W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
WHAT ROYALTY REQUIRES,
AND HAS DONE
There is in man a combination like
the code for opening a safe.
It includes a marvellous array of key elements.
That is the retrospect that has now become complex, and yet is direct.
Past the key code however is the
condition of the heart.
Past the contrivances of man, is the provision of God.
That is the prospect that matters.
How man seeks for truth, the intensity of the sceptic being a measure of the frustration (cf. SMR Ch. 3)! How is he subject to LONGING for what is good and sound and true and tested; and for the desire for LEADERSHIP by one who is trustworthy and peaceable and bold as a lion and fearless all at once, who knows what matters and does not, and DOES the thing required accordingly. In LEARNING he longs for truth, and even when permitting himself the eccentric luxury of saying there is no truth, which is supposedly a true statement about ultimate reality, and hence a flat self-contradiction, a piece of weird aberration, he merely shows the depth of his desire and the force of his revulsion from the realm of cynicism which frequently passed for modern learning.
He seeks MEANING and MAJESTY, and at times the frustration from his revolt from reality at the uttermost level is so intense that he calls it all meaningless, his disgruntlement once again lassoing logic and making his assessment of meaning the meaning.
He seeks splendour and magnificence, while usually freely acknowledging that it is not for himself personally, this world not being so moulded; but he wants the king or empress or imperial force to be vested with praise and glitter, if not glamour; or at least to have the habiliments of wonder.
He WANTS to be impressed and to be carried by what is capable, and sated with splendour. Thus he tends to elevate the foolish, call the rampant, connive with criminals who glow with an evil power, and have them rule; or worship sport or sports stars, or their fame and name, as if this were a part of leisure. The reason is all one: denied God by will, they make gods by need. What confusion is this!
Moreover, for this reason also, when a Hitler begins to slaughter Jews, they hush it, as to remedy for this, they do not rush it, and they make of Mussolini a marvel, and of the Axis a hope for the future, which with the madness of a frustrated Hitler breaking the bonds of a perverted ideology, leads to a ruin which, but for the kindness of the US might have been fatal. They make pseudo-gods, worship in fact or in form, fail to remedy their defects even as men or women, are slow to be critical and then surfeited with devastation, wonder at their own folly, while inventing yet another. It is just as in World War II, as if it were not enough to have had three follies, yes four, those of the USSR and Hitler, the Japanese pseudo-divine Emperor and with Churchill, the concept of breaking Hitler as an envelope for mission, they have to have one for the peace.
So the UN is invented, a disastrous construction so well displayed for all in Shirley Hazzard's insider testimony, Defeat of an Ideal and People in Glass Houses, harassing the ideologues with fact and fiction alike (cf. News 42, Mystery of Iniquity, News 152, Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 10, Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 13, Overflight ... Ch. 1, It Bubbles ... Ch. 11).
You see the relationship of these psychic oddities not only to the religious realities - from which they are a jarring lurch - but to religious communal constructions, framed in secularism but based on religious concepts, like pollen in the air, detached from its basis, and not explicable without it, in Stepping out for Christ Ch. 10, at one point, in this way.
To account for what are the natures, in what is metaphorically called 'Nature', you need to outsource (in mind) the cause to what is competent. That as we always find is the same super-natural source as our own, shown in SMR Chs.1,3,10; and this is as constantly verified and as consistently validated in the whole realm of creation, as the magical accounts of what does not SHOW ITSELF at all are mere delusion, and like all delusion, remain unvalidated and unverified in the whole realm of creation. It has become a real traffic jam of thought, because the white elephant of philosophy is rampant, and the motorists are in terror, and cringe in their cars, or simply drive away. A few get through, and that is the good thing.
The worm then went on to retort, with some of his fire and ire and irony. He agreed, but the invisible enemy had roused him.
INVISIBLE BASEBALL KINGS
Well, he mused, NATURE might NEED something to do this and that, and so something which is not made arises to become available for selection. That's the way they speak: good old Nature feels a lack, sees a chance, and invents to meet it, covering itself with glory as it imagines up the developments, flings them slowly into existence, and tosses the (now composed, somewhere, not in this world) functional and imaginative thing to the world. It is like your baseball kings.
It seemed to me that he was refreshingly well-informed for ... well, one doesn't wish to be invidious, but worms after all, are not normally regarded exceptionally highly, are they ? (One hopes this does not offend some legislation approved from the Moral Moses of the United Nations - morals ex-God, a laughable condoning of convention, torn in bits from religious bases of various kinds.) However, as the leech case showed all too clearly (though it really was rather funny, for in the days of its popularity it would doubtless have been gravely proper to receive it as wisdom), his knowledge was a little spotty.
Again in News 42, 1998, we find this excursion into the interstices of freedom without offence, becoming offensive forays against freedom, when and because the root of reality being excluded (like 2 plus 2 equals 4 being outmoded in mathematics by law), there is and MUST BE another root, borne on the wind, coming from unidentified sources, so that there may be AUTHORITY in what is wanted.
FREEDOM FOR DICTATES - or
HOW TO LOSE FREEDOM BY TALKING ABOUT IT
Here is a find! The Advertiser Editorial is expressing a well-shaped view which seems at least in the direction of the angels!
In fact, it is dealing with a declaration by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, following an enquiry into freedom of religion and belief in Australia. As a matter of fact (see Appendix 1, The Other News) the UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, as confused as the title is long, was proclaimed on 25 Nov. 1981, and was filed down into Australian law in 1993. It just needs to be gazetted, in this case an announcement by the then Commonwealth Attorney General, Michael Duffy, and given a little time, there it is, the burden of the Australian people. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Act of 1986 rendered the coast clear. Now the raider can enter the land as easily as that.
Meanwhile, to revert to the Advertiser editorial, in this case so very welcome, there are some interesting features of the latest movement towards making laws of our own to the great end of meeting world community opinion (whatever that is in a hotbed of war, rumour, riot, bullets, dissension among Russia, the US, China, France, to name some, and without bothering to look at the Koreas, the Taiwan affair of China, or if you will, the China affair of Taiwan, that sad slaughter house, Afghanistan, that bleeding heart of Africa, South Africa, Indonesia, the division on President Clinton, Yugoslavia and so on). However there is a pulpit in the UN, although there is no cross in the chapel, and the pulpit is a high one: the High Lurch Pulpit. It is essential that signatories who sign in the swim beneath the pulpit, do what they are told. Australia has to be reporting on its "progress" towards these decisions of the UN to the recording angels on high, though in this case they are decidedly sub-stratospheric.
In the Advertiser some of the more obvious features of the latest move towards this kind of conformity are indicated. Thus it notes that not only faith in the supernatural God, but belief in anything is to be focused. People who do not believe in God, believe, it is felt, in something; and the thrust is that no one who believes what he will, is to be compromised, unless of course he starts being dangerous ... dangerous ? Christ was dangerous to the equanimity of the ruling junta who murdered Him, not last because Rome might have misunderstood Him and so invaded the country because of their 'king'. That is the scriptural report, along with 'envy'.
It is certainly upsetting to the ubiquitous and iniquitous god of self-esteem, to see its devotees left flat-footed and inept before someone who not only TALKS of the supernatural God but WALKS and WORKS with Him in manifest ways so delightful to the people that a whole refreshing sense of practical religion arises anew*1 . Rather than be troubled by this, murder Him (John 11:47-51). That was the way when He came, and remains the way with what in His name interferes by precept, argument or life, with the practice waywardness and the emptiness of discreditable enterprises that arise like weeds, strong and useless.
