Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P39 (11-03-21)
Receive Jesus and His Eternal Life in You and His Righteousness Imputed to You
What transpired at the Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus reveals who Jesus is and what He came to do. Jesus is God, He died in our place in order to give us eternal life. He came to be a king of a new kingdom not of this world, for His kingdom is to be lived within you, His righteousness imputed to you.
As you read again in the gospel of John, in John 18:28-40, where Jesus appears on trial before Pontius Pilate, with the kinds of questions Jesus is asked and His answer, and the unbelievable hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders, and the willingness of the Roman rulers to be so complicit in what ultimately led to His crucifixion, what insight, what understanding can you glean as to who Jesus is and His purpose on this earth? Can you come to a conclusion on not only what he died for but what He came for, as it relates to the meaning of not only the cross but also the resurrection?
28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.
What an unbelievable and unethical trial, with a cry to crucify Jesus in order to save their own position and keep their own job. What hypocrisy! They did not want to make themselves unclean by entering a Gentile Passover. They wanted to eat the Passover in order to make themselves righteous in the sight of God but never had a clue that killing an innocent man, let alone God, was an unrighteous act! That still occurs today, where the mindset of many is that we keep ourselves clean in the sight of God by the religious things we are doing, and absolutely think nothing of being mean as a hornet to one another.
29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”
It should be noted that the power of Jewish community was such that Rome said that we could keep the Jews under better control by letting them rule themselves because of their more stringent laws than ours.
“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
The Jewish leaders, in their hypocrisy, turned Jesus over to the Romans to do the dirty work for they could not do that according to their our own “righteous” laws. So, for them, it was okay to have a false trial. It is okay to turn an innocent man over for we do not want blood on our hands. So the words Jesus had spoken indicated the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled. Roman execution was crucifixion. The way Jews executed people was by stoning them to death. This would fulfill the word of the prophets. It was impossible for Jesus to have been killed by the Jews because of the prophesy of being crucified.
It also meant that both the Jews and the Gentiles, the whole world, is guilty of crucifying the Lord of glory! The Romans were going to have to carry out the act with the insistence of the Jews. Therefore the responsibility for the death of Jesus is on all of humanity, both Jew and Gentile. There is no exception. The Gentiles carried it out. The Jews persuaded it. So who is guilty? All of mankind. No one is innocent. There is no group of people who are innocent in regard to the death and crucifixion of Christ.
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus answered by asking a question.
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
Are you saying that because of your own observation of me or because of what others said about me? Did you hear that from my accusers?
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
He asked the question. Jesus answered it. Pilate said, “You are a king, then? In your own estimation, you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
It is interesting that the world pauses in order to acknowledge the fact that a man named Jesus of Nazareth, a baby named Jesus, was born 2000 years ago. The Muslims agree that he was born. The Buddhists would certainly agree that he was born. The Jews will agree that he was born. It is in the Talmud of his birth. The Gentiles believe that he was born. The whole world believes that he was born.
If I asked the question to each and every one listening to me right now, “Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were born?” I believe you would get a 100% on that. Everyone would know beyond a shadow of doubt they were born. On the other hand, if I asked, “Why are you born?” I think it would be 95% dead silence. It is the same thing with the birth of Christ. The whole world, regardless of religious affiliation, acknowledges that Jesus was born. Do they know why he was born? Absolutely not.
The Muslims would certainly agree he was born but have no clue why he was born or how it was that he was born. They think he was a prophet. The Buddhist would say he is a prophet. The Jews would say he is a semi-prophet. Or in the Talmud, they would say he is a bastard son of an illegitimate relationship. But to acknowledge his existence? Yes. Acknowledge he was born? Yes. To have a clue as to why he was born? Absolutely not.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Jesus not only explained he was a king but also why he was born. So Jesus first of all was born physically. That is why I was born physically. And the part of His deity, saying this is why I came into the world. Coming into the world was not talking about physical birth. It was coming into the world in regard to God becoming a flesh.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
In John 17, you will see Jesus praying for himself.
5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Christ was in existence. Jesus Christ is God. He has always been God. So He came into the world physically by birth, but it was God in that birth that brought God to the earth. Jesus was God before He was Jesus of Nazareth. He has always been God. God became flesh by that virgin birth. That is what the meaning of born of the Holy spirit was all about.
So He says, “this is the reason I was born, to usher in a kingdom into this world, and I am the King. I also came into this world as God for that reason, but for another reason. To testify to the truth.” So physically He came to usher in a kingdom. Spiritually He came in to testify to the truth. Then He said, “Everyone on the side of truth is going to listen to me.” When people refuse to listen to what God says about Himself, then they are not on the side of truth. If you are not on the side of truth, what side are you on? You are on the side of error.
If there are two baseball teams on the field, you will be on one side or the other. If you are rooting for the Houston Astros, you are not rooting for the Atlanta Braves. Likewise, if you are rooting for the Atlanta Braves, you are not rooting for the Houston Astros. You pick sides. If you are on the side of truth, then He said, “If you are on that side of truth, you will be listening to what I say about you. I am going to tell you the truth and it is going to set you free.”
When you see people who claim to be Christians, and saying, “Yes, but”, it is because you are not on the side of truth. You have not made a determination on who Christ is, God. If He is God, He is certainly not going to lie to us, for He just got through saying that He came to testify to the truth. So you might just conclude that He is telling the truth or is the source of truth. But man in his arrogance says, “He is not the source of truth, and I know more.” So you are not on the side of truth.
