. If you are dealing with problems, He knows about problems. If you are hurt by two-faced people, He knows what it is like to be betrayed. Jesus went through all of what He went through, so He could meet you where you are and identify with your every struggle. I know being under quarantine is not easy. I know dealing with COVID-19 has not been the most pleasant time. But this is a great time to spend time with Jesus. He knows what you are going through. He understands. He cares.
c) Live your life in a way that makes His death worth it. When you think about Jesus and all He suffered FOR YOU, you should want to make every second of every day count. After everything He did for you, what will you do for Him today? When you get to heaven you want to be able to look at Jesus and say, “Here I am Lord. Your death for me was not in vain. I did what you wanted me to do. Your grace was not wasted on me!”
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for reminding me of the price Jesus paid for me. Jesus was bruised, beaten, tortured and crucified FOR ME. Jesus willingly took the pain associated with the cross, for the joy that was set before Him. I am part of that joy. While Jesus was being beaten, He thought about me. He thought about the great cloud of witnesses that would be saved because of His blood. I am one of those! I have been saved because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus died for me. Jesus took my place. Jesus paid my debt. Jesus saved me from sin, satan, hell, and the grave. Father, I am eternally thankful to You for Jesus. I now live my life in honor of Jesus’ death. Jesus’ death for me shall not be in vain! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!