In China, to take a merely political case, the latest in this sad month of December 1998, is this: dissidents in China who presumed - is that the word ? to start setting up a new party which could allow people to choose between the Communist delicacies and a democracy were taken away (that can mean loss of face, health, food, privacy, mental freedom, various invasions of the person, loss of life, torture) because they allegedly posed a danger to the State.
Now freedom relates to personality and personality relates to principles of operation for that freedom, values, purposes, and these relate to the purpose of man, and that relates to who he is, and to the directions of God. So in the end, this merely political freedom has a religious aspect. Now people may be deemed threatened, incommoded, the State upset, security at risk and so forth .
- It can be, and indeed in history often is
- deemed not fair to others when someone has something which is so good or so powerful or so appealing that the present authorities -
- who of course have their own values and preferences and personalities and constructions on things and estimate of the nature of man and what he needs -
- feel threatened.
Thus in the end, the penalty clause on this religious freedom is worse than meaningless. It allows COMPULSION, DICTATION and DIRECTION to occur, and in our land, legal penalty is a possible inclusion in the new law now being proposed in this area. It would " in the public interest" (read in the interests of those who govern), in terms of freedom (the freedom to be free from people putting to you things you cannot answer and which are right, for example, since this could be upsetting), and
- it would mean
- that freedom dictated dictation
- that freedom of enquiry required no enquiry because no availability could occur without offence
- somehow, to someone,
- and in short that in the best of all possible countries,
- the gospel would soon become as offensive and shut up as in Communist countries.
That is precisely how our own approach to a radio program was dealt with. Telling PRECISELY what the Bible said was deemed, as far as could be seen, to involve 'ancient hatreds'. How it was that the gospel of love could be called one of hate, without vilification or evidence indeed, is one of those mysteries which enter into the normal oppression of truth which marks world history, and now in supreme irony, is coming closer to acting in our own country in the guise of freedom.
It is this which has happened in Russia which had so VERY great freedoms of religion, so that as often attested, people could be invaded, excluded from University, bashed, meetings broken up, ludicrous discrimination shown against church buildings and Bibles. State security, the ESTIMATE of what was NECESSARY for the community, involves the removal of what THREATENED because of its inherent power, the current rule. The current rule of the contemporary rulers had to be good (by definition quite literally in the case of Communism, but by 'social consciousness' or cultural norms in this country - the phrase is not so important as the oppression), and therefore anything which could in the remotest way even suggest that it was not good, or that there were better principles in existence than those which it deemed necessary,
- MUST be bad,
- threatening to the State (read community)
- and hence suppressed.
We have seen it in this country. It is a question of HOW a station retains its radio LICENCE to BROADCAST, and hence of compulsive conduct on the part of those who own it. Logic is irrelevant; perception is emperor. Potential loss is like the bottomless pit. Sacrifice is relevant - not of the station or its durability by any chance, but of the expression of that which cannot be faulted, except in this, that someone might find fault with it in some atmospheric fashion, and, being offended, cause trouble. Trouble ? THAT, unlike the cross on the part of Christ, must be avoided. This seems to be the litany of exclusion and the chorus of confinement.
The Advertiser editorial in this case most justly observes, therefore: "Many of the commissioner's recommendations suggest an interference in institutional and individual affairs so inquisitorial as to be dangerous. Many stem from a contemporary attitude towards religion that it is merely a sociological phenomenon."
The editorial adds: " Nor is the report free of an element of empire building." It goes on to note that if its recommendations were all followed, endless committees might cumbrously so act as to "exacerbate divisions without our society".
It might do far more! History is an active consultant in such things. The Second World War, which was a physical thing, COULD NOT happen in the minds of many who loved the status quo and did not see that it should be threatened by looking at what seemed at that time mere possibilities, and in the pre-1939 euphoria of imagined evolution of the best of worlds and the most convenient of societies, why look back ? Look on to uninterrupted goodness! It is there: in God. It is needed in man. It is not obtained however by imagination but by what God has specified for the purpose: the cross of Christ as the exhibition of our sin, the place where it may repose as an alternative to the polluted heart of mankind and the call to cleanness of life, love of truth and fearlessness without persecution, purity without compromise and joy without cloying.
But without that ? (It is like saying of life, But without air ?) Much awaits the wayward world.
FREEDOM FOR AN INTERNATIONAL RELIGION
It is of course true that there is an element of freedom which is quite central in the UN Declaration on Religion noted above. It is freedom for an international religion to be policed. THEY would be free to do that, so that is freedom of religion for the State, and its particular preferences would thus be freely instituted by compulsion. There is about this however a slight difficulty. The people about whom supposedly the concern exists in the field of religion, they would not have religious freedom. Such protection is like having a police escort for the bedroom, a political facilitator for the class-room and a guard to keep you safe at your desk, who watches your writing lest you should inadvertently do something not deemed right, so helping you to be free from prison - another freedom! Excellent! Notable and remarkable! But alas nothing to do with religious liberty for people.
Let us give merely one example of this international religion which is subversive of freedom, surreptitious in method and deadly in its end product as seen so often in human history's millions of once suffering bodies, which were turned to twisted corpses and then, those to dust while the spirit went to God who made it (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Thus we find in the prologue to the Declaration on Religion of this UN, these words: "Considering that it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of religion or belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends INCONSISTENT with the Charter, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes and principles of the present Declaration IS INADMISSIBLE..." (blocks added).
The inadmissible is excluded because
the required is regally enforced!
And some call this freedom ? It is freedom to be manipulated.
Man ? It is not that he is mad. His works show an application of mind and intellect so vast and prodigious as to make entirely laughable his not so congenial faults as sketched above. Faults ? you say, faults! Yes, playing with fire may show its importance, but it is not a plaything; and it is a fault so to treat it.
You must work with fire.
Our God is a consuming fire, and the wonder and structure, the meaning and the message, the deployment and the enjoyment of life all depend on realising that His work is not play. There is a time for play; but it is not the day of labour which is for that. First work, then play. First be clear on the essentials, and then disport in the realm of adventure. Be established first, or be flippant.
The meaning of life, like its design (cf. Deity and Design), the pain of life like its point (cf. Pain, Suffering and Evil), the majesty man seeks and the leadership, the good and the goodness which never fails to refresh his heart, endue his spirit with dews most satisfying and reviving, however much he lavishes assault on these things in his fiery frustrations, the truth in which life is deposited and the trust which is required in finding the point, purpose and reality for life: all these things are found in one, who is One. It is not ANYONE. That is the field of comparative religion, a vaguely dissident mix of imposture, impropriety, irrationalism or infidelity to the Lord of life (cf. Errors, SMR Ch. 10).
The answer to these quixotic follies in man, and to these soaring seekings alike, it is in the Creator of Life, and of non-life, of all that is derivable and hence gains meaning and the character of its goodness and the force of its leadership and the reality of its majesty from that source. He has not left Himself without a witness, but for some 3500 years has been providing for man a very manual which answers all these things, never falsified, always on the block for execution in this, that it is loaded with predictions of detail, sequence and pattern, and over some 2000 of these years has had placarded to this race, the very manhood of deity, that is the form of Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, incarnate and definitive deity portrayed and provided so that not in musty realms of hope, but in visible actions at our level, from His, the case is closed. It is the eyes which now need to be opened, since the case is closed, for it is all there to see.
