The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 12 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 309)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 19:12-16:

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.

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

 

———-

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 309.

J.C. Ryle said, “Let us serve Jesus faithfully as our Master. Let us obey Him loyally as our King. Let us study His teachings as our Prophet. Let us work diligently after Him as our Example. Let us look anxiously for Him as our coming redeemer of body as well as soul. But above all let us prize Him as our Sacrifice, and rest our whole weight on His death as atonement for sin. Let His blood be more precious in our eyes every year we live. Whatever else we glory in about Christ, let us glory above all things in His cross.”

John tells us that the events of these few verses happened about the sixth hour. He was using the Roman way of telling time so that would have been around six am. Dawn is breaking over Jerusalem, and the sun sheds new light over the grotesque mockery of a trial that has been taking place under the cover of darkness. With the light, the ugly deeds of the night are seen in their full shame. The Jews have been twisting Pilate’s arm, but he has not yielded. Now with the daylight, he tries one last desperate attempt to free Jesus. He brings the trial outdoors, setting up in a place called “the Pavement.” He sits in his judgment seat, brings Jesus out before the Jews, and says again, “Behold your King!”

The Jews’ rejoinder is, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him.” Pilate asks, “Shall I crucify your King?” And the chief priests answer, “We have no king but Caesar.” The strong irony of this exchange is nearly mind-blowing. Neither Pilate nor the Jews considered Jesus to be a real king. Jesus had not even claimed to be the king of the Jews. Both the Jews and Pilate were in a false debate over very real premises because Jesus, as the living, male descendant of David, was, in fact, the King of the Jews — the rightful heir to David’s throne. Pilate repeatedly used the term “king of the Jews” sarcastically just to needle the religious leaders who despised the idea that Jesus had pre-eminence over them. But neither side knew or acknowledged the truth.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe notes, “The crowd had the last word: ‘We have no king but Caesar! We will not have this man to reign over us!’ Well-meaning preachers have often said that the crowd that on Palm Sunday shouted ‘Hosannah!’ turned right around and shouted ‘Crucify Him!’ on Good Friday. However, it was two different crowds. The Palm Sunday crowd came primarily from Galilee where Jesus was very popular. The crowd at Pilate’s hall was from Judea and Jerusalem where the religious leaders were very much in control. If the Galilean disciples had had their way, they would have revolted and delivered Jesus!” (At one point, Jesus had prevented them from making Him King by force.)

Pilate was trying to exert the authority of his little kingship in Judea, knowing that He would have to answer to Rome if things went awry. The Jews falsely claimed Caesar as their king just to push for Jesus’ execution. They influenced the people to do the same. Both sides rejected the only real King who was on the scene. Jesus went down as a criminal as Pilate “delivered him unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.”

The King of the Jews, the King of Kings was led away to be crucified and killed by those who should have been His subjects . That made Him no less a King, for He died that others might live — even Pilate, even the Jews, even the soldiers who drove the nails into His flesh. Even though He was beaten, bloodied, and humiliated before the world, the Bible promises that, one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. But only those who choose Him now will enjoy His blessings both now and for eternity.

The philosopher Bonaventura wrote:

In the Lord’s atoning grief
Be our rest and sweet relief;
Store we deep in heart’s recess
All the shame and bitterness.

Thorns, and cross, and nails, and lance,
Wounds, our treasure that enhance,
Vinegar, and gall, and reed,
And the pang His soul that freed.

Christ, by coward hands betrayed,
Christ, for us a Captive made,
Christ, upon the bitter tree
Slain for man, be praise to Thee.

The King of Kings laid down His life to pay for the sins of those who were in rebellion against Him. He gives you a free choice — will you bow before Him and make Him your king 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 dw3@gospellightsociety.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.

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 dw3@gospellightsociety.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.

How To Walk, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #273)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

—-

A.W. Tozer said, “I am convinced that many Christians are not truly and soundly converted. Among the evangelicals it is entirely possible to come into membership, to ooze in by osmosis, to leak through the cells of the church and never know what it means to be born of the Spirit and washed in the blood. A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity. There is nothing deeper about it, and it is where we should have been from the start.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The most important thing in the world while you’re on this side of eternity is that you learn to worship God. If you’re going to do it for ever and ever, you ought to practice it now.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The First Great Awakening came to an end when Puritan theology was replaced with rationalistic and humanistic thinking. Since the colleges of America trained the clergy, it wasn’t surprising that the chilling effect of humanistic thinking eventually deadened the churches. Books promoting the philosophy of the Enlightenment were widely distributed. Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, for example, which openly mocked biblical revelation, was sold to students for only a few pennies. When students didn’t buy them, copies were distributed free. Dr. Timothy Dwight, who became president of Yale College in 1795, described such literature as ‘the dregs of humanity, vomited’ on the youth.”

