Mockery- Because of Hatred - John 19:6-11
March 31, 2022, 8:00 AM

“As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!" But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him."   7   The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."   8   When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.   10   "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"   11 Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."       

When we read the various Gospel accounts, there were many accusations made against Jesus. The crowd and chief priests of the people accused Jesus of destroying the Jewish temple. They accused Jesus falsely of rebellion and of perverting the nation. He was accused of stirring up the people. They accused Jesus of allowing Jews not to pay taxes. (This was an outright lie.)  Lastly, they accused Him of proclaiming Himself a king.       

Pilate examined Him and for the third time in John’s Gospel, Pilate declares Jesus innocent of any Roman crime. That did not suffice the Jewish leaders. They asserted, “According to our law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.” and that is blasphemy. That is one charge that couldn’t be denied. Jesus did claim to be the Son of God. Either that was true or He was crazy. Jesus did say, “When you have seen me you have seen the Father.” That accusation stuck.                  

When you are in sin and choose to remain in sin, you do not want God around. When all the people were praising Jesus on Palm Sunday, the temple officials were threatened. They knew that when Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy and thievery in the temple, the injustice, and the corruption, they had to do something. Isn’t it much easier to cover up sin than face it? As a result, hatred grew against the righteousness and sinlessness of Jesus. They did not want Him around to make them feel guilty or expose their sin and hypocrisy. The natural man hates God’s authority in their life. They hate holiness, and will do anything rather than allow the light of Christ to penetrate their own deep darkness.       

When Pilate was finally confronted with the claim of Jesus’ deity, he was now fearful. He was a pagan Roman who believed in a number of gods who could appear in human form. Roman mythology was full of men and gods dealing with one another. His superstitions were probably heightened, as is recorded in Luke’s Gospel, when Pilate’s wife had a dream about Jesus and told Pilate not to have anything to do with Him, for He was a just and innocent man.      

Pilate again tried to release him. The only option the crowd would accept was death by crucifixion.       

We see similar hatred experienced in our world against Christianity, against freedom, against truth. Look at Putin, ISIS, North Korea, extreme Muslims and Hindus. It is not enough to ignore us and peacefully coexist. Jesus is an offense in many societies, and Christians are under attack.                  

Pray for the persecuted and many who are blinded to the truth of Jesus.   

Application:   In America you may or may not be experiencing persecution.  However, know that there are many countries and people who are experiencing extreme persecution including imprisonment and even put to death.   Keep that before you today in prayer as you celebrate you religious freedom in America.   

Prayer:   O Father, we as believers around the world are the body of Christ.   In that body, if one of us suffers, we all suffer.   Today I pray for all those who are right now being persecuted for Your Name Sake.  Strengthen them and help them to run to your Word or  be able to recall Your Word in their mind to strengthen their souls.   Lord, have mercy on us all and especially those who are blinded to the truth of Jesus.

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