No question is not thereby answered, no folly of man is not explained, no desire of the heart is not depicted: all is so perfectly exposed, even to the DNA language of constitutive commands for man's very physical being, the least of him, and nothing more remains except to come to this solution and salvation (for man is a sinner), or to go to judgment (The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy, Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Deity and Design).
We have in the preceding Chapters considered various Kings, good and bad, their ways, vexatious or virtuous, but have found that even the best has lacked perfection, and none is even approximately magnificent. Some aspects, facets and features have been truly illustrious, but there have been weaknesses; some have in the main and in substance served well and distinctively, but to none is the acme awarded. We have learned lessons of folly and of wisdom, seeing the negative and adhering to the positive, where God is the criterion of quantity in such a concept, as well as of quantity.
Now we turn to the One and only one who has ever surmounted all sin, shown deity definitively and while doing so, served as Saviour - a post He still occupies, since this being the Age of the Gospel, this God who has God, is still giving His mercy to the misfits which alas so often all but masquerade as man, while they derogate, defile the name of and despatch the message of God, not for others, but from their very hearts.
CONTEST FOR CHRIST JESUS, THE LORD,
IN HIS DAY AND IN OURS
Here is the faithful and attested original, the foretold Messiah, the predicted Prince to be cut off, the only Saviour of the World, who since it is resolute on ruin, saves only some, but has come as an ambassador from heaven, for all, for any who come. Here is not a monument to meaning, but meaning itself, the creating mind, the loving heart and the end of fable and fiction, the expositor of reality, who being the Truth as God, tells it and then does it ... FOR us, and IN us who believe, and then TO the world which does not. It is all there, in order, sequence and with spiritual grounds. It does not move.
John 18:28-19:16 provides for us the report of those who followed Him, and found Him not wanting, some of them being given to write the records which have been verified in history and a heart for the ruthless renegacies of man, to which to return, having moved hundreds of millions, and been left by billions more.
The tableau, it is not pretty. Jesus has been arrested AT NIGHT. This anti-miracle has been wrought by TEMPLE guards at the behest of priests supposedly serving God, supposedly able to read, and in particular to survey the Old Testament scriptures, shown to be valiantly present at that time, in such sites as the Dead Sea Scrolls. They resolve that because He is so successful, He must be killed. Because He is such a healer, it is intolerable; since He even raises the dead in the very midst of their adverse and alien plotting, therefore it is apparent that His popularity, constantly supported by the consistent works, never failing, which He performs, as if miracles were His daily bread (cf. John 8:29ff., John 11), will bring on a deluge of followers. This could cause an invasion by Rome (as if One who heals is to use force, when never has He hurt or damaged a person by force in His entire ministry, at most vigorously rebuking, and gloriously preaching). Such is their puerile thought.
They are not willing to TRUST that God will use this love of humanity, this mission of reducing misery, this crusade of kindness, this refusal to be king (John 6 tells that tale), to influence Rome which then might be moved, as later it was moved in the 4th century, to change its own ways! Such is a common lesson to be learned from the word of God as it interprets mankind on its miserable missions of the me, myself and my love conspectus: the last being a nation, person, occupation or power of some kind, an ideology or influence, a prestige or elevation, or whatever other slice of truth or error is desired, the Source apart. It is like deciding whether to steal a car, or a diamond ring, or electrical goods, or a wallet, or a post, by defamation of one currently holding it, all things which have their place, but not in the hands of a thief!
When GOD HIMSELF is on view and available with the power of His kindness and the completion of His formal and explicit covenant from Moses, which is now manifestly fulfilled (Deuteronomy 18, Isaiah 49-55); and when His offer is nothing less than rest of spirit, healing of soul, illumination of mind, peace of heart and power for godly living in the very presence of God Himself: then the answer is this. NO THANK YOU! Except that such doctrinal deviants cannot really put in the second word of this phrase: it would rather be: No, and no thanks is due to you!! They steal themselves from the hand of their Creator, and are not thankful!
BEGGING THE QUESTION John 18:28-30 Prevarication and Hypocrisy
We return to John 18. Arrested then, in multiplied blindness, detained in frenzied fiasco, the LORD Himself is on trial before sinners, just as He said would be the case (Luke 9:44, Mark 10;33-34, 14:41, Matthew 26:45), and just as it had to be from the first (John 1:29), as John the Baptist had foretold, identifying thereby the Lamb of God required by the prophecies of Isaiah. Arriving after some rough stuff before the priest Annas, and transferred to high priest, Caiaphas, in the weary night's vigil (the first of His three nights figuratively in the belly of the fish in parallel with Jonah - Matthew 12:40), He comes at length to Pilate, in the Praetorium, the official site for action on the part of the Roman power.
First we notice, in characterising the wonder of the Lord in the dark background of the children of men, the hypocrisy of those involved who would not ENTER the praetorium, lest they feel defiled by being in the presence of the unworthy just before the official Passover (John 18:28). They felt a certain legal uncleanness if they entered into unspiritual premises (cf. Leviticus 23:7), but what of their murder of Christ for extraneous reasons, contrary to the clear definition of the Old Testament which demonstrated His accuracy in making the claim to be Messiah (right to the date of His death as in Daniel 9 cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 4) ?
That was fine: Passover or not, kill a man! but do not dirty the carpet.
This was to them, in any sort of conscientious and controlled examination, a minor matter, since it did not concern them and their blessed security from invasion, or misunderstanding or of course, categorical replacement by the Messiah. If HE lived, their power would die, and like so many, they liked what they had more than the truth at which with blinking eyes, they were fiercly looking.
They could not co-exist, the polluted system run by active enemies of God, and the incarnate God Himself: for their ways were so far from the word of God that they were clearly traitors to the Book of the Lord, and so to the Lord of the Book! Had not Christ made that deficit of duty, that grandeur of betrayal of their divine Lord, who had spoken through Moses and the prophets, sufficiently apparent (cf. Matthew 23, Mark 7! Luke 11:50-54)!
Yet they bayed and betrayed. As so often, truth was surrounded by force, violence and folly; but here, The Truth was on trial before the lie! (cf. Romans 1:25). The result of course would in due course (ONE generation) be the elimination of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple; but at this point of our watching the spectacle of the trial of Christ, we are seeing the test of all things, all parties.
As we move on now to John 18:28-30, what do we find ? It is this. Pilate asks: What accusation do you have against this man ? Their reply does not even bother to be to the point at all. They simply manufacture themselves as judge in the very presence of two judges, the Roman one, and the Judge of all men (Acts 17:31), and declare "If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you!"
That is a perfect illustration of begging the question by an appeal to authority, in this case, one of the participants. It is like a tennis match, and a line call is questioned. Instead of checking on the TV record of the event, the referee says, If it were not an out ball, I would not have called - Out! Didn't you hear me ?