—-

Now, as we move to the final verse of Ephesians 4, Paul flips the coin once again. He has shared with us things that we ought not to do in order that we might not grieve the Holy Spirit — bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice. Now, he gives us some things that we ought to do — being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. These things please God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

The Greek word translated as “kind” means fit for use, useful, virtuous, good, mild, pleasant, and benevolent. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “kind” as “having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others; wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others.”

Throughout this entire passage, he has been talking about the difference between the old man and the new man. We all used to be old men. There are things that we used to do that we do not do anymore. There are lifestyles that we used to agree with and even be a part of that we disagree with and abstain from now. The key thing is change, transformation. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The new mind (or the renewed mind) equals a new man or new woman in Christ.

John Piper said, “Transformation is not switching from the to-do list of the flesh to the to-do list of the law. When Paul replaces the list — the works — of the flesh, he does not replace it with the works of the law, but the fruit of the Spirit. The Christian alternative to immoral behaviors is not a new list of moral behaviors. It is the triumphant power and transformation of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ — our Savior, our Lord, our Treasure. Transformation is a profound, blood-bought, Spirit-wrought change from the inside out.”

Our not grieving the Holy Spirit of God and doing those things which God commands and smiles upon ought to come, not out of a heart of legalism, expecting something in return, bu out of a spirit of love for God and for our fellow man.

Deborah Ann Belka wrote:

The old man
no longer lives in me
it is now the new man
that I choose to be.

For I have put off
the things I use to do
I have put on these things,
Lord Jesus, just for You…

Irritation for meekness,
dishonesty for truthfulness
quarreling for harmony
bitterness for forgiveness.

Bragging for humbleness,
idleness for service
cheating for honesty
emptiness for purpose.

Excess for restraint,
old ways for the new
following the world…
for following after You!

The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 10 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 307)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 19:7-12:

7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

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 307.

Someone once said, “No one switches on a flashlight in an area flooded by direct sunlight. We put on the light in order to dispel darkness. It is the darkness that makes the light necessary. God from eternity knew that men would choose darkness rather than light, and therefore He had to bring His light in Jesus Christ to shine in the midst of darkness.”

When Pilate heard from the Jews that Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, he went back into his judgment hall to question Jesus some more. He asks Jesus a simple question, “Whence art thou?” The Jews had also struggled with this question. They could not square Jesus’ eloquent speech, His miracle-working abilities, and His understanding of the Scriptures with what they knew about His origin. They said, “Is not this Joseph the carpenter’s son? Are not his mother and brethren with us?” They knew Jesus to be from Bethlehem and Nazareth, but that was only a small part of the story.

Jesus, who had already told Pilate that He and His kingdom were “not of this world,” does not answer Pilate’s question. His repeated silence before His accusers and questioners is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “As a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” Pilate is shocked by this. He is used to prisoners who are over-eager to prove their innocence. Pilate wants Jesus to defend Himself, to give him further reason not to crucify Him. When Jesus persists in silence, he says, “Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” Pilate spoke of the power that he derived from Rome in his position of authority. Rome was the greatest power on Earth during that day. Pilate could not imagine a higher source of power.

But Jesus responds, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.” Jesus is saying that the ultimate source of power comes from God. Even earthly political power, including that of Rome and Pilate, is derived from God. And, at this time in history, God had granted Pilate the ability to sentence Jesus to death — which, of course, was part of God’s plan.

Pilate is feeling the pressure of the Jews and the weight of responsibility to keep the peace that has been laid on him by Rome. But, Jesus redirects Pilate’s attention to the fact that he is ultimately responsible to someone else. While the Jews and Rome may be breathing down his neck now, Pilate will ultimately answer to God for his actions. While those who ‘delivered Jesus unto Pilate had the greater sin,’ Pilate would still be responsible for his sin.

In a sense, everyone alive has a level of power — the power of free will, the power of choice. That is a God-given power, one He has granted to every human being. The most important exercise of our free will comes when we must make a decision about Jesus Christ — just as Pilate had to, just as the Jews had to. They freely chose to reject Jesus, and they will be held accountable for their choice. You can choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and become a part of the kingdom that Jesus spoke of that is ‘not of this world.’

Isaac Watts wrote:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For a sinner such as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can never repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
‘Tis all that I can do.

Jesus stands before you just as he stood before Pilate and the Jews — and you have the power to make a choice? If you have decided to receive Him as your Lord and Savior, John 3:16 states, “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 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.”

