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Jesus and Pilate I

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What is holiness? Socrates asked Euthyphro. You see Euthyphro, was a passionate young man and was prosecuting his very own father for impiety, which carried the death penalty. When Socrates asked Euthyphro what is holiness, Euthyphro responded with: well what I am doing is holiness prosecuting my father for impiety. And Socrates was like, no wait you did not understand what I asked, I asked more generally what is holiness. Oh Euthyphro said, well that is simple, holiness is what the gods love, and Socrates was like oh that is a better answer.
Now before you go, and prosecute your father you would want to make sure you are confident you are right in doing so, how do you know what is holy if the gods disagree, because it seems, in my humble estimation, that the gods seem to always be at war with one another and do not always love the same thing.
After going around and around like this Euthyphro then says well everything that all the Gods love in common common. And again and again they go around with Socroties asking questions poking holes in Euthyphro’s way of thinking , until Euthyphro in a frustratingly ends the conversation, by saying well if you prefer to think about things that way.
Euthyphro then says well,
And Socrates response I prefer nothing unless it is true.
Pilate would have read and studied this conversation as a boy under his tutor. And while Socrates my have still been seeking to prefer nothing unless it is true, Pilate who may have eagerly sought truth in his younger years had a much looser hold on the truth in his later years finding himself more in Euthyphro’s shoes instead of Socroties. This may have been especially true after seeing the brutality of politics and power. For Pilate truth probably seemed more like a pipe dream.
Today many times we too find the truth hard to grasp, and it too can feel like truth is a matter of simply preference. One reason is there are so so many people out there saying they have the truth, and it seems hard to know.
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Or else we are just a little more cynical about truth because it seems any truth claim is simply a power play.
It is hard for us to know what is true and real. One reason is there are so so many people out there saying they have the truth, and it seems hard to know. Or else we are just a little more cynical about truth seeing that there does not seem to be truth or reality only different perspectives and the one who has the most power defines what is true and real.
We live in a post relativist culture. About 20-30 years ago relativism was culturally in style, that is that truth is relative and there is no real absolute truth out there, only something we create. So the thought was there there is no right or wrong, no one had the right to say what was right or wrong for another person only for themselves. Well it seems that things have matured and now we experence
Our circumstances seem more real, than the reality that we see in the Bible. It looks like it is the powerful who define reality.
And here we are this morning we stand with Pilate standing face to face with Jesus and maybe we sympathize a little with Pilate and his question “what is truth.”
I mean we ask it. Maybe you are more vocal in your question or maybe it is just something that quietly rolls around in your head that you have not voiced. What is truth? What is truly real?
The only way to get the truth is from the barrel of a gun
And so this morning what we see is that
Jesus is the ultimate reality upon which this world holds together,
Because Jesus bears witness to the truth we should listen to his voice
First we see that Jesus bears witness to the truth that