Since they were actively seeking to get rid of the evidence of the results of their own immorality, in seeking an end to His vitality, the reply is in the highest degree, even spectacularly meretricious, beggaring the truth by will! What a costly will they thus wrote not only for the generation to come, to be expropriated by Rome, but for posterity to our own 20th century, when Hitler in a somewhat similarly intolerant way, proceeded to seek to extinguish the Jews altogether, meeting challenge by his ludicrous philosophical ideas, as if to say: I TOLD you they were a corruption of humanity. Did you not hear me ? They must go.
Of course those Jews who had become Christians, and those of Jewish extraction who may do so, have just the same way as Gentiles. It is the foretold scenario; but if they chose to remain in the obviously gathering storms of Hitler's anti-semitism and expansive intentions, then this became a national matter for them in Germany as such. The result for the nation was not only the enormous slaughter by Rome, and the devastation of their so prized glory, seeking to save which had led to its loss, precisely as Christ affirmed in more general terms (Matthew 16:25-27), but the loss and shame of persecution whether from the Roman Catholic Inquisition, the pogroms of Russia or the expropriation of figures such as Louis XIV of France or the ravages of Hitler.
It is when you consider such things that it becomes all the more meaningful to hear that this world with its works is going to be BURNT UP! (II Peter 3). What an excellent idea! It is founded in large part by humanity, on inequity, splendours of fraud, majestic miseries and intolerable injustices. Its fate is sealed, like that of Romanism (cf. Revelation 17-19, SMR pp. 946ff., 912ff., cf. 1032-1088H), and indeed all false religion, which is mere rebellion against the God of creation, salvation and justice (Jeremiah 10:11).
Let us always remember, the while, that it was SOME of the Jews (racially) who founded the Church and composed virtually its entire complement at the start, that it was Jewish missionaries (and Luke) who made some of the most amazing forays of NON-violent religion ever to be seen, in Paul and allies, and other apostles. It was Jews who wrote the Old Testament under the mighty hand of God. It is not a racial matter; some Jews and some Gentiles have done exceedingly well in the kingdom of God.
It is however as it was, a national matter. How one laments for Israel, which to this day, has not heeded what is needed (cf. Luke 19:42ff.), the same then as now; and how one rejoices (cf. Deuteronomy 32:43) that soon is the time when a sudden opening of the eye will occur in Israel. Please God it may be soon (Zechariah 12:10-13:1). As the forecast of the piercing of the LORD Himself in human form was made by Zechariah 500 years or so before it occurred, so was this opening of the eyes of those, of that nation in large part, from whom the death came (Romans 11).
B DUCKING AND WEAVING IN THE GLARE OF TRUTH
Killing the truth naturally, indeed supernaturally, did not remove it; since Christ being resurrected in the very body in which He had died, one now transformed into a power more akin to His own, and one further, to be glorified (cf. John 7:39, Matthew 17), is as vital and alive as ever (Revelation 1:19). This His people know and see. It did however provide an easy and pleasantly ready-to-hand way of declaring war on God. It merely requires the rejection of this Messiah from eternity, in His coming as man, by man, in order to bring on just the same, or parallel result, as has stricken the Jews. This however is not just for time, but for eternity! (John 3:36). Recalcitrant Jew or Gentile alike faces a categorical escalation in this! But let us return to the events of His judgment, not as to come, that by Him, but of Him!
The trial then was actually one of Israel and Pilate and through him, of Rome; and Christ was the participant Judge, who declared clearly what His role would be when the time came. Asked if He were the Christ, the Son of God, He replied right in that court setting earlier, before the High Priest, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man setting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."
There was always this glorious reticence and equally glorious clarity and categorical character to the exhibition of deity, by Christ. He did not tout it about, as if to become a high-coloured bill-board. He wanted it to sink into the depths of the heart, into the last recesses of thought; but when it was necessary He would announce it as seen in the references from Matthew 27:26, Luke 4:18-21, as indeed also, as here, in Mark 14:62.
God has made everything clear, but He does not hit you over the head with it. On the other hand, His hand, as in the fate of Jerusalem in the generation following His coming, is perfectly clear and as there, very often announced well in advance in a manner incapable of imitation (Matthew 24:1ff.).
World's Way 1, Israel's Way 2
Ducking and Weaving by Pilate,
Implacable Pitilessness ultimately for Themselves, from Israel
Pilate is not impressed with their pompous self-affirmation in answer to the question, What accusation do you bring against Him ? He tells them to go and judge Him by their own law.
This dismissive idea was an easy option for Pilate to take. Why get involved ? The Jews may have seemed a dangerously seditious, religious and fearless race, and to be involved in various manoeuvres and subtleties of theirs was a recipe for no plum pudding, but rather for black tar, perhaps mixed with blood, a sort of ultimate black pudding.
The Jews present affirmed however that the death penalty required his assent. The matter could not be left to them; indeed, if it could have been, no doubt it would have been.
In speaking in this manner, however, the Jewish authorities, given some power by the Roman occupying forces, made it clear and public what their intentions were: and deicide, even if practised ONLY on the person of the incarnate Lord, is particularly dangerous as to its results for man, the flesh He made! Assassinating the surgeon is rich in results, if you need a cancer removed, as well as ill-advised; but seeking to remove the Redeemer is especially inept, however popular in flesh with Israel's rulers of old, and in spirit with many Gentile nations today.
Thus we read that here the death intention was made manifest.
World's Way 2
The Putting of the Question,
Christ's Declamatory Answer and
Pilate's Avoidance of the Issue
Pilate then summoning Christ, asked if He were the King of the Jews. It is apparent from the text that he was greatly impressed, and was not only reluctant to remove this regal wording when Christ was later crucified, from His cross, but refused to do so!
"Are you speaking for yourself, or did others tell you this concerning Me ?" Christ replied, in interrogation of His own. In other words, did Pilate want to register his own questing with the query, or was it merely a part of his official duties.
"Am I a Jew ? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have you done ?"
In this way, Pilate downgraded his personal interest, and pursued the legal question. The Lord was not going to let him be a mere functionary, since in all has He interest, and for all does He seek. Each such one is being far more a matter of rejoicing to gain one more, than just to have so many already at His side, covered by that sacrificial redemption. It was this that the Jewish leaders were so inexorably moving to secure, though they did not know what they were doing.
Christ Defines the Issue, in Word and Deed
In reply, Christ made it clear what was the answer to the fundamental question: Are you the King of the Jews ? It was this which the Jews were to use to manipulate the judge, later. Christ left him no ground in reality, reason and truth, for exculpation.
"My kingdom," He declared, is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My kingdom is not from here."
His kingdom being of the truth, was not interested in the use of mere violence for the income of its nature and the outcome of its attestation. While judgment at length comes, how many millenia has this world had in order to find out the truth, as history grinds and then whimpers, shouts and then is abashed, through its horrors in the hall of ill fame! There have been at least six of these.
Pilate then pursues the question for a legal answer. "Are you a king then ?" There is possibly also a touch of awe at the presence and peace, power and clarity of his prisoner, in this, as once more shown at the time of the inscription on the Cross. Indeed, it was not long before Pilate was actively SEEKING to avoid crucifying the Christ (John 19:12).
Christ then replied that yes, He was a King and came INTO this world, born to "bear witness to the truth." Roman and Jew alike having conspired to kill Him, this world has been categorically disoriented ever since, and awaits judgment. The escape route to Christ voids death, our lives in His keeping, the only way either out or on (Hebrews 6:18-19).