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 I want to turn from my sins. 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. I trust Him as my Savior and 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 dw3@gospellightsociety.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.

The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 8 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 305)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 19:1-4:

1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

———-

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 305.

J.B. Phillips said, “God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before. But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man — suffering, tempted, sweating, and agonized, finally dying a criminal’s death — and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched.”

After the Jews had rejected Jesus and demanded the release of Barabbas, Pilate still sought to have Jesus freed. As a politician, he was seeking to do what he knew was right — releasing Jesus — while at the same time appeasing the Jewish religious leaders. So, his next move is to have Jesus scourged.

The Roman method of scourging took place with a leather whip that had pieces of bone or metal attached to the end. Scourging was most often a punishment in and of itself. Sometimes, it was used in an attempt to extract a confession from a criminal or to weaken the criminal before he went to the cross so he would die more quickly. The flesh of the person subjected to scourging would become shredded by the sharp, hard objects at the end of the whip. Many individuals died from the scourging alone. Pilate thought that scourging Jesus would satisfy the bloodlust of the Jews, but he was woefully mistaken.

After the scourging is over, the Roman soldiers overseeing the punishment make a crown of thorns and put it on Jesus’ head. They put a purple robe around His shoulders. They bow to Him, declaring, “Hail, King of the Jews!” This was both a derision of Jesus and a mocking of the Jewish leaders. They were saying, ‘Is this the best they can do for a king?’ As they jeered and mocked Jesus, the Bible says “they smote him with their hands.”

Of course, we wonder why God would allow His only begotton Son, His very expressed image, to be humiliated in such a fashion. Surely, a dignified death for the Son of God would be in order. As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche exclaimed, “God on a cross — preposterous!” So, why did God allow Jesus to suffer so much? The suffering of Jesus really speaks to the sinfulness and cruelty of man and his Satan-inspired hatred of God and that which is good. While God allowed Jesus’ suffering, it was human hands that heaped torture, abuse, and humiliation upon the Savior of the human race.

In the end, what we see is that God’s love flies in the face of human defiance. Man shakes his fist at God, and God says, “I love you anyway.” Man mocks and ridicules Jesus, and Jesus says, “I’ll die for you anyway.” Man whips and abuses the Savior, and He says, “I’ll forgive you anyway.” Jesus’ love extends even to the bloodthirsty Jews who still demanded His crucifixion after He had been scourged. Jesus’ love extends even to the cruel Romans who needlessly beat Him, mocked Him, and drove nails into His hands and feet. And Jesus’ love extends to you and I who have brazenly disobeyed God’s laws and tried to live the life He gave us our way. The extravagant humiliation of Jesus is matched, blood drop for blood drop, by the extravagant, inexorable love of God.

William Ovens and Gladys Roberts wrote:

Wounded for me, wounded for me,
There on the cross He was wounded for me;
Gone my transgressions, and now I am free,
All because Jesus was wounded for me.

Dying for me, dying for me,
There on the cross He was dying for me;
Now in His death my redemption I see,
All because Jesus was dying for me.

Risen for me, risen for me,
Up from the grave He has risen for me;
Now evermore from death’s sting I am free,
All because Jesus has risen for me.

On the cross, dear friend, Jesus was punished for you. He took God’s wrath upon Himself so that you could go free from sin and the punishment of sin. But you must place your faith and trust in Him in order to take advantage of this free gift.

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. 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.” The Bible says 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.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. 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.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 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 dw3@gospellightsociety.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.

The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 6 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 303)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 18:33-38:

33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

———-

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 303.

Augustine said, “The maker of man became man that He ruler of the stars might be nourished at the breast, that He the bread might be hungry, that He the fountain might thirst, that He the light might sleep, that He the way might be wearied in the journey, that He the truth might be accused by false witnesses, that He the judge of the living and the dead might be brought to trial by a mortal judge, that He the foundation might be suspended on a cross, that He life itself might die.”

When Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world, the Bible does not tell us how the Roman leader took this news. Perhaps he began to think that Jesus was one of the pagan gods of Rome or Greece come to walk among men for a time as the myths spoke of. Perhaps he thought Jesus was being fanciful in his speech or using some type of coded language that only His followers understood. So, Pilate seeks to get clarification about what Jesus said — again, with an eye toward whether or not Jesus poses an actual threat to Rome.

“Art thou a king, then?” he asks. Jesus answers in the affirmative. “Thou sayest that I am a king.” Basically, ‘Exactly what you have said is true.’ He continues, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” Although Jesus was the King of kings, when He came to this Earth, He did not come to set up a physical kingdom. In fact, when He came, He laid aside all kingly trappings and took on the likeness and flesh of common man.

