“Said unto them, Ye have
brought this Man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I,
having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those
things whereof ye accuse Him:
No, nor yet Herod: for I sent
you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.
I will therefore chastise Him,
and release Him.
(For of necessity he must
release one unto them at the feast.)
And they cried out all at
once, saying, Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas:
(Who for a certain sedition
made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
Pilate therefore, willing to
release Jesus, spake again to them.
But they cried, saying,
Crucify Him, crucify Him.
And he said unto them the
third time, Why, what evil hath He done? I have found no cause of death in Him:
I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go.
And they were instant with
loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and
of the chief priests prevailed.” (Luke 23:14-23).
“Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas:…
Crucify Him, crucify Him….
And they were instant
[quickly retorting and demanding] with loud voices, requiring that He might be
crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed….” (Luke
Who was perverting the
people? Who was perverting justice?
This conviction was crossing Pilate’s mind.
Certainly the leaders were perverting the law. Surely they were shedding
innocent blood. And this was no ordinary man. “He answered him to never a word;
insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.” (Matt. 27:14).
Did the holy religious
leaders not know or remember their own law, the Law of Moses?
“If thou shalt keep all these
commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy
God, and to walk ever in His ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for
thee, beside these three:
That innocent blood be not
shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so
blood be upon thee.
But if any man hate his
neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him
mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
Then the elders of his city
shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger
of blood, that he may die.
Thine eye shall not pity him,
but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go
well with thee.” (Deut. 19:9-13).
“They gather themselves
together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” (Ps.
“My son, if sinners entice
thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood,
let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up
alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit.” (Prov.
Yet, Jesus, the Lord God of
Israel, the Prince of peace, suffered under their raging.
“And there were also two
other, malefactors, led with Him to be put to death. And when they were come to
the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the
malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus,
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:32-34).
their higher education could not stop them from breaking the Law of God. This
is because Satan was wiser than they could ever be, and more deceptive and controlling than they could ever withstand. Their
intellect gave them power over the people, but not the insight to realize that
God was watching their wickedness. What they needed was faith and love, and
they would have overcome this great sin.
We are all “by nature the
children of wrath.” (Eph. 2:3). Who was perverting the Law and slaying the Lamb of God? We were! You and I! Every one of us, religious and irreligious alike!
“It is impossible for us, of
ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are
evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an
unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Job 14:4; Romans 8:7.
Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their
proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward
correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify
the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from
above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ.
His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it
to God, to holiness.” Steps to Christ
“As it is written, There is
none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that
understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the
way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no,
Their throat is an open
sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is
under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of
cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed
Destruction and misery are in
their ways.” (Rom. 3:10-16).
But, Jesus let our rage
beat upon Himself. If only we could see ourselves guilty and in need of God’s
grace. “For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself.”
(Heb. 12:3). If we should refuse this opportunity to repent, nothing will
“But I know thy abode, and
thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against Me. Because thy rage
against Me and thy tumult is come up into Mine ears, therefore I will put My
hook in thy nose, and My bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the
way by which thou camest.” (2Ki. 19:27,28).
“Why do the heathen rage, and
the people imagine a vain thing?” (Ps. 2:1).
Those religious instigators of national
murder against the Son of the Highest will be raised to see Jesus coming in all His power and glory. Yet to
the people He sent His apostles and church to open the eyes and ears of all who
regretted their treatment of the great Healer of all disease and the Champion of all the downtrodden.
Many priests repented. His love for them was unchanged. His mercy endured
Jesus suffered long and yet
was kind. Jesus suffers long and still is kind. Jesus will always suffer long
and be kind. He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb. 13:8).
Today we are using Paul’s
description of love.
“Charity suffereth long, and
is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself
unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth
all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth.” (1Cor. 13:4-8).
Jesus suffered long, and was kind; Jesus envied not; He vaunteth not Himself, He was not puffed up,
He did not behave Himself unseemly, He sought not His own, He was not easily provoked, He never thought evil toward anyone;
Jesus rejoiced not in iniquity, but He rejoiced in the truth;
He bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things.
Jesus never failed.
We substituted the name of
Jesus for charity. How do we know we are allowed to make this substitution? Isn’t
that changing the Word of God? No, Jesus told us to do this. He authorized the
substitution. This is His commandment.
“Search the scriptures; for
in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.”
(John 5:39). Since Jesus is love, then we can put Him in every mention of love. “God
is love” makes no sense if we haven’t seen His divine love in action. So let’s watch Jesus.
Let’s search Him out, leaving no stone unturned.