His kingdom, He attested,
World's Way 3
Pilate Asks a Meaningless Question
What is truth ? shrugs the spiritually intoxicated judge! Thereupon, as if turning on his heel, he went out. He was not interested in the reply. He was on the spot, and squired.
As we have already seen in the introduction to this Chapter, this question of his involves an antilogism, a misuse of reason, turned on its head; and indeed it is no less an antilogy, a flat contradiction.
Anyone making an affirmation concerning what is true, even when permitting himself the eccentric luxury of saying there is no truth, which is supposedly a true statement about ultimate reality, is guilty of a flat self-contradiction. If this statement were true, then its content, the principal of no truth, must be false. We are talking of the same thing: the existence of what is the truth, or of what is mere relativity and occasion for astigmatism of the mind, invention of the spirit and the bleak and blank overpowering of the intellect. If it is not there, this truth, it is not possible to make a true assertion concerning it, without its participation in order to validate the contention. Even if you were to declare that it MIGHT not be there, you would still be assuming access to truth in order to declare this negative possibility.
You need to KNOW in order to say that, to know the realm of truth relative to possibility. Otherwise, such a statement would be meaningless. If however, it is meaningful, then truth is both there and knowable, which contradicts the assertion that it might not be so. Truth is not a plaything, and man is so both made and placed, that without truth he cannot even logically live, any more than he can in the end do so, at the practical level, as the increasingly obvious inoperability of a world making its own terms, principles and plasticised truth is making clear. It is like a pilotless ship, on a stormy sea, being ruptured by rock.
Pilate is no different, but faced with Christ direct, the absolute folly of such a position is revealed directly. He lacks in this, a pilot! He equivocates, berates, queries, founders, desires, is frustrated, gives way for his neck, ignoring both heart and head. He is out of his depth and merely avoiding the issue, like millions in our own time (cf. SMR Ch. 3, Deity and Design Ch. 8).
In view of his sudden rupture of the conversation, there were three voices to be heard. That of reason, as above, that of revelation, what Christ had already said during His ministry, in the context of the predicted power accompanying it, in quality and quantity, in the personal dimensions alike prescribed (cf. Zechariah 9:9, Isaiah 35), and that of what would be done next.
The answer therefore would have to be given in these ways: in the testimony of the violation of reason, of what had already been said, and of what would yet be said and done. Pilate would deny the truth as it spoke to him, deciding that Christ was INNOCENT (this was apparently 'truth' since he did not utter it in order to make a vibration of air particles only), while yet commissioning crucifixion. Well might he ask what truth was, when it could be squashed by fear, distorted by inequity and deprived by excommunication from the judge's lips! He would not recognise it if he saw it; and in fact, did not, though he was deeply drawn, for it was The Truth to whom he was talking. 'What is it ?' he asks as he proceeds to sanction its murder.
Christ had so wisely declared, "I am the life, the way and the truth!" (John 14:6). Small wonder then that Pilate did not at first desire to kill Him. A life without truth is a form of insanity which is common, and leads to just such behaviour as mars this world, but the cause is not always realised. It leads to equivocation, inequity and murder; for if the truth may be murdered, what may not! Militant Islam is, as it has been from the start with Muhammad great use of force, an illustration of that fact. Even a scimitar does not change the shape of truth, though it does have power to alter the destiny of murderers. But what of Pilate's question ? Let us review it further.
Any question of the existence of truth is nonsense, since it uses truth to tell us about it, while questioning the very power to affirm anything, including even this, that it is a question whether truth may be found. If there were no truth, there could be no truth declaring truth was questionable or non-existent. It would all be bogus or meaningless.
The world is finding in denial of truth the truth of the word of God which has its number and has foretold its works. It is like a pilotless ship, on a stormy sea, being ruptured by rock, the captains steadfastly ignoring both charts and provisions for rescue.
Pilate is no different, but faced with Christ direct, the absolute folly of such a position is revealed directly. The Roman judge lacks in this, a pilot! He equivocates, berates, queries, founders, desires, is frustrated, gives way for his neck, ignoring both heart and head. He is out of his depth and merely avoiding the issue, like millions in our own time. Let us continue the account graphically.
Nevertheless, having made this ludicrous question, Pilate does not wish to violate the obvious at least in the judicial realm, and at once declares, "I find no fault in Him at all." There is an inclination to regard Pilate as simply weak, and in the spiritual realm he was, indeed vacillatory until his throat was exposed, and only then was he very definite, like many another worldling, in or out of ecclesiastical dress.
As judge he was unwilling to gratify the lusting eye and murderous hand of the junta ruling Israel. Similarly, if the worldling often despises the contemptible seeming weakness and other-worldliness of the Christian, he is often less disposed to bring on a new plethora of crosses for them to bear - unless of course it will hurt if they do not do so. Then there is non-intervention, or delay or at all events, nothing much is done. Even if it is, there is as with the USA in Israel, with it what is found ? There is alas every effort to placate this world's power, and even to diminish the much robbed State of Israel, a ghost of what was promised to it by the League of Nations and by Britain. Israel is helped, as Pilate helped Christ a little; but in the end, it is subject to more slicing, as in a deeper incision, was Christ. This world has its standards, held very low.
Nevertheless, Pilate at least refused to be stampeded, just as he declined to face the truth. That alas is an unstable position, and it does not hold.
C GOD'S WAY, UNALTERABLE OVER TIME, SURE IN PLACE
In this conversation between Christ and His judge, we have seen amidst the follies of Pilate, God's own way in John 18:36-37. It is not crucially a matter of force but of light. Judgment is a resultant, not the mode. Truth maligned in the end, is an abutment into reality, and this cannot stand, since fiction merely fries itself in fantasy and phantasm. Yet to obtain place and grace, this is no matter of force at all; it is a matter of truth. It is not a matter of terrestrial real estate or army alike; it is a kingdom which by its very nature is not from here. It is celestial, eternal, innate to God, where alone CAN truth be, because of knowledge and power, purity and eternity, creation and control.
A king ? Yes HE is the king, but His rule is not that of the mere maestro using gas as a control for Europe, or the theft of atomic plans as a means of sustaining fictions unable to live on their own. His truth does not depend on guile or force, trickery or treachery, events and chances; it depends on who the Lord is, whose rule enables all the liberty given to man in this amazing gift of being in God's own image. His rule is indefeasible (Isaiah 14:27), who makes all history follow His written word and has done so for millennia (cf. he Pitter-Patter … Ch. 4, SMR Chs. 8-9). Yet man is defective: sin has marred him just as he marred Christ! If the Lord shows mercy, His it is; and if He brings on justice as man proceeds inexorably to his dynamically sought doom, then that is His decision. He would have all, but shanghais none.
Yes, Christ is a king, but His kingdom is not from this created source; it is what MADE it and man in it, so that man may even think of the logic to be found implicit in the creation, of the God who made it and of the nature of reason itself. He has come, moreover, we learn in these two verses, to bear witness to the truth.
As in the period before the universal flood (Genesis 6), where folly focussed itself to the point it was better for that cosmos of culture to be removed after much divine patience, so the time will come when not flood but fire will end the vast episodes of history on this earth (II Peter 3, cf. Matthew 24:35, Revelation 20). Surely God came FIRST, in PERSON so that He could bear a divine testimony, not mixed with sin or spiritual weakness at all, but as predicted and predicting the future from His own day on earth, BOTH.