So, what was Jesus’ primary goal, if not to establish His kingdom? Jesus’ primary goal, along with being the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, was to tell people the truth. He told them the truth about the God of love who wanted to be in a relationship with all of them. He told them the truth about their bondage to sin. He told them the truth about the religious hypocrisy that was so prevalent in that day and in our day. He told them that their religiosity would not save them. He told them the truth about the judgment to come and about the choice they had to make — “Follow Me” or “Reject Me.” In fact, the Jewish religious leaders had arrested Jesus and dragged Him before Pilate because they did not like the truth that He told about them — that they were vipers, white-washed sepulchres, rotten graves full of dead men’s bones, blind guides leading the blind, making the common people two-fold more the children of Hell than they were. Yes, Jesus who is the Truth came to bear witness — to testify — about the truth in a world that had too long believed Satan’s lies.

Jesus draws a line in the sand when He says, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” Jesus is saying, ‘All truth belongs to Me. I am the source and the end of truth. Everyone who believes the truth belongs to Me. And all who belong to Me know the truth.” Then, Pilate asks, “What is truth?” The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “Pilate’s question, What is truth? has echoed down through the centuries. How his question was intended is problematic. Was it a wistful desire to know what no one could tell him? Was it philosophical cynicism concerning the problem of epistemology? Was it indifference to anything so impractical as abstract thought? Or was it irritation at Jesus’ response? These are all possible interpretations of his words. But the significant thing is that he suddenly turned away from the One who is ‘the Truth’ without waiting for an answer.” As the philosopher Francis Bacon famously wrote, “What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.”

You may have never asked the question, “What is truth?” But most people, whether they realize it or not, have sought the truth at one time or another? Perhaps you have wondered about your purpose on this Earth. The purpose of all life. What comes after death. The eternal nature of our souls. The good news is that the answer to each of these questions can be found in one Person — Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Pilate erred in not getting to know Jesus for himself. You do not have to make that mistake. You can get to know Jesus for yourself today, and when you know Him, you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free from sin, the punishment of sin, and the lies of Satan so that you can live a victorious life.

Frederick Graves wrote:

What a wonderful, wonderful Savior,
Who would die on the cross for me!
Freely shedding His precious lifeblood,
That the sinner might be made free.

Thus He left His heavenly glory,
To accomplish His Father’s plan;
He was born of the virgin Mary,
Took upon Him the form of man.

So He gave His life for others
In Redeeming this world from sin,
And He’s gone to prepare a mansion,
That at last we may enter in.

Dear friend, in order to enter Jesus’ kingdom, you must accept the truth about your current sinful condition and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to save you from sin and the punishment of sin. Here is how you can do that today.

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 dw3@gospellightsociety.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.

GLMX #181: You Can Handle the Truth!

Truth
Truth

In the iconic courtroom scene from the movie “A Few Good Men”, Colonel Nathan Jessup, played masterfully by Jack Nicholson, tells his cross-examiner Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise), “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” That line has gone down in film history as one of the most famous lines ever delivered.

At different times in our lives, each of us have been or will be searching for the truth about something — Not only for the the truth in legal matters, but the truth in family matters, the truth in job matters, the truth in educational matters, and the truth about our past. We all want to know the truth as to why things happened the way they did and the truth about how things turned out the way they did. We also want to know the truth about our future so that we can make the right decisions and take the right steps.

Perhaps, the most important area in which we seek the truth is in spiritual matters — or what some would call metaphysics. Great philosophers and thinkers of the past, such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Anselm, Descartes, John Milton, Immanuel Kant, and others, spent much of their lives struggling with these questions. They wanted to know: What is truth? What is the truth about human origins? How did we get here? What is our purpose? Where do we go when we die?

Nearly 2,000 years ago, a man named Jesus Christ was unjustly put on trial under the Roman government. Pilate, who was the governor of that region and who was presiding over the trial, asked a question that many people have asked since. The Bible tells us in John 18 that Pilate simply asked Jesus, “What is truth?”, and then he left the Judgment Hall and went to address the crowd that had gathered to see the proceedings. Numerous Biblical scholars have lamented the fact that Pilate did not wait for an answer from Jesus Christ regarding this all-important question of truth. The British Methodist theologian Adam Clarke wrote, “Among the sages of that time there were many opinions concerning truth; and some had even supposed that it was a thing utterly out of the reach of men. Pilate perhaps might have asked the question in a mocking way; and his not staying to get an answer indicated that he either despaired of getting a satisfactory one, or that he was indifferent about it. This is the case with thousands: they appear desirous of knowing the truth, but have not patience to wait in a proper way to receive an answer to their question.”

