John – God Speaks!
Joining God in HIS work of saving the world from sin, first of all, is HIS work, not ours. When we say yes to God we must remember that doing what HE wants will often (always) be in competition with what the world expects from us. The mission He gives us will involve consistent change in our heart, mind and soul to keep us close to Him as well as in those He seeks to grow because of the mission He has invited us to be a part of in HIS work.
His Truth, not ours, will be tested and tried at every turn. We must, like Jesus who is the Person of God’s unchanging Truth, stick to Truth when following Him in His work.
Jesus tells us, “I only do what the Father tells me to do…” “I see what the Father is doing and I do that”. How many of us can attest to this Truth? Are we doing exactly what the Father has asked us to do? Are we adding our own twist to what He simply tells to be and do?
After soul searching, and found not guilty, are we sometimes sentenced to mockery, gossip, and whatever else others put upon us that is unpleasant in our walk? Do we make it unpleasant for others? Who is worthy to judge us?
Only Jesus. Jesus is perfect. We are not. We are perfectly forgiven, however. Jesus is the only One who is worthy to judge us yet He shows mercy by saving us with His own life. Can we show a bit more mercy as with work with each other in HIS work to help people find, follow and serve Him?
We will find as we follow and meditate on the gospel of John over the next few days that Jesus, sent by God, will go to hell and back for us in order to save all who believe in Him from eternal death for our sins. OUR sins.
“Look, here is the man!”, says Pilate who doesn’t know what to do with Jesus. “I find him not guilty.” But that doesn’t matter. Jesus must do what He was sent to do.
We have learned from John’s gospel, “In this world you will have troubles…but I have overcome the world.” This promise from Jesus to his disciples then and now, along with His ACTION to willingly lay down His life to save us, has to give us hope, peace, joy, knowing that when we are attacked as we do His work, it will end perfectly well because God is with us. God is in control at all times.
Jesus overcame the enemy of this world. “In just a little while, I will come back”, is another promise of Jesus. Jesus is Truth. Why not believe? “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” –Jesus (John 11)
TRUTH: Even though Jesus is sentenced to death, He knows His Father is in control of the situation. Jesus also knows what will happen on the other side of this present cruel punishment for our sins. He predicted what would happen and why it is necessary, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (John 12)
MORE TRUTH: Jesus also assured His disciples, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.” –Jesus (John 11)
As we read, even though our hearts and souls cringe at what our Lord will go through for us, may we stay focused on how all of this ends…Jesus defeats the death and with power from God rises from the dead to prove the claim for which He was sentenced…He is the Son of God! God who loved us first.
GREATEST TRUTH: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
So whatever you are going through today, Jesus has already been there and completely understands. Go to Him and tell Him all your troubles. He knows how it will all turn out and will remind you, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Paul to the Roman believers, 8:28, NLT)
John 19, New Living Translation
Jesus Sentenced to Death
19 Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 2 The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. 3 “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.
4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” 5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”
6 When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”
7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”
8 When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9 He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?”
11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”
13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!”
15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!”
“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.
16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11, NLT
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
My words are not enough to express my gratitude to what you did for me. I can only say, I believe that you did. Thank you for loving me that way you do. Help me to love like that.
In Jesus Name, Amen