Monday, September 22, 2014

Just Ignore It

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. (Matthew 27:24 KJV)

Pastor's Sunday morning sermon was on Jesus' trial before Pilate. I had several thoughts to write about. When I went to look for a graphic of Pilate washing his hands, this one struck me just right. We had a tiny long-haired Chihuahua, Anni, who never would look at the vet when we had to take her in. I believe her concept was, “If I don’t see him, he’s not there.” In this graphic, Pilate is turned away from Christ as water is poured over his hands and he takes himself out of the death sentence. Yet, he knew that Christ would die based on his decision.

Jesus knew differently:

Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. (John 19:10-11 KJV)

It takes all four gospel writers to tell what happened in the trial before Pilate. They all tell of the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection, too. Anyone who has heard the message understands that Jesus’ story is unlike any up to that time and from that time to this. Everyone who hears it has questions, some similar to Pilate’s:

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? (John 18:38a KJV)

Sometimes the answer to that question leaves people understanding Pilate’s reaction:

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. (John 19:7-9 KJV)

Every person who hears the gospel has to make a decision regarding Jesus. He said He was the Son of God, equal to God. If He is not, the Jews and the Romans were legally correct that He must die.

If He is not, none of the promises He gave and the apostles wrote are worthwhile. None of the commandments should be followed. If He is not, there is no reason to fear consequences of our actions – except those frowned upon by our own societies.

But – if He is (and I believe that He is) then I should be serious about learning what He had to say and what His expectations are about me. I also believe the best information on that is the Bible.

Therefore, I study it.

Some just ignore it. They may pick and choose a nice verse here or there. Among favorites in this group are:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1 KJV)

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:39 KJV)

These verses do not stand alone. They are surrounded by additional, explanatory, verses. Continue reading in Matthew 7 and see that we must take care of our own beam before – but not instead of – helping our brother with a mote. Note that Matthew 22:38-40 gives not only the second, but the first of the commandments upon which all others rest. God is first. All else is second.

To ignore scripture puts us at risk. Disbelieving them puts us outside God’s promises. That’s why the decision cannot be ignored and we should share the reason why we didn't. Why we pray others won't just ignore it.

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