Dear friend, I will tell you in a few minutes what Jesus Christ said about truth.

In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Michael Glanzberg writes, “Truth is one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest. Truth has been a topic of discussion in its own right for thousands of years.” Even today, skeptics, men of faith, and men of science take the time to wrestle with these “big questions” of life. The truth about these spiritual matters — and what we choose to believe — shapes our worldview, helps us to determine our purpose in life, helps mold our passions and motivations, and informs us on how to face the end of our lives. These are important questions that every human being deserves to know the truth about. And I believe that you can handle the truth because the truth will set you free.

That latter phrase — “the truth will set you free” — is a quotation from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who declared Himself to be, “the way, the truth, and the life.” All truth, no matter what it applies to, is God’s truth and is freedom-giving. But it is only the truth that Jesus Christ offers that frees us from the grip of the curse that has enslaved humanity and gives us the ability to live life freely, abundantly, and forever.

MUSICAL SELECTION: “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns

We Are All Barabbas

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #69 | with Daniel Whyte III

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 27:15-26

In the news today, we sometimes hear about a man who was wrongly convicted of a crime and then sent to prison for many years being declared innocent and finally freed. But we hardly ever hear about a convicted criminal being set free until he has served his time. Today, I want to share with you the significance of a story from the Bible in which a criminal was set free and an innocent, holy man was punished.

1. First, we will look at the Imprisoned Sinner

2. Then we will look at the Innocent Saviour

3. And finally, we will look at the Perfect Sacrifice

+ Plus, listen to Stephen Hurd singing “Jesus, You’re Wonderful to Me” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”

Why Jesus Had to Die

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #57 | with Daniel Whyte III

SCRIPTURE — John 10:14-18: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

Muhammad lived until he was 62 years old and died of an illness. Confucius lived until he was 72 years old and died of grief over the loss of his sons and his friends. Historians tell us that Buddha died at age 80 presumably of natural causes. And the Bible tells us that Abraham, the father of the Jews, died in “the good old age” of 175.

Yet, the Bible and history tell us that Jesus died when he was 33 or 34 years old. He did not die a death brought on by illness, grief, or natural causes. He died a violent death. He was arrested, subjected to a mockery of a trial, beaten, scourged, and dragged up a hillside to be crucified on a cross. The leaders of every world religion valued and sought for longevity and permanence. But Jesus Christ willingly laid gave up His life on the cross.

Why did Jesus have to die? Some historians have said that Pilate allowed Jesus to be put to death for politically convenient reasons. Others say that the Jews pushed Pilate to kill Jesus because they hated for saying that He was God and threatening their established religious order. While these two reasons do factor in to the events surrounding Jesus’ death, many people don’t realize that there was a great purpose behind the crucifixion. Jesus had to die for much larger and more weighty reasons.

1. Jesus had to die to bring atonement for humanity.

2. Jesus had to die because He was the perfect sacrifice.

3. Jesus had to die to secure eternal life.

+ Plus, listen to Hillsong singing “Nothing But the Blood” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”

Who Has the Truth?

The truth is in high-demand nowadays. Everybody seems to want it. Parents instruct their children to “tell the truth.” Husbands and wives want honesty in their marriages. People from every walk of life want to know the truth about God and spirituality. Scientists are obsessed with finding the truth about the universe. The late singer Johnny Cash wrote a song titled “What is Truth?” in which he talked about young people searching for truth in the world.

The United States is in the midst of a presidential campaign season and everyone from news reporters to voters wants to know the truth about the candidates, about what they believe, and how they will govern.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, a man named Jesus Christ was unjustly put on trial. Pilate, who was the governor of that region and who was presiding over the trial, asked a question that so many people have asked since. The Bible tells us in John 18 that Pilate simply said, “What is truth?”, and then he left the Judgment Hall and went to address the crowd that had gathered to see the proceedings.

The philosopher, Francis Bacon, said that Pilate’s mistake was that he “would not stay for an answer” to his question. But did you know that even before his trial, Jesus Christ had already answered that question? In John 14:6, Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, declared Himself to be the ultimate truth. Not only that, He also declared himself to be the only way to God and the only way to true eternal life.

Since that time, generations of people — young and old, rich and poor — from every country, race and language, have found truth in Jesus Christ. They have found purpose and meaning in life through Jesus Christ. And most importantly, they have found that Jesus Christ is indeed the way to God and the way to eternal life.

If you want to rest assured that you know the Source of all truth, and that you have eternal life and a relationship with God, allow me to share with you the simple steps that you need to take.

+ Plus, listen to Kathryn Scott singing “At the Foot of the Cross”