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Thursday, August 12, 2021

When Pontius Pilate decided to go to hell...

 In John 18, Jesus has been taken from the Jewish High Priest to Pontius Pilate's court. He is interviewing Jesus, and trying to find out what to charge Him with. Part of the interview goes like this: 

"Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?"" 

"Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.""

38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?"  

These are the words with which Pilate condemned himself and decided to go to hell.

Jesus said, "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." PIlate could have said almost anything, such as, "Oh?" or "Tell me...what is the truth?"  but he gave the one answer that condemned him forever. 

"What is truth?" 

That expression betrayed Pilate as a man who did not know or care, and who did not intend to change. 

The true Christian knows Jesus Christ as "The Way, the Truth, and the Life." He knows that in Jesus Christ are hidden "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." These are absolutes. Pilate believed in nothing. He liked it that way. Jesus' appearance before him was a golden opportunity to abandon the lies and relativism by which he had lived, and turn to God but he did not want that. Instead, he  spoke to Jesus what was in his soul. Emptiness. Nothingness. That was the way he liked it.

I probably should point out that Pilate's answer is the politician's answer--is the answer of someone who does not want to be bothered with values or morality or absolutes--they are "inconvenient."  The concept of right and wrong just doesn't fit with them, nor does the idea that there might be truth. 

Jesus had a favorite saying, repeated many times: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear (i. e., pay attention, listen)."  You determine your own destiny  by what you hear and what you believe.  Many people reject truth when it's presented--at first. However, the final rejection is to fully deny that it exists. That is what Pilate did.

Jesus Christ is the "Wisdom (applied truth) of God to those who believe," but to those who say, "What is truth?" it doesn't matter, because the concept of truth can't enter their heart and soul. 

What I have to say to you today is, "Have an ear." Listen to the truth of God. Jesus Christ is "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:31). Those four things define the progress of the Christian life, and it all starts with listening to the truth. 

Everyone who is of the truth hears His voice...(John 18:37).

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