The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 4 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 301)
TEXT: John 18:28-32:
28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.
29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.
31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:
32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 301.
John Piper said, “In and behind and beneath and through all these human deliverings, God was delivering His Son to death. God delivered over His Son for our salvation. Nothing greater has ever happened.”
In this passage, we see that the Jews have finished interrogating Jesus and have taken him over to Pilate to continue this rigged trial. One of the first things that we notice is how concerned the Jews are about ceremonial cleanliness. In verse 28, they refuse to step foot inside the judgment hall of Pilate, a Gentile, in order that they might be “clean” for the Passover. Yet, they have already illegally arrested and condemned an innocent man, and now they plan to convince Pilate to have him executed.
Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea. He was in Jerusalem during the Passover just in case there was the threat of an insurrection by the Jews. Regarding Pilate, the Bible Knowledge Commentary states that he “was in office from A.D. 26-36 and was not greatly liked by the Jews. He could be ruthless when he wanted to be, but he also understood the Jewish power structures and knew how to use them. His handling of the trial of Jesus reveals an indecisive man, a weak man, a compromising man. Rome’s motto was, ‘Let justice be done though the heavens fall!’ Pilate was not concerned about justice; his only concern was to protect himself, his job, and Rome.”
Pilate, having had Jesus brought before him, gets right to the bottom line with the Jews, asking, “What accusation bring ye against this man?” The Jews skirt the question by answering, “If he were not a malefactor [an evildoer], we would not have delivered him up unto thee.” Pilate wanted to know what threat Jesus was to Rome; the Jews just wanted Pilate to agree to put Jesus to death since, legally, they couldn’t execute anyone on their own.
While the Jews’ hands were tied regarding the execution of Jesus, God was arranging things so that prophecy would be fulfilled. You see, the Jewish method of execution was by stoning. The Roman method of execution was by crucifixion. The Old Testament prophecies clearly indicated that Jesus would be crucified. This is important for two reasons.
First, Jesus had to be a physically perfect sacrifice. In Exodus 12, God commanded that only unmarred, whole, and physically unblemished lambs be sacrificed on Passover. David re-echoed this requirement in his Messianic psalm, Psalm 34, stating, “He [the Messiah] keepeth all his bones, not one of them shall be broken.” Execution by stoning resulted in a person’s bones being broken. But execution by crucifixion did not. Jesus would hang on the cross as a bloodied, but unbroken sacrifice — a perfect Lamb who would take away the sins of the world.
Second, Jesus had predicted that He would be lifted up before the world. Execution by stoning beat a person to the ground. But, execution by crucifixion elevated a person so that he could be seen from all around. When Jesus was lifted up above the Earth, both physically and metaphorically, He began to draw all men, Jews and Gentiles, to Himself. Also, in the Old Testament, a person who was put to death by being hung on a tree was considered “cursed of God.” When Jesus hung on the cross, He bore the curse of God’s hatred of sin and His wrath against sin. He bore the curse that was meant for the Jews and Gentiles whom He would now draw to Himself as Savior.
In this passage, we see the sovereignty of God even in the midst of this tragic situation. Both the Jews and the Romans thought they were in charge of what happened to Jesus, but Jesus was the one who was really in charge. He went to the cross as the perfect sacrifice so that He could be lifted up before all the world just as He and the Father had planned.
W. James Osborne wrote:
All ye that pass by,
To Jesus draw nigh:
To you is it nothing that Jesus should die?
Your ransom and peace,
Your surety He is:
Come, see if there ever was sorrow like His.
For what you have done
His blood must atone:
The Father hath punished for you His dear Son.
The Lord, in the day
Of His anger, did lay
Your sins on the Lamb, and He bore them away.
He answered for all:
O come at His call,
And low at His cross with astonishment fall!
But lift up your eyes
At Jesus’ cries:
Impassive, He suffers; immortal, He dies.
Dear friend, Jesus died so that you would not have to suffer the punishment of sin, death, and Hell. But you have to make the decision to come to the cross and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and the punishment of sin. Here is how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at email@example.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.