What will you do with Jesus?
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: Jesus was brought before Pilate the Roman Governor of Judea. Earlier the Jesus had been illegally tried before Annas the ex-high priest, and then his son-in-law Caiaphas, the acting high priest, and then before the Sanhedrin. All of this was done in the dead of night and secretly. They falsely accused Him and condemned Jesus to death, but they did not have the power to carry out the sentence (John 18:31).
As a conquered people, they were under Roman rule and though the Romans allowed them to rule themselves in some civil matters, they were not allowed to carry out capitol punishment.
Thus the chief priests and the members of the Sanhedrin brought Jesus before the Roman governor Pilate and demanded that He be put to death (Matt. 27:1).
These religious leaders of Israel brought false accusations against Christ, but Jesus at first remained silent before His accusers. ; Pilate was amazed that Jesus did not defend Himself. The governor had great contempt for the Jewish leaders, and they having brought no real charge against Him, sought to release Jesus. It was a custom that at the feast of the Passover, the Romans would release a Jewish prisoner as a sign of good will. Pilate gave them a choice to release Barabbas, a convicted murder who was to be executed or Jesus. He thought they would choose Jesus rather than the harden criminal and murder Barabbas. However, the chief priest the urged the people to cry of the release of Barabbas.
Then Pilate asked the key question that all men must answer. He addressed the people and ask them, "What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ?"
The people said, (V22) "Let him be crucified." Pilate being frustrated asked again, "What evil hath the done?" The mob gave no answer but cried out more, "Let Him be crucified" (V23).
Pilate seeing he could not change their minds, frustrated and with a show of contempt for the Jews, took water and washed his hands before them saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye too it."
Then the mob responded to his actions and said, "His blood be one us, and on our children." And may I add...."And it was so!" God granted their request.
I. At Some Time Everyone Will Have Something to Do with Jesus Christ the Son of God.
A. Everyone on earth will have to answer that question that Pilate ask the blood thirsty Jewish mob. "What shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ."
1. In Romans 14:11, "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
2. Phil 2:10-12, says, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
ILLUS: My wife was attempting to witness to man. He told her he did not believe in all this stuff about God. He said he did not know if their was a heaven or hell.
B. Believe it or not, the fact remains....there is a heaven and as sure as heaven there is also a hell.
C. Rev. 20:11-15, tells us that at the end of the Millennium, Jesus Christ who is the Righteous and Just God, will judge all the lost in what is called the Great White Throne Judgment.
1. All men small and great who died in their sins will stand before God and be judged. Here kings and great men of wealth along side the drunk in the gutter stand together to face the Savior they regretted.
2. This is not a judgment to determine if their works were good enough to get them to heaven, but sadly it is a judgment of condemnation and eternal punishment for their sins, the works of their lives.
3. All that are assembled on this dread day will be cast by the angels into the eternal Lake of Fire to be tormented forever.
D. Each person on that day will know and confess that YES, JESUS IS THE CHRIST, OUR GOD, CREATOR AND SAVIOR!
1. Today most men and women in the world reject Jesus Christ. They reject Him and thus make nothing of His great sacrifice for them on that old rugged Cross.
2. They live their lives ruled by seeking the pleasures and things of the world. Most have no time for Jesus.
Others, as the religious leaders of Israel, profess to know God, and yet they serve the Devil by their false doctrines and rejection of God's truth. ; They have the same spirit in them the Devil's religious crowd always has had, they will destroy Truth rather than be saved and submit to Our Holy and Righteous God. By the way, they hate us who stand on the fundamentals of the Word of God and preach God's truth. Do not be mistaken about them, if it were not for the laws of the land, they would be killing us even now. Yes, these are the same church leaders who claim such a love for the homeless and poor. They join the ranks of the Pharisees who made a show of good works, and were evil to the core and showed it by crucifying the Lord Jesus.