Surely God came first, in PERSON to this earth so that He could bear a divine testimony, not mixed with sin or spiritual weakness at all, but filled with power and wonder, while moving categorically to fulfil the redemption required for man's peace and pardon. Just as God in Christ acted as predicted (cf. II Corinthian 5:17ff., Galatians 3), so He proceeded to predict the future from His own day on earth, to ours and His coming - BOTH. Some grow weary of hearing about it; but truth does not change because it hits.
Showing that compassion which is so deep in His heart, in the midst of the pain of hypocrisy from many false religionists, even those using the divine name and speaking of the covenant which He had given, Christ nevertheless did not allow the matter to be fudged. Neither His pity for man nor man's rebellion from Him could deter Him (cf. Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff.). The truth was told, boldly ... Let us all who know Him, follow this lead!.
Thus we find these glorious words from Jesus:
"For this cause was I born, and for this cause I have come into the world,
that I should bear witness to the truth."
ONE aspect of this truth is this, that "The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28, cf. Galatians 6:14). Here, on the Cross, inclination becomes performance, desire becomes reality and love becomes history.
In Christ's coming, power, grace, kindness and kingliness, the celestial has entered the terrestrial, the Creator the creation, the perfect the realm of those imperfect and the Redeemer the world of sin. In this He points, portrays, exhibits, acts so that it is not only without excuse, but with every appeal, testimony, evidence, verification validation there is. Indeed He said more to Pilate in the very teeth of the gale of gross distortion and abortion of truth: "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Impending death of His body no more inclined Him to rant than to clam: He spoke as always, with majestic bearing, practical realism, the vision of truth a mere residue of His own being, the Truth itself; for it is He in the Trinity who generates it (John 15:26, 6:62, Acts 2): He is the truth (John 14:6). Accordingly, when they could not find His body, His truth prevailed, for if they had found it in the tomb, that would have been the tomb of the Gospel. His disciples found Him, and if they had not, after the crucifixion, in full bodily array (John 20, Luke 24), then that too would have been the end of all evidence and attestation of the glory of God to man.
Small wonder Thomas was so keen TO BE SURE (John 20:24ff.). History has followed His predictions: necessary, it is also true!
The conditions are stringent when it comes to GOD speaking to MAN. We are not given minds to bypass them; and while the proof of truth is not the end of the matter, it is one of its facilities. Truth is like that. It speaks and all else must be still. The will of man in his sinfulness merely warps; it does not alter (cf. Romans 1:17ff.). As with Thomas, the more one investigates, the more investigation hugs faith and faith smiles.
D THE RELUCTANT RULER AND THE FIERY FURY
World's Way 4, Israel's Way 2 Re-Applied
This next step is in principle
a composite which reaches back and on.
Thus it comes to this, in the world's way:
No truth, No fault, Avoid issue, Let Things Flow.
Despite the decision to attribute no blame to Christ, Pilate merely seeks a canny move to escape the imposition of justice in name, and injustice in fact. It is never pleasant to do so, and those who seek pleasantness for themselves may nevertheless cringe a little before actually murdering; though in the end, they may consent willingly enough, as they seek to save their lives, instead of being saved, like a ship covered with 10 metres of barnacles which simply cannot STAND dry dock.
Thus Pilate brings up a convention. If you do not have morals, at least a convention may do dubious service for a little, by which time perhaps your tour of duty may be over. It was a custom to release a prisoner of popular choice at the Passover. It was a kind of governmental sop to the religious character of the nation being occupied. What about releasing ... 'the King of the Jews' ? asked Pilate, his heart, though beating rather feebly at this time, in his mouth, which so spoke.
Israel, pursuing Israel's Way 2, as above, are adamant.
No sop for them. Blood is roused, and will be spilt first in Christ, the Mediator who ALONE is for man (Acts 4:11-12), their Keeper. What madness is this that their Keeper is not kept, but swept as far as may be, from the universe. Then they must wait, without the keeping of the Keeper as Shepherd, until the time comes (as in Matthew 23:38-39), when the mercies of God mitigate their folly. Then, having brought them back from the coming exile to be a nation once more (as Isaiah predicted in 66:8ff. in terms of the final confrontation epoch), does the Lord open their eyes. This is to come as in Zechariah 12:10, where the prophet foreseeing their murder of Christ, also foresaw their ultimate repentance for it, in the case of a singular mass of the people.
How amazing that foreseeing that Israel would not congratulate (as a nation) but condemn their Messiah, to Zechariah it was given both to know that this would be so, by what means they would remove Him (they will look on the Lord whom they have 'pierced' and ask 'What are these wounds in Your hands?' - Zechariah 13:6ff.) and that they would at last be back in Jerusalem to realise in large numbers suddenly, what they had done ... and to REPENT! All the rest has happened; this great climax in history is near (Answers to Questions Ch. 5, Luke 21).
It is coming in a rush in this, our day, when God's will has for so long been wrought. This is now. But what did Pilate do then ? The Jewish leaders said NO, we do not want this 'King of the Jews'. We see from this that it is well to consider heavily what one does. After all, Kings are not born every day, and God was born into human form ONCE in history to provide ONE salvation in ONE name, and does not dither, whatever man may wish to invent. It was with their own lives that they were all dealing. Let us see it graphically.
What is Pilate to do ? The Jewish leaders say NO, we do not want this 'King of the Jews' (kings are not born every day, and God was born into human form ONCE in history to provide ONE salvation in ONE name, and does not dither, whatever man may wish to invent).
They are vexed, they are aroused, they even go further as men in passion often do. They want ... well, Barabbus, a robber. They thus robbed themselves of national, city and racial life to an extreme degree, to the point that when it came to Hitler, the gallows were by no means a poetical figure. It was just that it took a more massive exterminatory form. Thus do many, Jew and Gentile, prefer in life to rob God of His glory, and invest it in themselves or those chosen by them, in a madness which needs to be felt to be realised in full. No, say the starving, we do not want steak: give us arsenic! They say it with passion.
They took it, and Him. They added sin to sin instead of subtracting sin in receiving the Saviour, appointed to bear it. They took Him; but did this the wrong way, like food bearing down the wrong channel, and causing choking.
Rightly taking Him is not, you see, to murder Him, but to obtain life. There is that little difference when it comes to receiving Him as in John 1:12, and becoming thereby children of God (I John 3:1ff.). Pilate now in evasive mode, has Christ scourged anyway. It is like declaring the prisoner innocent, this judgment, and then fining him 4 million dollars, with penal servitude for life. It was like that ... only worse.
Pilate now in evasive mode, has Christ beaten. It is like declaring the prisoner innocent , declaring this judgment, and then fining him 4 millions dollars, with penal servitude for life. It was like that ... only worse.
Thus first Christ was scourged anyway, for something to pass the time, perhaps while Jewish tempers cooled ?
After that, he let them mock Christ, put on Him a purple robe. This is rather like the SA Government's continued atrocity in declaring all religion in effect subjective and not susceptible to a rigorous testing routine, and using this to make a concoction of subjectivity that aborts fundamental principles of the Bible, without ground, without reason, without debate and without law, since it aborts also the UN Declaration against Discrimination, now law in this land (cf. Mystery of Iniquity). In this, they assault God Almighty, the God of the Bible, the Lord's Christ.
