I am re-reading the Gospel account of Jesus’ last week I am intrigued and staggered by Pilate.If commentators and historians are right – he was a confident heavy-handed Roman governor of Judea. Yet strangely enough, when it comes to judging Christ, he ‘bottles’ it
He disregards the evidence from his dialogue (interrogation) with Jesus as well as the advice from his wife. but why respond to the request from those with whom he shared such a mutual hatred and dislike? Did he succumb to peer-pressure? Or was it fear that his superiors would see him weak and inefficient in upholding Roman law? We will never know for sure..
His tactic? Diversion. Sending Jesus away to Herod and then he introducing Barabas in the equation. It was the equivalent of getting someone else to do his dirty work for him (‘scoate carbunii cu mana altuia, Ro). Making excuses. Unwilling to make a stand. Shying away from a decision. Choosing safety first. Complacency. Comfort.
The staggering fact is that Jesus seem to interact with him more than any of the others during the 6 trials He experienced. Yet Pilate does not want to act on his right instinct and declare Jesus not guilty, and therefore free.
Antony & the Johnsons had a powerful lyric in one of their songs: ‘And I search for a bit f kindness and I find Hitler in my heart’. To paraphrase – I find Pilate in my heart. Day after day, I shy away from speaking the truth, living the truth and showing humble boldness. A time to check our hearts and our attitudes. those who follow Him, have found the ‘truth – and the Truth has set them free’. Let us live as free people – with integrity and courage
As we approach Holy Week, I like to try to meditate more about the cross and Christ’s work.
This is a superb qoute from DA Carson’s new book:
“Everything that we know and appreciate and praise God for in all Christian experience both in this life and in the life to come springs from this bloody cross.
Do we have the gift of the Spirit? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we enjoy the fellowship of saints? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Does he give us comfort in life and death? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Does he watch over us faithfully, providentially, graciously, and covenantally? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we have hope of a heaven to come? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we anticipate resurrection bodies on the last day? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Is there a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness? Secured by Christ on the cross.
Do we now enjoy new identities, so that we are no longer to see ourselves as nothing but failures, moral pariahs, disappointments to our parents—but deeply loved, blood-bought, human beings, redeemed by Christ, declared just by God himself, owing to the fact that God himself presented his Son Jesus as the propitiation for our sins? All this is secured by Christ on the cross and granted to those who have faith in him.”
—D.A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 70-71
Just a few things I came across last week. Here is something of a ‘credo’ or distilled philosophy of ministry that I wrote a few months ago. I found it inspiring and encouraging as I revisited them:
I pursue to please, honour and magnify Christ above all else in my thoughts, words and actions. He is my Saviour and the supreme authority in my life and in him I find my true identity. I’d rather be forgotten but Jesus always remembered through my service.
I cherish the Word of God as a treasure, pleasure, weapon, tool, manual and nourishment – that can transform our lives. Under the power of the Holy Spirit it becomes the most effective tool to reach our world.
I have a great passion to see the Church become that pure and passionate Bride of Jesus that will impact the local community/world in a significant way. A healthy church will grow not through adoptions (transfers) only but primarily through new births (conversions).
I am convinced that a profound understanding of grace is the only true motivation for worship, service and outreach. Any other motivation will fail or lead to legalism.
I believe that in ministry people come first. Programmes should serve people and not vice-versa.
I believe that above all the ‘snazzy’ programmes and the authentic desire for relevance, the Holy Spirit is the One that impacts and changes peoples lives.
I believe that discipleship is a significant missing link in the 21st Century Church; more Christ-followers needed, not just ‘Christians’. More conversions (authentic repentance) are needed not just commitments.
I believe in spiritual transformation. God doesn’t love us as we are. He welcomes us as we are but desires to constantly change us into the likeness of His Son. In Him, by His Spirit we can defeat sin and live as ‘slaves to righteousness’.
A little ‘rant’ from RT, my ex-roomate from Bible college. He is Welsh…. And very truthful. He doesn’t just blogg about these matters but practices through his church plant. Kudos.
The church in the 21st century has been seduced in the lap of modernism and social sciences. Today Pastor’s are more concerned of their understanding of anthropology and sociology more than theology! Our churches are consumed with seeker friendly ideas to draw the crowd and attempt to entertain them into the Kingdom.
The seduction has led us not to preach Christ and His hatred of sin but rather present a Jesus that is sympathetic to our sinful, selfish and arrogant soul that fails to take into account His holiness. Those who preach the truth are called, legalistic, fundamentalists, arrogant, judgmental, and and they fail to understand the times we live in. We are hailed as ‘old fashioned’ in the light of what they term ‘Gen X’, and so now a church that has carefully styled lighting, music, creative arts, and allows the consumer Christian to be satisfied with comfortable Christianity where the preacher never offends but rather gives a 35 minute motivational chat on how to be rich, successful, and healthy.
We have sacrificed truth on the altar of contemporariness which is another word for compromise to appeal to the ‘unchurched’ which is not even a biblical word so we use replacement words to not offend. When we speak of the unchurched we should say ’sinner’ when speaking of sin we should not call it ‘mistakes’ or ‘problems’.
Relevancy has replaced revelation, we have forgotten our sacred duty as preachers and treated the pulpit as a place of seeking to be relevant to people more then presenting the revelation of God to the people. Im tired of the plastic, short cut Christianity that many are being called to live. Pastors have become business gurus, motivational speakers, comedians, social entrepreneurs and counsellors but hear me we are called to preach the Word!
Each week as we rise to that pulpit we should as Campbell Morgan often told himself when ascending to the pulpit he would quote “I am led as a lamb to the slaughter”
It’s time for Pastors to repent, return to preaching truth and then maybe we would see the greatest move of God in the 21st Century.
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