Then you have that group, with one foot on the side of truth, and the other foot on the side of error. So we are walking staggering down our Christian streets. He is saying that makes Him sick. “Get on one side or the other. Either be against me or for me, but do not be straddling. You will do more damage to people straddling than you would be over here totally against me. If you are totally against Me, it is obvious you are a fool. If you are straddling it is hard to tell which is which. So get your foot on Me and out of the world or out of the world and onto Me. But you cannot be walking on both sides of the street at the same time.” So He made a strong statement there. “As to My physical birth, I was born to be a King. As God, I took on humanity in order to testify to the truth.” Then did He not go on and say what that truth will do, “That truth will set you free.” Then He went on to say, “When the Son, who is the source of truth and is total truth, has set you free, then you will be free indeed.”
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Why was Jesus born? To be a king. Why did God become a man? To testify of the truth. If man had a clue what truth was, why would God have to become a man and tell him what truth is? But He called them sheep, the dumbest animals on the face of the earth. It is not surprising to me that God had to come to earth to testify to the truth when you see what His subjects and what earthlings have become, total idiots, thinking we can be God instead of being man. “I as a man do not need God for truth because I, man, can literally know more than God knows.” There is nothing unusual about that. That happened in the garden of Eden. It is still going on today.
Why did Christ come physically? To be a King. Why did God become a man? To testify to the truth.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
How do you look at Spirit when you do not know what Spirit is? The Spirit part of God became one of us so I can see a man, but also so I can see the face of a man and know what the creator is all about. Jesus is the exact image, a visible expression of an invisible God. He is the firstborn over all creation. He is the only man born alive spiritually. The only man ever born as God intended a man to be, alive bodily, soulishly and spiritually. Adam was the first man ever created alive spiritually. Jesus was the first born from among all creation.
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
Who are the dead? Us. Every man born into this world has been born dead spiritually. Who was the firstborn alive from among the dead? Jesus.
so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
He came to reconcile not some things, but all things. There was a way He was going to do that. How? By making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Again, a purpose. What did He come for? To be a king and a kingdom and to establish the kingdom of God. Spiritually, to testify to the truth. What is truth? You do not have any peace apart from Christ. “I want you to have peace. I, the prince of peace, is the only one who can give it to you.” That is why He died for you and me. He died so I can have peace with god. How can I have peace with God when God is a holy God and I am not holy? How can I have peace with God when I do not know that I am totally forgiven? You cannot. That is an act. How could I have peace with God when my forgiveness is based on me and what I am doing instead of Him and what He is doing? What if I forget what I am doing then for sure He cannot do what I want Him to do? How can you have peace like that? It did not say you can have peace by your dedication to confession. It says you can have peace in what He did and not faith in what you do.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation
Every day men think they are enemies in their mind because of their evil behavior. God corrected that. He came to tell you the truth and He came to tell you the truth about that one. That is man’s mind, that I am an enemy of God because of my evil behavior. And, that is natural to think. Still today, Christians are still looking at that same thing, that I am alienated from God. This is this faulty thinking of being in and out of fellowship. That is no different than being alienated. You can say, “I am saved but I am just alienated.” “I am out of fellowship.” Why? Because of my evil behavior? No, that is not correct. There is nothing in the bible about being in and out of fellowship. There is also nothing in the bible about being in and out of relationship. So in both of those things, Satan has so paralyzed the potential of the dynamic of life. The power of God is in the righteousness that has been imputed, not in forgiveness, but in righteousness.
We have to understand that we are sitting out her still today as Christians, and that is why we have confession booths and our 1 John 1:9 enthusiasts and all of this, is because people still have the idea that I am alienated, or whatever you call it, out of fellowship or out of relationship. It is alienation from God because of what I do. There is a but there. Realize that once you were alienated from God, and that is true as a lost person. Alienated because of your evil behavior? No, in my mind I am alienated from God. But now God has reconciled you by Christ’ physical body through death in order to do something. To present you holy in His sight without blemish and free of accusation. What is free of accusation? Paul covered that in Romans 7 and 8.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Why do I have no condemnation? There is no accusation. If there is no accusation, how can I have a condemnation? There is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. How come? There is nothing to accuse you of. Why? You have already been accused of your sin. The verdict was guilty. The punishment was death and Christ took all of it. That is why there is none left for you. You have already been accused and it has been dealt with once and for all.
He went to the cross in order to do something. He went to the cross so that He could take away your sins in order to do something, to present you holy and acceptable in His sight, free of accusation.
23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Now, again, Job’s friends and preachers, see there, there is the “if” “He is going to get you. You have to hang in there and gut it out for God.” No, it means keep reading. It does not mean to continue by gutting it out. It says to continue in the hope of the gospel. What is the hope in the gospel? He just told you a few verses prior to that in the introduction in the book of Colossians.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people – 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you.
What did Jesus come to you to do? Communicate truth. “I came to be a king in My kingdom. I came as God to testify to the truth.” Now, He is saying. “You have been communicated the word of truth, that word of truth is the gospel that has come to you.”
In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all of its fullness. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
First, of all, it is the gospel that saves. The gospel is the good news about Jesus. It is the gospel in all of its fullness, not partial. It is bearing fruit in all of its fullness.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
It is not a half gospel, but the gospel of grace in all of its truth. That is what he is not ashamed of.