3. Yet, Jesus had time for them. Time to lead the glory of Heaven, to come to this earth, humble Himself before His own creation man, in the greatest act of love ever know, He the righteous and holy God, took all the filthy evil sin of man upon Himself. On that Old Rugged Cross He suffered and died for you and I that we could be forgiven for our sin and washed white as snow in His shed blood.
E. Men today are still rejecting Him. They join in with the mob and shout "Away with Him, let Him leave me alone." Those that will stand before Him at the Final judgment.... these know the right answer and longs to be saved.....but it is too late! Oh, it is too late for them. There was a time when it was not too late, but they turned away and rejected Jesus.
II. That Day Before that ungodly mob of sinners, the Truth was proclaimed by a Lost man. (John 18:38)
A. Pilate proclaimed Jesus innocent of any crime or wrong doing. But more than this He was before the Jews another who testified that Jesus was the Messiah, He was the Christ.
1. In Matt. 27:11, Pilate ask Jesus "Are you really the King of the Jews."
2. Jesus by His answer confesses that He is the Christ when He replied, "Thou sayest."
1. His message was the message of the Grace of a loving God come to save sinner from their sin.
2. His miracles proclaimed that He was indeed God, for even as Nicodemus the Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin proclaimed "No man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him"(John 3:3)
3. They knew God was with Jesus Christ. No one could deny this and it was this same Jesus who said He came to take away the sins of the world, and he claimed to be God incarnate in flesh.
4. Jesus said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him."
C. How can a lost man get these words out of his mind, "he that believeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him." Throughout all eternity these word will ring in the lost man's ears,
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him."
III. There is no Middle Ground, One Either Accepts Jesus Christ or they Reject Him.
A. Pilate tried to do what so many men do. ; He spoke well of Jesus, but then betrayed Him.
1. He knew the truth of who Jesus was. How can any man see Jesus Christ and then not know who He is? Pilate knew, the chief priests knew, the mob of Jews knew....they all knew yet they would have nothing to do with Him.
2. They each individually denied him. Yes, they knew Him but denied Him.
3. When the Word of God is preached, Christ is there present in the Holy Spirit who bring conviction on the sinners heart.
ILLUS: That man my wife witnessed to knew. Yes, even as the words came from his sinful mouth, he knew....He knew that Jesus Christ is the Savior.
I have told you before of a man I tried on several occasions to win to the Lord. Each time I would bring the matter up, he would smile and put me off. He would belittle me and my efforts to reach him. He proclaimed he did not believe in God or life after death. He would have nothing to do with Jesus. He had a bad heart and knew his time was short, yet playing a fools game, he would not believe. He even told his wife to give his body to the University of Utah Medical School for experimentation. This act was one final act of open defiance of God. God says "The fool has said in his heart there is no God."
4. There is no middle ground. You either accept Him or by not accepting Him, you reject Him.
B. You must either let Jesus into your heart or you must shut Him out.
3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,
and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he
2. Luke 19:10 says, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
3. How tragic that men slam the door and bolt it in the face of God. God's word says why. "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).
C. You must take your stand for Jesus or you stand against Him.
1. This great
truth seems to be little understood by many even in our churches. ;
So many who professed to be Christians will not stand with Jesus.
Their act of not standing for him in their lives, is a clear testimony
of their personal rejection of Him and His message.
2. To these people everything else takes first place in their lives. They attend church only if it is convenient to do so and there is nothing else to do. They witness only if it causes them no embarrassment, they give only when they feel they can spare a little change, they see the church and the preacher as serving them, rather than them serving them serving God and the congregation. They don't love the lost enough to really go out and try to reach them. A telephone call or a visit is too much trouble to someone who visits the our church. Giving someone a Gospel tract is too much trouble.
3. Folks you either stand with the Lord Jesus or you stand against Him. You either work for the Lord and are faithful to Him or you serve the Devil by your unfaithfulness.
