Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Right Question, Wrong Answer!

Matthew 27:22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”

The Jews were Clever but Cruel
The religious leaders of the Jews had cleverly maneuvered Pilate so that he was between a rock and a hard spot.  Pilate knew the Lord had done nothing worthy of death.  In fact he had done nothing wrong since He was not trying to establish an earthly kingdom which would have been a problem for Pilate.  But the Lord said in John 18:36 while standing before Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”   However, while Pilate knew that the Lord was innocent, he also knew that he had to keep the Jews under control in order to maintain his position.  What could he do?

The Most Important Question
He asks the Jews the question, “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ (or Messiah)?”  I believe that is a question every person who comes into this world is confronted with at some point in their lives.  Only those who die in infancy and the mentally incompetent are released from answering this question.  Everyone else has nature and conscience speaking to them.  If they reject the God of nature and do not want to know Him and if they reject the pangs of conscience that occur when they sin, they will never meet the Lord the way Pilate did.  However, they will be answering this question without fully realizing it.  The Lord says that when He was crucified He drew all to Himself (John 12:32).  All are drawn, but not all respond.  Those who do not respond are giving the wrong answer to this question.

Some have said that when the Jews said, “Let Him be crucified,” they were actually answering the question correctly since God had to have a sacrifice for sin that satisfied Him.  All through the Old Testament, prophets spoke of the coming Savior.  The animal sacrifices prefigured the death of the Lord at the cross.  But the Jews were not saying that he needed to be crucified to be the sacrifice for their sins.  Instead, they were rejecting Him and all that He represented.  That is why they gave the wrong answer to this most important question. 

The Simplicity of Salvation
Salvation is simple but we make it difficult.  Salvation simply depends on our answer to this question.  We tend to think this is too simple and we add other requirements to salvation.  Some add church ordinances and church doctrine.  Most add some kind of good works.  Some would rather trust in science than in the Lord and some would like to believe that any old religion will satisfy God.  But the Lord finished the work that saves and now we all have to deal with this issue of trust.  Can we trust the Lord or are we going to reject the Lord?  It really is as simple as that. 

I hear someone saying, “That is way too easy.”  And all I can say is that trusting someone is never easy.  We all have trust problems.  Our parents may have failed us, our friends may have failed us, even the Lord’s brothers and sisters did not trust Him before the crucifixion, though at least some did after the resurrection.  Because we judge the Lord by our experiences with people in this life, we all find it difficult to trust the Lord.   In addition, when circumstances seem to be against us, Satan, who if very real, tries to convince us that God is absent, or that He doesn’t love us, or that we have sinned so badly that He has forsaken us.  The last thing Satan, the deceiver and the murderer, wants us to do is to glorify the Lord by simple trusting faith. 

Albert B. Simpson stated this so eloquently in the chorus to the hymn, “What will you do with Jesus?”

What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking,
“What will He do with me?”

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of January 26, 2014

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