TITLE: Wrong Again
DATE: December 21, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: John 10:10 - (ESV) - 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Did you ever have one of those days when everything went wrong? I mean from the time you woke up to the time you went to bed every decision you made was wrong.
Pontius Pilate would have understand, for at the trial of Jesus he had that kind of day.
So many wrong decisions and he hadn't even had breakfast. Because so many decisions had gone wrong, Pilate was ready to pass the buck and let someone else decide Jesus' fate. Let somebody else see how hard it is', he thought to himself. I'm going to let the crowd decide Jesus' fate.'
Of course, there would be nothing wrong in stacking the deck so the people would make the right choice.
To do that Pilate brings out two men. The first is Jesus, an innocent soul.. He is a sight which would move the most hardened of hearts. In contrast, Pilate presents a criminal, a man whose name is despised in every household, a rabble-rouser, a murderer.
Pilate must have been pleased with his stroke of genius. Let the people decide. So Pilate asks our question from the Passion, "Which of these two do you want? Jesus or Barabbas?"
But, as we said, it was not Pilate's day. The crowd shouts with one voice: "Away with Jesus! Release Barabbas to us!" You could have knocked Pilate over with a shovel. No, it wasn't his day. He had made wrong decision #5. Jesus would have to die. Now, understand, Pilate was not a fan of Jesus. He was not a follower. He didn't believe everything Jesus had told him, but as Pilate washed his hands, he knew in his heart that it was not a good day.
But Pilate never could have known JUST how bad a day it had been. He had no idea that he would become, because of this morning's activities, the most famous Roman of all time. His name would be better known over the centuries than Julius Caesar or Romulus and Remus, or Caesar Augustus. He would be more famous than Marc Anthony or Cicero. Because of this really bad morning, Pilate's name would be confessed by millions of tongues, over 20 centuries, "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried." No, it was a bad day for Pilate.
And for the Jews, their decision was even worse. They had been persecuted and conquered before, but now they would find their temple, their homes, their country obliterated for a thousand years and more. They would be hounded from country to country and confronted by hating faces wherever they would go. It was a bad day with bad decisions all around.
Except for God.
It wasn't a bad day for God. Yes, it's true, God's Son was going to die. But that had been the idea all along. God took that bad day, took those bad decisions and changed the world. He used the hatred of the Jews to send His Son along the Via Dolorossa, the way of sorrows. He used their wrong decisions to send His Son outside the city walls of Jerusalem to the summit of a skull-looking hill to be crucified. He used a weak Roman governor to show the strength of His love. It was a good day for God because He reclaimed humanity from eternal destruction.
Yes, that Friday was a bad day for everybody. Except for God, and for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
THE PRAYER: Lord, because of the cross and empty tomb, my life is transformed. Forgiven, my bad days are no longer going to stretch into eternity. For Your suffering which is my escape from eternal suffering, I offer my thanks and praise. In Your holy Name I pray it. 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