Judging Jesus

Judging Jesus

Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”  John 18:31 (NIV)

The angry mob is still trying to get rid of Jesus.  He is finally brought before Pilate.  In few words we see their intentions which are hardly disguised.   Pilate tells them if they really want to judge Jesus they should do it according to their laws.  If Jesus really is a trouble-maker surely they will see it in contrast to their rules.  But this is not what they want.  They have tried for some time to find something wrong with the teachings of Jesus.  But He consistently points them beyond their rules.  He has always taught them that their rules do not replace God.  The rules were given to help us come to God.  It is there, before the Almighty where all men are left without excuses.  Nobody can boast.  This, the stubborn and wayward abhor.  This is what the worldly fear.   This is part of the reason that they need to get rid of Jesus.  They are comfortable with their system of dos and don´ts.   But their system won´t let them kill Jesus and take Him out of the scene.  He is here and is a threat to their confidence and to their system.  So they ask for Pilate to use a different set of rules.  They want another authority to let them do away with Christ.  Have things changed today?  Where do we fit into the picture?

The verdict some ask for is whether or not Jesus existed.  Others admit Christ´s existence but need a ruling over what importance to place upon the Son of God.  Still others listen and learn but like to be the jury over what to approve or disapprove.  Some give importance to the testimony of Jesus, but refuse to set Him free to rule their souls.  How do we take Him?  We might not put Jesus up against the laws of our land.  What fault would we find there?  But is there another trial we are setting Him to?  Is there any way that we might be guilty of finding a Pilate who will acquit us from having to bow our very lives before Him?  Do we seek a council that will let us avoid having His teachings expose our waywardness?  Could we be secretly choosing to let Jesus and His effect upon our lives be sentenced by some other standard?  Would it be prudent to examine what or who we are using to tell us how we are taking Jesus now?

We could excuse ourselves and say that we are not the Jews.  We might like to say that we have no part in bringing Jesus before Pilate.  But don´t we want to know what are we really doing with Jesus?  While we may like to worship one day a week, does that mean that we are bringing all the other days and every other issue we face before Him?  Do we let Jesus be our shepherd even when we feel strong and confident?  Do we place the standards of society or our religious practices tell us what to do with Christ?  Or are we actually following through and coming to meet Him in ourselves?  Do we seek Him in our lives, our day and even this very moment?  Are we letting His words of encouragement draw us into the most important relationship of our lives?  Or are we passing that judgment off?  Are we somehow guilty of judging Jesus, or is He the One Person Whose company we seek right now?

Dear Jesus,

There have been other´s before us who did not realize the weight of the moment.  They let their chance to come to You and know and love You slip away.  Please do not let us miss that chance now.  Let us come to You with all that we are.  Let us bow to You as the Lord and Purchaser of our lives.  Let us be Yours unconditionally!  Let our hearts be Yours alone!  Let us have no part in letting any other tell us how eternally vital You are to us!  Let us live through that experience personally with You today!

Amen

by S.D. Wonenberg

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