AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH June 26, 2011
A Presbyterian Church
the Lord without Compromise
and the Bible without Qualification,
THE SINGULAR STEREOTYPE
John 18:29 - 19:19
THE PASSION OF HATE
The Necessary Condemnation - John 18:29, and
The Cultural Clangour - 18:30
What accusation ? the Judge asks.
We are necessarily
right! comes the answer.
They merely identify what has to be - for they want it.
In this, they not only measure themselves by themselves, but directly usurping God, they exclude Him by authoritarian pronunciamento.
In the words of Isaiah 59:
"Justice is turned back and righteousness stands afar off,
for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
So truth fails and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey."
Again, as in the prediction of Isaiah 53:
"And they made His grave with the wicked - but with the rich at His death,
because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth."
BECAUSE He was not evil, spoke no evil, did not use force to enforce what He offered, being thus neither Communist in its historic line, nor Romanist in its world efforts for so long and with so many claims, nor Islamic, surging across the earth to make people subject, using force, THEREFORE He came to His grave. This earth had no place for Him; the light shone in the darkness, which did not comprehend it, and alas for the world as one whole, the minority lights apart, the case has not changed.
That is why there is so much force, blood, disagreement: some use force, others use distortion, like Ahmadinejad, seeking to placard the sins of the West, while according to report, using fraud, force, religious intrusion, religion to mandate his way amid the surging masses. Confusion is thus confounded, and the supporter of terrorists becomes the moral monument, even if it is so because life thus meets its grave.
Beware of those who seek power 'of course' in democracy, for readily do they sell the souls of those whom they can sway, as the Iranian Revolution did. Seeking freedom, they gained but new chains, by courtesy of the religion of force, itself perhaps made use of by some, to implant power. Live by the sword, die by it.
The Easy Solution - 18:31
You judge Him by your law. Let the religion of your God look
after itself, for it has no place here! is the thought behind Pilate's word.
THE PASSION FOR ACTION
The Wrong Authority - 18:32
However, they wanted blood so they sought authority, though many nowadays simply use it direct, making their own religious judgments and values become standard fare without so much as admitting it. Such is the position in the case of creation in the Schools and Colleges, and in the new manifestos about aborigines, for example.
Religious renegades and innovators need authority to wreak havoc, and they are gaining it towards the day when as in Revelation 13 and 17, they show where the actual religion is. This they have for so long been approaching, often unchallenged, their flight into folly not realised for what it is. Here God Himself, in human form, is despatched freely, as has been the case for His servants over the last 2000 years.
Evidence Disregarded - 18:33-38
The source of truth cannot be refuted, so Pilate takes rest in questions; and as to him, his concern for Christ is like faith without works, it is dead. It did not stop the crucifixion WITH HIS AUTHORITY.
Custom Considered - 18:39
Could there be some release according to custom, one criminal normally being let free as a goodwill gesture from the Governor to the people ? Could kindness save Him from His cup ?
The Violent Substitute - 18:40 - 19:3
No, for His cup had already been determined (Matthew 26:53ff., Psalm 40, 16, 22). No again, because they preferred (that vital word again as in John 3:19) a murderer. So does this world prefer its Romanism, its Communism, its Islam, with whole nations terrorised, sometimes for centuries. The path of truth is not so; and payment is high for not treading it!
So Pilate quietly had Him scourged, despite finding no fault in Him! So do we hear of a modern dictator encouraging troops with Viagra type drugs, to rape those whom he seeks to subdue. Justice is irrelevant; persuasion by power is the objective; dehumanisation is the program. Then he showed the result of the mockery and the scourging by gross, rough ruffians, called soldiers, who gave Him clouts to the head, a purple robe for the mockery and thorns, a twisted crown, for His head, mixing social torture with the physical.
The Direct Exposure - 19:4-5
"Behold the man!" said Pilate. Would the people find pity and so relieve the conscience of trapped Pilate (19:12), who did not want trouble with Rome or his own area, but was not keen to flay this Man ?
TIME FOR TRUTH SUPERSEDED
COMPASSION JOINS IT IN ABSENTIA
The Deranged Response - 19:6-7
Were the people impressed ? Not at all, but swayed by the minds that ran their now twisted religion (cf. Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 23), they cried Crucify Him! So with God in society, the trend is to get rid of what is Christ, and since He is already crucified now, to have His disciples stripped even in democracies, of recognition and His word mocked, countermanded by culture or made into travesty of truth by twisted oversight, so that what passes for religious studies, becomes Christ-countermanding instruction. BECAUSE He made Himself the Son of God, the Jews cried, therefore He must die.