They flay this religion by flaying all religions, but do this distinctively relative to the Bible in this, that in so doing they deny its affirmations; and in doing this invidiously and perfidiously, they work out what to teach the young!
This is simply both irrational and antichristian.
What then of the miseducative passion now so prominent ? Indeed, in this, they assault God Almighty, the God of the Bible, the Lord's Christ. Such assaults, on young and old, are scattered over the earth like weeds, and in places, like furnaces. They are used to make, if it were possible, genetically modified men, things of culture, people of another king, the fling king, who seeks to exploit what is created, and ignore Him who made it, the evidence, the truth, the principles and scientific method itself: making hay and ordering in the calamities which now beset this world.
These exterminative enterprises against manifest truth*2 are used to make, if it were possible, genetically modified men, things of culture, people of another king, the fling king, who seeks to exploit what is created, and ignore Him who made it, making hay and ordering in the calamities which now beset this world.
It is so now, it was so then; but if it is in spirit now, then it was also in flesh, that of Christ. The mockery routine, not based on truth or works, but on hatred of truth, proceeded. Thus as Christ declared in John 15:18, "If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you."
Remember: He was scourged anyway! Do not therefore hate your sufferings, but love the One for whom they are made. Rejoice for in His kingdom, truth is paramount and love is its kin. Truth endures and love loves to do it! Let us then be valiant and vigorous in Him who is victorious. That is the charge for the elect of God, those called, converted and summoned to be filled with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), shed abroad in their hearts (Romans 5:15) by divine grace, through whom they put to death the deeds of the flesh! Even if they fall, He lifts them up; yes and though a righteous, justified, pardoned and secured sinner fall seven times, yet the Lord raises him up (Proverbs 24:16).
Here is a confrontation which mirrors history and instructs the world.
But this present world of ours today, and Israel in Christ's day alike, they do not rise, but fall only.
No, Israel preferred a robber to share the robbery of the glory of Christ with them, in effect. Barabbus, they cried, cutting off Pilate's hope of compromise, and selecting a criminal in place of Christ for the traditional release at Passover season. Now came the solemnity part, a mockery of majesty, the decline and fall of tormented government authority.
Putting on Him, the robes of royalty, to make a mime out of this aborted judgment of INNOCENCE, at Pilate’s mouth, they twist thorns most aptly into a crown, presumably to show how thorny is the way for anyone who, whatever his proofs or works, does not plan to rule UNDER them, but to exercise truth OVER them. Placing this crown on the head of Jesus Christ, while robing Him in the imperial purple, they have a pleasant and jovial little outing even while on official duty. Diversions may be appreciated in the dull routine of duty. Such is this world, parallel in type to Rome of that day.
Such has been its way since that day, in its connivances in myriad forms, in condemning the innocent, misjudging the guiltless and trying the condemned with bloodied hands and wicked hearts, till their evil lusts are sated. It was so in the USSR over 70 years, in China yet, as in Sudan, Eritrea, Bangladesh, even Egypt in practical cases, wherever Islam has its teeth unguarded. Many are Islam's partners from other fields, in such ungodly acts and irreverent swoops, as if no God were to be considered, as if His property in man had been transferred to the makers of atrocities!
With willing hand and ferocious eye, many are they who ruin, spoil, torture, kill, maim, imprison Christians; who refuse new buildings worship or even to allow repair of the old, who destroy for the sake of the specious, citing only what has no basis for belief, no evidence of testimony, substituting this ruthless use of force for fact and truth, evidencing its falsity. Man is not made to break faith into little pieces, moulded by force, as if he were programmable by those who aspire to create and APPLY the programs, leading to a two-tiered society of fears and tears, tearing hearts with programmatic hands.
Going now back to the Original and Creator, to the Christ, we see in His treatment by Rome and Israel of the day, the seed of the evil flower of today, shedding its atrocious stench instead of perfume, throughout the world.
Jesus, having been struck with their hands (and a multitude of soldierly hands beating one's head does not improve capacity for movement), as they streaked with crimson their detestation for Him, with cries, "Hail, King of the Jews!", they yield the prey of their intemperance and the butt of their hatred of truth, to the Governor - is that the term ? so that he might parade the pulp. What more ungoverned than this! They have a program for a prince, and a ledger for the Lord. Alas they pay!
"Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no fault in Him!" declares the double-mouth of the judge. Fancy showing the results of injustice in order to show justice. How weird is the way of unbelieving man, when his own post is challenged by truth. Christ then came out, a perfect picture of the sacrificial lamb: "Behold the man!" exclaims Pilate. There is no doubt that Pilate is by now gripped with a moving realisation that in Christ there is something outside his experience, awesome in its majesty, leaving the rabbled ruins of mankind who seek murder, like dogs yelping. These yelp indeed: Crucify Him!
Pilate again seeks at least not to go even further, now he has sunk half-way, in the path of heinous injustice. YOU crucify Him! he cries. I find no fault in Him, he repeats. His own travail continues, but now it enters a new phase where Israel makes a cocktail of evil, and comes into focus with him.
Israel's Way 3
Make a Legal Display, but Keep a Fuzzy Focus and Don't Face the Issue
Thus the Jewish pressure group is not sated.
We have a law, say they, that He ought to die because He made Himself the Son of God.
What however has that to do with it ? Whether or not they have such a law, if they are going to crucify Him, then law or no law, Pilate has just told them weakly, there is no ground for doing so.
Pilate however is stricken anew when hearing that Christ claimed to be the Son of God. He was beginning to see words to meet the observations of his eyes and heart, his spirit and his mind.
Fear gripped him. Even the worst of men may still retain vestigial fear of the Lord. Where are you from ? the Governor then asked Jesus. No answer came from the victim of judicial fear, to the Governor. Do you realise I can have you crucified or not ? he asked. In other words, he, Pilate, did not HAVE to obey the multitude, the rabble, the unreasoning, nor did he have to yield to their imperious grasp. This fact merely increased his guilt.
Christ's answer was astounding, unsettling, unnerving. It was this: "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."
There is compassion here. Pilate is anguished, but Christ is not in the blame game, to seek results by magnifying what might help the most. Pilate is being used by powers which started their ingenious little game by paying for the betrayal of Christ. The greater sin is in the formulators than in the agents of this evil, and in particular, is to be attributed to the treacherous.
World's Way 5
Enterprise: Crush Christianity
but Preserve its Mystique
while Indulging Mockery
and Pretending a Semblance of Form
The canny Jews now used political fears in the truth-forsaking Governor to manipulate him. If truth would move him one way, then fear of loss of place or even life, would be used to move him the other. Whoever, said the throng, makes himself a king is no friend of Caesar! said they.
In other words, if Pilate did not realise the danger of a KING here, then Caesar, his boss, would do so for him. In this of course, they prevaricated, using the term 'king' in one way, when Christ had defined it in another for Himself: if HIS KINGDOM were of THIS WORLD, THEN His servants would fight.
Moreover, it was very pleasing in form to refer to their having ... a LAW! Yes, law was it, and conscience and truth could wait. Let's just unbutton terms and forget the truth, and get the killing over. Such is not a different approach from today's truth-crushing crusade, so vehemently pursued in the mis-education of young and old alike, in nation after nation, making them pulp in mind for manipulation by earth-moving equipment in due time… the man-moving methods of deception.
