Bible Reading for: November 14
Many sit in man-made judgment seats passing judgment on God. They have decided man is god, and sentenced God to death. Would you murder God?
In today’s reading we come upon the sacrificial death of Christ. I am always sad when I read these passages. The hardness of man’s heart makes me sad. The cruel, murderous, hatred that lies not deep within the heart of all mankind makes me sad. Here is Cain slaying Able all over again. Here is the righteous destroyed by those lacking righteousness. The following set of verses caught my eye.
John 19:12-16 ESV
“From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.”
These self-righteous men of the Sanhedrin and their flunkies would rather bow down to Caesar, an earthly king, than bow down to God incarnate. You see, a distant, hands off god is what these men worshipped. This kind of god gave them immense power for they filled the vacuum themselves. A God who comes down to earth in the form of a man, who is active in the world, who is very “hands on”, frightens them. If they cannot control God, then they want Him dead. Now these men would argue, and some of them may have believed it, that Jesus was not God but was rather blaspheming the holy name of God. Their behavior, however, shows that they were not guided by godly principles in their secretive conspiracies to destroy Jesus.
In the passage above, we see the argument that has plagued man’s relationship with God from the beginning. Is man lord or is God Lord? Who is in charge? The original sin was the desire of Adam and Eve to be their own god. They did not want to obey the Creator but rather their own selfish desires. It has been the same for every man ever since. It was true at the beginning, it was true at the crucifixion, and it is true today. Who is king? It was when this issue was raised that Pilate sat down on the judgment seat and chose man over God.
Today, many of us continue to sit in our own man-made judgment seat passing judgment on God. “I can’t worship a God who would let pain and suffering exist.” Have you heard that kind of statement before? Those that think and speak such things sit in the same seat as Pilate. They have decided that man is god and sentenced God to death. Will you crucify your king? Will you claim no king but Caesar?
On the cross, a criminal, a man deserving of death, asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus said that he would be with Him that day in Paradise. No matter your crimes, no matter how many times you have tried to murder God in your heart, you still have the opportunity to acknowledge who He is, turn from your sinful ways, put yourself under His authority, and join Him one day in Paradise. As long as you are king of your life you are a dead man walking. Get down off your pitiful man-made judgment seat and kneel before the God of all creation. Submit to Him as your Lord and know Him as your Savior.
Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!