It may be standing right in front you.
There is so much in this passage. I wanted to post something today on Good Friday, that might not be as emphasized as other things and yet is extremely relevant. This conversation between Pilate and Jesus and Pilate and the crowd is still taking place within our own culture and world today. For example:
1. Jesus still presses each of us personally whether we truly believe He is King not merely of the Jews, but of the world. Do we “own” our faith in Him or is it just “others idea’s that we have heard?” Have you wrestled with the claims of Jesus and person of Jesus and come to acknowledge and confess the truth of who He is? Is He your king?
2. He is a king unlike any other king and his kingdom is different than any other earthly kingdom. It is interesting to note that even Jesus’ own original disciples struggled with this then, as many of us still do now. Initially, Peter did draw his sword and they were going to fight in the garden when Judas came with soldiers to betray and arrest Jesus. Jesus however, told Peter to put away his sword and even brought about healing where damage had been inflicted by his own disciple. Today, many of us still look for a mere earthly political solution rather than really realizing the problem of the world is a spiritual one; an issue of the heart. We end up harming and doing damage to others, treating them only as enemies to be fought with, rather than people who need to find redemption in Christ. We put our trust in worldly weapons, thinking bombs rather than bibles are the answer; or that the right government is the answer rather than the kingdom of God.
3. The only truth many want to live by today is that “there is no truth” or “all truth is relevant” or you need to find and live by “your own truth.” However, Jesus was quite clear: “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” The only truth is found in Jesus. While many ask, like Pilate, “What is truth?” they fail to see it standing right in front of them. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. There is plenty of empirical evidence to substantiate this claim. The issue however is one of the will and a spiritual blindness. We want to be our own Kings, rather than submit to the One True and Good King. Yet this is the very reason Jesus came into the world: to testify to the truth. If we do not listen to him we are rejecting truth and walking in darkness. If we do listen to him we come into the light and are embracing truth. Truth does exists and it resides in the person of Jesus Christ himself. In the theology of the fifth Gospel (Star Wars!): there is a light side and a dark side. Rejecting Jesus (not listening to him) leads to the dark side.
4. Because of this, we seek alternatives…and rebel. We substitute life (Jesus) for death (Barabbas). When Jesus is rejected something else is always embraced and granted access into our lives. Other philosophies, religions, political ideologies or even otherwise good things become idols in our lives. We all fill our lives with something. Either the Son of God reigns as King in our lives or the son of man (which is what the name Barabbas means), which is really humanism (we are our own gods) reigns. One is the path of life, the other celebrates and leads to a culture of death.
5. In fact, it is the rejection of truth (Jesus) that opens the door to injustice. The crowd demanded Jesus be crucified. Today, the masses also do not want Jesus as their King. Pilate gave into the crowd out of political pressure. Today, many political parties are still persecuting Christ by clamping down on His Church, which is his body. Barabbas was a criminal but went free; Jesus was innocent yet was condemned. When we reject truth, we are rejecting that which is good and this does, whether intended or not, open the door for injustice. That which is good is called evil and that which is evil is called good (Isaiah 5:20). Pure goodness, absolute truth, abundant life, true justice, real redemption and complete salvation are only found in Jesus. To reject him, is to distort and diminish the power and purity of all that is right, true and good.
However, the beauty of our Savior is that despite our rebellion and rejection, he turned what was intended as harm, into something that provided the only means of reconciliation with God. Our rejection of him opened the door for God’s acceptance of us. His sacrifice for our sins, made a way for our rebellious hearts to be won over to his loving heart.
What is truth?
The pure truth that the world still needs is Jesus. And He still is standing in front of us today.
What will your verdict be?