. Not search
, as in “we search”, “you all
search”, “they search”. Not searches
as in “he searches”, “she searches”, “so-and-so searches”. Search
, as in a command. Do
the scriptures! Search
there for Jesus! Let nothing and nobody get in the way!!! Your eternal life
today and forever depends on this one effort! You’ve struck hands with the
devil all your life and have come up empty, sick, and hopeless. “Thou art
snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
Do this now, My son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of [the
devil]; go, humble thyself, and make sure [the devil]. Give not sleep to thine
eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself [from the covenant with the cunning high priest of familiar spirits] as a roe from the hand of
the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” (Prov. 6:2-5).
We have a treasure trove of
knowledge of Jesus throughout the scriptures, Old Testament and New
Testament. It’s all there for the finding and taking. Don’t be detracted or
derailed from this exciting safari. It’s all there for the claiming ownership
of. Will you lay claim to the knowledge of the God of love revealed in the Son
of His love? Will you stake your claim on this gold mine?
We can safely assume that all
the love that the Lord of love revealed in the past is for us. All the people
in sacred history are showcased for our sakes, here in the 21st century. All
the milk and honey, mercy and love that He gave them during Bible times are
milk and honey and mercy and love for us. Assuming is not always a wrong action.
But, we must also assume that for love to be love, mercy must come with
justice. Mercy without justice, lawless grace is not right, and cannot be
allowed to exist. Similarly, justice without mercy is not fair, bullying and dictatorial
treatment have nothing to do with mercy, and should never be.
For a father and mother to
truly love they must protect their children from the failings and mistakes
of their other children within the home. The parents must keep watchful eye on their older, influential
leaders among the brood who can endanger the younger, easily-influenced children.
Likewise our God of love, and the beloved Son of His bosom. They keep constant
tabs on us. Aren’t you glad for that? I am. I want Their attention and love the idea of Their
involvement. I feel much cozier knowing that They maintain justice in the
world. Love! I love love, don’t you love love! I love to be loved! And I want to learn
better how to love others more?
Jesus came to Earth loving.
From eternity, kindness is all He could do and wanted to do. That’s all His Father could ever do. And,
rest assured that that is all Jesus will ever do. Justice and mercy mixed,
precept and promise, Law and love combining, full of truth and grace. From
everlasting His Father trained up Jesus in the way of love, and when He was
grown He could not depart from it. In all of His “goings forth…from of old,
from the days of eternity” (Mic. 5:2, margin) love and unity were His work. For
that result in us Jesus constantly groaned within His Spirit. We can be loving
only because we are His workmanship. We love because He first loved us. His
Spirit mated with the prophet’s spirit, and our spirit mates with the prophet’s
spirit. Therefore, we mate with Jesus. When we are born again and receive a new
heart, we are in sync with the message of love that we hear from His prophet. We
live synchronized with the Lord God of heaven; and we are synchronized with His
Law. Our souls vibrate in harmony with His soul. Therefore, we hear the voice
of Jesus through the fatherly messages from the prophets, because our new conscience
is like an antenna that detects the Spirit of the Son that moved the prophets
to write. We yearn for more of Jesus’ love and guidance, as the prophets
yearned for Him. We search the scriptures and find Him. Thus, we are soul-mates
with Christ and with all of His prophetic children.
Do you want to know eternal
love? To know that “the LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and
plenteous in mercy”? To know that “He will not always chide: neither will He
keep His anger for ever” (Ps. 103:8,9)? Do you want to hear love and see it? Do
you desire to experience it? Then, go to the Bible, and see that all the fatherly and motherly love there was
written for you. It all testifies of Jesus and you.
When a leper desperately
wanted healing and heard of Jesus, he naturally assumed that Jesus could heal
him too! That was reasonable, don’t you think? Faith is rational. So, he asked
around and made his way to where he was told Jesus was. As soon as he caught
sight of Jesus, he forgot all the rules that applied to lepers. He had spent
all his years of leprosy crying out to people, “Unclean! Unclean!” There was no
healing for people with his problems. So hopelessly, he spent his days shut out
of regular life, forever warning people away from himself with, “Unclean! Unclean!” He was well
grounded in the duties of the lepers. But, all these duties he forgot as soon as his
heart’s desire caught that first glimpse of the great Healer. Suddenly, the
whole world disappeared. All the people no longer existed, and neither did
their safety. He walked right up to the multitudes surrounding Jesus.
They fell back in fear and
shock! The leper walked right through the crowds, on his way to Jesus. The
leper didn’t hear the screams; he paid no mind to their shouts and curses. One
thing was on his mind; one thing filled his imagination. That was the soon
moment when he would be healed. Jesus healing him was a given. It was a done
deal. It was going to happen. Because Jesus never fails. This was faith operating
from great need.
