TITLE: Keeping Up With Nobody
DATE: October 22, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: John 18: 29 – 32 – ESV- 29 vSo Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, w“Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 xThis was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken yto show by what kind of death he was going to die.
June 11, 1770 is an important day in history.
On that day Australia's Great Barrier Reef was discovered and its facts concerning its fascinating existence were added to the knowledge base of western civilization. For the purpose of this devotion it is important that you know that the Great Barrier Reef was discovered by the British seaman, Captain James Cook.
You should also know the good Captain discovered the Great Barrier Reef when he hit it with his ship, the ENDEAVOR.... which almost sank. For his discovery of the Barrier Reef and a few other things, Captain Cook has gone down in history as a 'great navigator and seaman'.
Not surprisingly, the next person to hit the Great Barrier Reef with his ship was not afforded the same accolades. In all probability rather than being called a ‘great explorer’, his crew probably referred to him as a ‘fool.’
As Jesus' stood before Pilate, His life hanging in the balance, the governor has decided that he would not follow the lead of the priests.
As the man entrusted with the administration of Roman justice, he was not going to condemn a Man to the cross just because the Jews say he should. “Because we say He is guilty”, is not sufficient proof or cause to sacrifice someone’s life and send Him to the cross.”
It was Pilate’s shining moment in Jesus’ trials. If the Governor had kept that position history would have remembered him differently.
Sadly, political expediency saw him reverse his position and go along with the crowd.
How wonderful it would be if Christians refused to follow the crowd. Sadly, going along with the bad choices of others can be pretty compelling. Social pressure can be pretty compelling.
For example, have you ever noticed church singing?
Having had the opportunity of worshipping in a cross section of congregations I have seen congregations which sing and those which don’t. Not surprisingly, many of those congregations don’t pray very loudly and the statement of the Creed, a bold and powerful part of worship seems to be an embarrassment to them.
Oh, I forgot to mention, most of the times those congregations aren’t very welcoming, either.
Do you know what happened?
My guess is in a desire not to stand out, they have turned down their volume in singing, they mumble their prayer and exchange a greeting of peace only with their family members. Not wanting to stand out they refuse to be officers, leaders or teachers.
That's the kind of following that sinks Roman Governors and Christian congregations. Far better for us to follow Jesus. We can never follow Him in His great sacrifice of the cross, or in the unbelievable depth of His love. But we can let Him lead us in living a life of bold witness to our Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me, as an individual, to witness to You. Help me, as an individual, to follow You, the best way I can. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html