IV. Conclusion: The Question is this: "What will you do with Jesus?"
ILLUS: R A Torrey, the evangelist, told the story of a man who came to visit him. He came in and Mr. Torrey ask him to take a seat. The man sat down and immediately ask Mr. Torrey, "Can I ask you a question?" Torrey replied of course you can. The man then said, "My question is what do you have against me?" Surprised, Mr. Torrey assured him that he did not have anything against him and said he did even really know the man. The man then explained that he was not a Christian and had no intention of accepting Christ. He went on to say he was a living a moral life, he took care of his family, work hard for his employer, he treated his neighbors well, and said as far as he knew he was doing his duty in every relationship in life, only he was not a Christian and again said, "What have you got against me?"
Mr. Torrey then looked him straight into his eyes and said, "I'll tell you what I have against you. Jesus Christ is your King by divine appointment. You admit that you have not accepted Him and therefore you by not standing for Him are standing against Him." He continued looking straight at the man and said, " I accuse you of high treason against heaven's King." The man without a word, stood up and walked across the room for the door. Mr. Torrey, stood up and followed him. He open the door and into the hall without a word. Through the hall and into the front door he walked without a word. Down the steps to the front gate the man walked, never looking back even once. He walked down the lane and disappeared from sight and never even glanced back. Mr. Torrey, said that months went by and he never heard a word from the man and forgot the matter. ; On returning from a trip he said as he stepped from the train a man walked up to him and ask, "Do you remember me?" Mr. Torrey said no, I seem to remember but cannot remember the exactly. The man then said do you remember accusing a man of high treason against Heaven's King? Torrey replied that he had charged many a man with that. The man explained the circumstances and Torrey then remembered the incident.
1. The man then reached for Mr. Torrey's hand took and it with a strong grip and said, "Sir, you will never again tell me that you accuse me of high treason against Heaven's King." He then sank down on one knee and said one word, "Down." Mr Torrey then kneed down beside the man and that man surrendered to the King of Kings and gave his allegiance to His God and Creator.
2. This man found the Savior. Until that day, he was rejecting Jesus Christ and standing against Him. That day he changed his place, became a true child of God and went on to live his life sold out to His wonderful Lord and Savior.
3. How many people have accused the pastor or preacher of having something against them because they preached the Gospel, loved their souls and wanted to see them saved and living a wondrous life for the Lord Jesus.
Many get mad and walk away, never looking back and are offended that any one would even suggest they were standing for Christ.
Many try the middle
road of despair. Rejecting Christ daily, but failing to admit
they are. Folks the life of the hypocrite is the most miserable life
on earth. He claims to be what he is not,
and he cannot hide the fact the joy and peace that comes from salvation
is not in his life. He knows too what he is missing.
4. Dear Friend, where are you today. How have you up to now answered the question?
5. Folks Christ reaches out to the lost....Matt. 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
In Mark 8:34 it recorded that Jesus said, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
6. The coward's answers the question as Pon-tius Pilate did. Yes, Jesus is innocent, He is the Christ, yet if I let him go, it will cost me to much. Pilate by not taking a stand joined the crowd and gave Jesus over to the soldiers who crucified Him.
How many are like Pilate, they blind their own eyes to the fact that you either accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and serve Him or you reject Him. How hollow and empty are the words, "There is not middle ground" There is no place to flee. You will even at this moment either accept or reject the Lord Jesus, the wonderful Savior who loved you so much.
What will it be? It is your choice. Oh, to God, you will do as the man who came to see Mr. Torrey surrender today and be saved and live for the King of King and Lord of Lords.
7. When you reject Jesus as their Savior do not be mistaken you go down and join the Jewish mob. "Let His blood be on us and on our children." Folks sadly, tragically that was the wish of the mob and God granted it. They and their children died in their sins and now await eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.
Folks these people stood at the gates of Heaven and turned and to enter Hell.
Yet, some they believe
and put their faith and trust in Jesus! God saves everyone
that will accept Him. Will you do that today!?
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