He is the ultimate authority

In verse 33 Pilate asks Jesus if he is the king of the Jews, and as Jesus usually does when asked a question he responds with a question that invites Pilate into a different way of seeing what it means to be king.
In verse 33 Pilate asks Jesus if he is the king of the Jews, and as Jesus usually does when asked a question he responds with a question that invites Pilate into a different way of seeing what it means to be king.
Then Pilate continues to try to get to some truth about who he Jesus is and in verse 37 we read
John 18:37 ESV
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Jesus confirms that he is in fact king. And to be king, as Pilate or anyone at that time knows the reality kings, a king is someone who has authority and power to do what they please.
Sub point 1: Jesus is king
Jesus kingdom is not from here
Sub point 2: But Jesus kingdom is not from here
But Jesus kingdom of a different kind than what Pilate or anyone else knows. In verse 36 we see Jesus say
John 18:36 ESV
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Jesus has authority and power to tell his followers to fight, but that is not the way his kingdom works, his kingdom is one of truth, his authority and power do not come from political sources, and his power and authority don't come from the barrel of a gun. There is a reality,a truth that is deeper and truer than what is seen. His kingdom is not from this world, but it is for this world. There is a hiddenness to Jesus kingdom.
it is not from this world with its schemes, and and power plays, and manipulation, his kingdom is not from this world, but it is for this world.
Illustration:
Every Sunday during Christ kids we have someone who narrates a story from the Bible, and wonders aloud with the kids as to what God has done and is doing. Here is what it might sound like.
There was once a man, who did such amazing things, and said such wonderful things that people began to follow him, and as they followed him, he told them about a kingdom, but they did not understand, they had never been to such a place, and they did not know anyone who had, so they just had to ask him, what is the kingdom of heaven like?
And he said the kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a person took and hid the leaven in three measures of flower and as the person waited, it grew and grew and grew until it was all leavened.
I wonder if you could take the loaf and put it back to the way it was before it was leavened? I wonder what the leaven really is?
Jesus kingdom is not from this world. In fact it is a lot like leaven that is hidden. You can’t always see it working, but you know it does. To Pilate, Cesar was king, he was the one with the power and authority, He defined what was true, he could make things happen.
But Jesus says despite what it looks like on the outside the truth is, the reality is I am king.
Jesus kingdom is not from this world. In fact it is a lot like leaven that is hidden. You can’t always see it working, but you know it does. To Pilate Cesar was king, he was the one with the power and authority, he could make things happen. But Jesus says despise what it looks like on the outside the truth is, the reality is I am king.
And as we go about loving God and people for the renewal of all things at Christ the Redeemer, we must listen to the voice of king Jesus, even, and here is where it can be hard for us because we are Americans, even when it seems like the most practical, straightforward thing is to use the worlds ways of power, the worlds strategies, the worlds ingenuity.
Sure we may do some things, but all the world will see is human ingenuity, not the power of the Spirit.
Jesus said the meek inherit the earth, heirs in his kingdom. I am not sure if you noticed but meekness does not move you up the ladder of success.
As Francis Schaeffer said the greatest danger
There is a hiddenness to his kingdom. His is not from this world, but it is for this world, it is true reality.
But Jesus is the ultimate authority and because he
And we must trust Jesus way of doing things even when Jesus ways seems so impractical, or inefficient. Why?
Because his kingdom is like leaven you may not see it working, and it may look like someone else like Cesar is really in charge,
we should listen to his voice even when it looks like others are in charge
but the true reality is that Jesus is king eventually the whole world will be leavened with his kingdom of peace.
Jesus bears witness to the truth that he has ultimate authority, and the truth that he himself is

The ultimate truth

Jesus says in verse 37
John 18:37 ESV
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
And then Pilate responds with a vague longing, remembering Socrotes conversation with Euthyphro, or maybe there is cynicism in his voice from a life spent in the corruption of politics: what is truth?
Pilate’s job here is to determine what is true, he like Euthyphro is in the prosecution seat. Is Jesus guilty or is he innocent. But, instead of preferring truth, Pilate doubts that truth is something that can be attained.
And here in front of him stands the man who says he comes to bear witness to the truth. Pilate does not trust that what Jesus says is true.
And the truth that Jesus bears witness to here is not mere facts or ideas, but reality. The fundamental reality upon which everything exists. God and his reigning through his son king Jesus. Jesus came to bear witness about the truth and as he said earlier in John, he is the truth. Truth truth, real ultimate truth is personal. It cannot be known from a distance. It can only be known in relationship.
not only that he says he has said he is the truth. And we should not think of truth as mere facts or ideas, but truth here is closer to reality. The fundamental reality upon which everything exists. God and his reign as king through his son Jesus. Truth is personal.
Illustration:
It is true that 2+2=4. That is a true statement. 2+2 will always be 4. It is a truth that can be known form a distance.
But for you to know the truth that you are loved by someone, that kind of truth cannot be known from a distance. I cannot know the truth that Sara Frances loves me unless I risk trusting her.
Personal knowledge of the truth is not with out risk, because trust can be betrayed. But if you want to know the truth, you must believe in order to know. And if you have been burned it make it that much harder to risk trusting.
But it is a different kind of truth a truth that is relational. So lets say you are dating someone and you are wondering should I marry this person or not. And you are asking yourself, do I love this person, does this person love me. Is it true they love me?
Hollis and now Eden Rose know the power of: why. The other day I was running an errand with Hollis and in the car he asked me why we were going, because I need a RX, why do you need a RX? Because my thyroid needs a little help. Why? Because it does not work exactly the way it should. Why does it not work the way it should.
And here is where it get’s interesting, because well I then start dealing with the problem of Evil, and how a good God allows bad things to happen, and as I so eloquently explain this to my 4 year old, I’m interrupted because well a big truck is coming.
Why does
Asking questions can become an all consuming passion which can never be satisfied
The answer to Pilate’s question was staring him in the face. If only he had eyes to see. If only he had ears to hear the truth of Jesus.
Maybe you sympathize with Pilate. Maybe you have asked a lot of questions and for whatever reason no matter how many questions you ask you cannot get rid of our doubt.
But, You can never figure out Jesus enough so that you have a kind mathematical certainty, because Jesus is personal.
ultimate reality is personal
Certainty, and doubt
If you want to know the truth of Jesus you have to trust. You have to believe in order to know.
And their is risk. Pilate faced risk.
If Pilate trusted Jesus words he would have had a mob of angry Jews on his hand. And on the other side he would have had the Romans accusing him of treason against Cesar for acknowledging their was another king.
There was a lot on the line for Pilate, but oh if only Pilate would have looked into Jesus eyes and seen the truth.
Pilate may have lost his life if he trusted the truth of Jesus, but he would have found that Jesus is not truth in the abstract, but life to the fullest.
Listen to the voice of Jesus this morning, believe him and you will know.
Jesus bears witness to the truth that he is the truth and also the truth that he is

