The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 11 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 308)
TEXT: John 19:10-12:
10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
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 308.
One Puritan writer said, “Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy, cast off that I might be brought in, trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend, surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best, stripped that I might be clothed, wounded that I might be healed, athirst that I might drink, tormented that I might be comforted, made a shame that I might inherit glory, entered darkness that I might have eternal light.”
As the power struggle over the outcome of Jesus’ trial continues, the Jews have used several means to try to get under Pilate’s skin and bend him to their will. First, they tried to convince him that Jesus was a threat to Rome. Then, they told him that Jesus claimed that He was the Son of God thus breaking their law. Now, they choose a third tack: accusing Pilate of not being a friend of Caesar, by extension making the potential release of Jesus a threat to Caesar. As Pilate continued to seek Jesus’ release, “the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”
Now, this charge against Pilate carried some weight because historians tell us that Pilate was a man who actively sought the favor of the Caesars — both Caesar Augustus who was in power during Jesus’ birth and young life as well as Tiberius Caesar who was in power while Jesus was on trial. Pilate was married to Augustus’ granddaughter, Claudia, and many believe that this family connection was the main reason Pilate got the job as governor over the volatile region of Judea. Twice during his career, Pilate had overtly tried to gain favor in Caesar’s eyes — once by bringing in shields that had the image of Caesar on them for use by the Roman soldiers, and another time by installing banners that had the image of Caesar on them throughout Jerusalem. Both times, the Jews had caused an uproar, seeing this as a slap at their laws against graven images and idols. The religious leaders complained about it to Caesar. In order to prevent further irritation, Caesar had commanded Pilate to get rid of the shields and banners.
Pilate, like any politician, had sought to ally himself with a more powerful politician, and both times it had backfired. He was in a very sensitive position: if he made the wrong decision regarding Jesus, and an uproar ensued, he could lose his position altogether on account of incompetence.
On the other side, the Jews’ talk of being the friend of Caesar was bogus. They were not friends of Caesar; they hated Caesar and the Romans. They only manipulated Caesar with the threat of unrest to get him and Pilate to do what they wanted. In this case with Jesus, they were really the friends to their own pride,envy and jealousy, driven into a bloodthirsty frenzy by their desire to see Him dead at all costs.
Pilate, who actually tried to become Caesar’s friend, was really only in it for selfish reasons. He was seeking to secure his political position. While he wanted to do the right thing, the threat of losing his position and incurring the disfavor of Caesar ultimately showed him to be a friend of himself.
Jesus had no friends in this situation. Certainly not the Jews. Not Pilate. Not even one of His own disciples had the courage to come forward and speak in His favor. The One whom the Jews had once maligned as the “friend of sinners” was friendless in the end. Everyone had abandoned Him. However, Jesus had come to terms with that. He knew that He had to suffer in human flesh what God had suffered since the Fall of Man — the people whom He created and loved turning their backs on Him. Jesus suffered this rejection, persecution, and death that He might extend an olive branch of peace from God to man. No one saw it then, but Jesus still was and always would be the Friend of Sinners, for that was why He went to the cross — to bring us back into fellowship and friendship with God.
J. Wilbur Chapman wrote:
Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.
Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.
Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.
Can you say with confidence that you belong to Jesus today? Can you say that He is your friend and that you are His? You can begin a relationship with Him today by believing on Him as your Lord and Savior and putting your faith and trust in Him for your soul’s salvation.
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “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.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “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.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. 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.