As then, so in many a State now, whatever seals one Person as the answer, one God as the site, one declaration as His word, is denounced, degraded, given no serious attention, as media and sites of learning alike, either attack His word directly, or indirectly, assuming knowledge without any basis but preference, that for the darkness of which Christ spoke.
The Reluctant Subversion - 19:8-12
Pilate's nerve is failing, He must see Christ, but though what he hears cannot be condemned, yet he has fear of the culture, the mob and the priests, their words and his own health and career (19:12).
The Manipulative Master and the Seduced Ruler - 19:12-19
He tried harder. Were they not a people with some pride in so great a man as this ? "Behold your King!" he cried, as if they must realise His majesty. We have no king but Caesar, had been their response, in grovelling preference of hatred of Christ to national liberty, so now they rant, Crucify Him! After all, they had been invaded by Rome and in the days of Pompey had suffered religious outrage, and so Pilate might have hoped for some amelioration of their anti-Jesus raging. Instead, as he presents their King, they but rant the more.
Such is the way of this world of which Christ said this, noting its ruler: "the Prince of this world is coming and he has nothing in Me!" This world is slithering to its ruin and the pity of it all! but it will neither hear nor heed! and like the priest-party of Christ's day, its authorities have increasingly one mind, not in justice and truth, but in godless machinations and hopes, sometimes put in pseudo-religious terms, as in the UN, at others as if they themselves were the default rendering, and all should hear what they say, a futile solution to the antipathy to God.
Thus the steps of Pilate have some parallel to those of this world with the disciples of Jesus Christ. As He declared, in John 13:15 with 15:20, the servant is not greater than his master, and if they do these things to Me, they will do them to you! Steps parallel with those taken against Christ can be seen in character as this world assails the truth. His disciples are vexed, brutalised, unanswered, their cases manipulated, their judgment pre-arranged, the persecution programmed by impious partisans, their virulent aims in control of all their action, as their false ideas and ideals tend to run them like machines, machinating deformities often with massacring enormities.
BE VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH,
ALWAYS PRESENT IN HIS PEOPLE
Be therefore valiant for the truth (Jeremiah 9:3). Remember those in the Great Tribulation who were in heaven, doubtless with assistance from the prince of this world, who had washed their clothes in the blood of the Lamb, who are seen in Revelation 7 walking at rest with Him whom they had served. Christianity is not for pretence, but truth, for easy life but for things courageous, not for life left alone, but for souls marshalled to fight with spiritual weapons for the glory of God, the elevation of Jesus Christ and the everlasting Gospel. It is not only in terms of Him who is the truth, but the way and the life also. In following Him, you surely will not lack adventure; nor hostility (II Timothy 3:12).
If there is peace, there is persecution no less; if there is joy, there is mourning no less, for the things of man are his ruin, and his rule is his disaster. Yet what joy when someone is found, who was lost, and weaned from the bottles of unwisdom, to drink freely of the truth, unchanged now and forever, always the same, never missing, provided by the Lord, imparting the steady heart-beat amidst the countless fibrillations of the lie.
BOUNTIFUL, THE ACCOUNTABLE, THE SURMOUNTABLE
Remember this, then Christians: "When Christ who is our life a papers, then you will appear also with Him in glory." That is from Colossians 3. This world is in tatters, but this is not ultimately what matters, for the truth has tattered it and its own sin has spattered, and the blood is showing. It is accountable to its Maker, as are all in it; but why choose the grit, when the need is the oil; and why the sand, when the need is the rock on which to run, and rest ?
There is a singular stereotype, seen of men, a rejoicing to angels, joy to the world, peace to the broken in heart, reconfiguration to the vexed, re-orientation to the confused, grace to the downcast and death to the evil, one not imposed on others, but imparted to Himself. He is the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, essential and without alternative. If in despite of Him, then, you love this world, you are welcome; but your soul will not thank you when its time comes, for your love of what is already lost, ageing and wrinkled, awaiting its doom, when the last Spring comes with the return of its Maker.