The ultimate passover lamb

The Jews brought Jesus to Pilate, look with me at verse 28
John 18:28 ESV
Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover.
The Jewish leaders plotting and scheming to kill Jesus would no enter because they were afraid they would defile themselves and make themselves ritually unclean for the passover feast. Ironically in their zeal to eat the passover lamb they unwittingly participated in bringing about its ultimate fulfillment in the sacrifice of the lamb of God.
The truth of the passover is this: one dies and another goes free. Pilate, does not see any fault with Jesus, but he has given up on truth. So he goes back to the Jews
In their zeal to eat the passover lamb they unwittingly participated in bringing about its ultimate significance.
John 18:38b–40 ESV
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
: 38b-
The passover: one dies the other goes free. Barabbas, a robber a revolutionary, and insurrectionist. Jesus dying in Barabbas place.
This is what truth is Jesus the ultimate passover lamb dying in place of the other. Jesus the lamb of God, dying for the sins of the world. Jesus dying for God’s people, Jesus dying for you, for me.
Application:
Jesus came to bear witness to the truth, and the truth is he is the ultimate passover lamb. The truth is that we are all unclean, you cannot do enough good things to remove your stain, you can’t give enough money, you can’t love enough. The truth is you can’t, but there is one who can, and who has.
The lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
Jesus says everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. Do you hear his voice, can you hear his voice. On the cross he cried out in a loud voice “it is finished”
He did it.
we should listen to his freedom call “it is finished”
Do you want to be clean, do you want to be free? Listen to his voice. Hear his victory cry.
Main Point 1: Because Jesus came to bear witness to reality, to truth we should listen to his voice

we see widked prosper and political power running the show, or corruption, or fear of what others
but there is a deeper reality a truth that undergirds the cosmos and that is that Jesus is the king and that all authroity belongs to him and no mater what we see out there there is
Jesus came to bear witness to the truth, and maybe you feel you have a shaky relationship with the truth. Power plays, doubts, and uncertainties.
But this morning we are face to face, just like Pilate, with the man Jesus. And we can wistfully ask “what is truth” or we can risk trusting him, that the truth is he is king, that he is truth itself and that he is the passover lamb, that it is finished, and we are clean.
Every week we gather at this table, and maybe it does not look like much, a little wine and a little bread, it is simple, and we think what does it matter eating a tiny piece of bread and a sip of wine, this is not much.
the truth is that he is king, that he is truth itself and that he is the passover lamb.
But maybe this like Jesus kingdom, hidden in its simplicity, but powerful.
Now
And so as we come to his table let us listen to his voice, hear his words:
This is my body for you, this is my blood shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
So let us risk trusting Jesus and drink deeply the truth, that the lamb who was slain has begin his reign.
We all are faced with the question. What is truth? The question is what will we do with it.
He the imprisoned true freedom
His kingdom is not from this world but it is for this world
Pilates power against Jesus weakness, his cross to hang Jesus naked body on
But there it is the truth the passover truth that says one man dies and another goes free
Truth is what Jesus is and and jesus is dying for the world, for you for me, to set you free from all the ilussions and false realtiys we try and create
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