“In the region of Christ’s
ministry, there were many of these sufferers, and the news of His work reached
them, kindling a gleam of hope. But since the days of Elisha the prophet, such
a thing had never been known as the cleansing of one upon whom this disease had
fastened. They dared not expect Jesus to do for them what He had never done for
any man. There was one, however, in whose heart faith began to spring up. Yet
the man knew not how to reach Jesus. Debarred as he was from contact with his
fellow men, how could he present himself to the Healer? And he questioned if Christ
would heal him. Would He stoop to notice one believed to be suffering under the
judgment of God? Would He not, like the Pharisees, and even the physicians,
pronounce a curse upon him, and warn him to flee from the haunts of men? He
thought of all that had been told him of Jesus. Not one who had sought His help
had been turned away. The wretched man determined to find the Saviour. Though
shut out from the cities, it might be that he could cross His path in some
byway along the mountain roads, or find Him as He was teaching outside the
towns. The difficulties were great, but this was his only hope.
The leper is guided to the Saviour. Jesus
is teaching beside the lake, and the people are gathered about Him. Standing
afar off, the leper catches a few words from the Saviour’s lips. He sees Him
laying His hands upon the sick. He sees the lame, the blind, the paralytic, and
those dying of various maladies rise up in health, praising God for their
deliverance. Faith strengthens in his heart. He draws nearer and yet nearer to
the gathered throng. The restrictions laid upon him, the safety of the people,
and the fear with which all men regard him are forgotten. He thinks only of the
blessed hope of healing.
He is a loathsome spectacle. The disease
has made frightful inroads, and his decaying body is horrible to look upon. At
sight of him the people fall back in terror. They crowd upon one another in
their eagerness to escape from contact with him. Some try to prevent him from
approaching Jesus, but in vain. He neither sees nor hears them. Their
expressions of loathing are lost upon him. He sees only the Son of God. He
hears only the voice that speaks life to the dying. Pressing to Jesus, he casts
himself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me
clean.’” Desire of Ages
, p. 263.
“‘Sir, if you want to, you
can make me clean.’
Jesus reached out
and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he answered. ‘Be clean!’ At once the man was
healed of his disease.” (Matt. 8:2,3, Good News Bible).
Strong faith. Not the right quantity,
but the right quality of faith was moving the man to break all the social
rules. The next minute he would have no disease to worry about its prohibitions.
Like Bartimaeas throwing away his old, filthy rags because he knew he would
never again associate with them anymore, so did this leper his old life of filth and slow dying. It was already past; for the Healer would not turn him away. Just a tiny mustard seed quantity
of good quality faith moved his mountain of suffering. The kind of faith
without which it is impossible to please God gave the unclean man his
deliverance. Now he was free, and he broadcasted his testimony to the whole
Do we have leprosy? Aren’t
our hearts leprous? Only Jesus can heal us. Only His precepts and promises
bring us the needed balm of Gilead.
“Ah sinful nation, a people
laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they
have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger,
they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt
more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole
of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and
bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up,
neither mollified with ointment.” (Isa. 1:4-6).
Let’s come clean. Let’s go to
Jesus just as we are. We know our malady of sin. We know, like the leper, that
sin has made deep inroads into our being. We cannot change ourselves. Culture,
education, willpower, all these are helpless to cleanse us from our captivity
to sin. We need a power from above and outside of us. Nothing in this world has
worked and can work to make us clean. But, Jesus will not only cleanse our
hearts and lives, but He will cleanse our past. We are the most despicable,
horrific cases any human has ever met. Nevertheless, Jesus will take us into His confidence and recreate
us into His princely image. And when He is finished with us, we are “clean
every whit” (John 13:10). Past and present are completely new, and the future
looks bright and filled with hope. And we remain recreated so long as we keep
coming to our Creator. If we slip up and find ourselves separated from Him, then we must immediately return to Him without entertaining doubt that He may not accept us again, and we must unburden our guilt and sorrow and shame upon Him.
Jesus “beareth all things,
believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1Cor. 13:7). Christ
will never fail us.
He declared, “All that the Father giveth Me
shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John
“For whom He did foreknow, He
also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be
the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He
also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified,
them He also glorified.” (Rom. 8:29,30).
“Who shall lay any thing to
the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that
condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is
even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Rom.
Once humbled and repentant
and compliant again under Jesus’ care, don’t let the accuser of the brethren
prevent you from continually coming to Jesus and staying with Him. Your past is already dealt with. It is
passed. In the mind and heart of the Sovereign of the universe, your past is
forever in the past. No one can contest the King, not even the devil.
It is God that
justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?