They WOULD have their will. If Rome had crushed the nation before, then they would crush their own victim now: only unfortunately for them, it was their King they crushed, so losing both land and Lord. Lord ? You tend to appreciate the LORD more when you have seen the other options, and this, it is the Lord of LIFE. This, being His, who is most marvellously kind, once left leaves man meaningless like a lost submarine unable to surface or exercise power. The more glorious He, the more inglorious man without Him. As to the yelping crowed, given Pilate's priorities, they felt sure of their man and their result (cf. John 11:49ff.). Pilate then went out decisively to the Judgment Seat, The Pavement.
"Behold, your King!" he cried, thus taunting the lustful crowd, while at the same time indulging his own increasing conviction, which was being aborted by fear. What regality was now replete in the royal face of the King, and what majesty in the divine depiction of service amid blood! The human heart, longing for true majesty, real fraternity amid genuine care, for meaning with no measure to crimp it, was now faced with the ultimate.
It chose in this case, as in multiplied millions since, to defile truth by seeking ANYTHING else! … to survive, to have mastery, free for any passions.
The robes of mockery and the stricken flesh did not convey to the crowd the nature of their folly. Their blindness had become obsessive. We have no king but Caesar! they howled.
What sort of an hypocrisy was this ? Did they really DESIRE or even LIKE being ruled by the occupying forces ? Had they forgotten the taste of national liberty ? Were they now wholly unwilling as a nation to find the way and will of God, and prove it by doing it! When murder is your seeking, mayhem is your finding.
In this way, they dug their national grave, for the Caesars of this world seem to have taken them at their word, and kept them away, until the current end-of-Age dramas, both from their land and King for nearly two millenia! Having washed his polluted hands, which as with Lady Macbeth however, was by means of a water which would not and could not remove the spots indelibly inscribed, Pilate resisted no more. "He delivered Him to them" - John 18:16.
D THE ACCELERATOR OF BLIND ENERGY AND THE PATH OF PEACE
Israel's Way, Mirrored in the Mind of Many Gentiles, and
The Way which God has Declared, not for Parley but for Peace
Israel's Way, Mirrored in the Mind of Many Gentiles, and
The Way which God has Declared, not for Parley but for Peace
Thus did this world, using Israel, have its own will and way, and Satan, using both, make his ultimate mischief (cf. Revelation 12). If it has cost Israel much for two Millenia, thus wilfully to be deprived of their Messiah; it is now costing the world more to distance Him. It connives with the jettisoning of Jesus the Christ, as if eyes were denied them, and their ears had been obliterated.
Although, rather like Pilate, this little nation and that has writhed, and been tortured, and while some in it have become Christian leaders of great value, and though at times various peoples have almost come to terms with truth, as in England and USA at different periods of their history: yet Christ in His own right as ruler is hard to find among the nations at any time. It is at times Christ PLUS the politics of the nation, or PLUS the energies of immorality at will, or MINUS individuality, or PLUS revolution, or MINUS truth, as variously people have devised their missions and missives of mischief in Universities and State alike. Plastic Princes have been formed and called ‘Christ”.
In philosopher, pedant and pupil in common, this has been the equivocal way of the world. That is, it has sometimes been like this in its more virtuous or moral moments, perhaps, when it has not been straight confirmation, incarceration or vituperation for Christians. It is always happy to use what it may, money or mastery, and if Christ is available, fine! But it is not prepared to be in the employ and service of God. That is precisely why it must go (Matthew 24:35), after so long a period of fizzing and fizzling, ascending in rockets, but not in heart, mooning about the moon, but still not seeking and finding the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings (Malachi 4).
Thus has the aweful acceleration of the Cyclotron of Antichrist as it has moved (II Th. 2:7), and now it comes to its Gentile summit. Many seek a Gentile Calvary in mind, in heart, in spirit, as they spew a carnal worldliness without meaning, ground, truth, authority. They appear to court the court of Pilate once again, in a Gentile mode!
The path of peace is not known (Isaiah 59:8) as they move to the TERMINUS TO TRUTH as Isaiah 59:4,11, from Christ so clearly. Yet alive from the dead, ruling in regal beauty, His kingdom over all, His pardon appealing and applying to all for their good, rejected for their doom, His holiness His fragrance of life, His way necessary for man as air for the lungs: He has come to save and will come to judge (Acts 17:31). It is He who is the truth, and in very truth, lives that man might live (John 3:17): resurrected and to return, this same Jesus (Acts 1:7). Prohibited, He prevails; uninhibited, He assigns history to its end; incandescent in mercy, He offers. As God is love, so in Him is no darkness at all. The darkness lies in the exclusion of light.
Take Christ as sacrifice, and with repentance with both hands, loving Him, freely receive Him, freely given. Trusting and believing Him, act on it. In doing so, recall this, HE HAS SPOKEN, so DO what He says (John 14:21-23). Find it in the Bible and do it in truth. It is simple enough for a child. The fragrance of Christ moreover never alters.
As Paul puts it:
"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ,
and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."
The retrospect of man is altering day by day, for each day brings in new things to add to the old, to make the composite picture of ALL that man has done! The prospect of man never alters because as he did, so does he; and all his polluted waters in cracked wells remain of his own making, while he ignores, in the mass, the snow-pure waters from Mount Jesus Christ, sent by His Spirit, refreshing and a thing of peace to consume! As it was, so it is (cf. Jeremiah 18:14, 2:12-13).
The bold relief that God has given to man in His incarnate move, His incarnadine sacrifice and His impeccable performance, even in doing what is impossible to man: this remains on offer as the eternal redemption by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7,11). The blessed result for the takers is as far from drying blood as is melting snow, for though the sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow (Isaiah 55).
The peace of God which passes all understanding, like beauty, ever amazing, always challenging, revealing now here, now there, more and more, like the merging tips of ranges, as the distance increases, remains for those who find Him where He MAY be found, in the Christ of the Gospel and the Gospel of Christ, whose word rules. It is there instead of the pace of man, which passes all evil, as it divests itself increasingly of law, rule, truth and wisdom, substituting wit and woe. Yet there is He without intermission, qualification or absence, a lake of loveliness and a mount of majesty.
It is a profound mercy that this is the status quo. It will not be so for ever, since the peace of God is not on sale - it is free (Romans 3:23ff.); and the gift of God comes in its season. That season is still on; and the world is still off. It is accelerating as foretold, precisely (SMR Ch. 8, Answers to Questions Ch. 5). The speed is beginning to a crest.
Crest or Christ! Christ only, without addition or subtraction, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, the power, wisdom and peace of God: this is the offer (II Corinthians 11, Galatians 3). His Gospel not glad-wrapped, but tapped so that it is HIS waters which flow, and not the cloudy contaminations of the misled minds of intrusive men.
Avoid piloting by Pilate: be absolutely clear, absolutely surrendered, utterly at peace in Him: then you can find His commissions and His will (Romans 12:1ff.). You are in this like an aeroplane; but you must, being settled and set, FLY! by faith.
Christ Jesus: the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8, Lord of Life Ch. 9, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, The Magnificence of the Messiah).
See Bonvoyage Chs. 1-2, TMR Chs. 1, 8, Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, The gods of naturalism have no go! SMR pp. 140ff..