Jesus and Pilate 2
I may have mentioned before that I grew up a Florida State Football fan, but to my surprise I found out my family, who I thought were like dire hard fans were fair weather fans.
About 10 years ago I tried to be a soccer fan. I had a friend who went to England for a few years and came back big Liverpool fan. And he tried to get me to watch with him, and he happened to have a Newcastle FC shirt, and so he he gave that to me on the condition that that I could follow that team. And so my friend and I went to a pub he in his Liverpool shirt and me in my Newcastle shirt to watch some soccer. Well Newcastle, a team that was historically good lost and not only that they lost a lot of games that year. I In fact they were so bad that year as a team they were relegated. Which in their sports system means their entire team got bumped down to the minor leagues. By the end of the season I did not want to follow them anymore or put on my jersey and go to the pub with my friend.
ut the year that I started watching them, a team that historically was good, well they were terrible. As a team they were relegated. Which basically means they got bumped down to the minor leagues. So I being an English Permerle legue fan did not take for me. Because well it is not very enjoyable to pull for a team that is losing all the time. I did not want to associate myself with them, or wear a Newcastle shirt.
o I started to follow them and their games. But the year that I started watching them, a team that historically was good, well they were terrible. As a team they were relegated. Which basically means they got bumped down to the minor leagues. So I being an English Permerle legue fan did not take for me. Because well it is not very enjoyable to pull for a team that is losing all the time. I did not want to associate myself with them, or wear a Newcastle shirt.
So being an English Permerle legue fan did not take for me. Mostly because I was trying to follow a team that was losing.
I think in sports and even more generally there is a pull within people to want to follow those who are successful or have a good reputation, or those who win. But if our team, or person, or institution, or family is not doing well, well we don’t want to be associated with them as closely.
There is a pull within all of us to want to associate with those who win or who succeed, or have a good reputation.
This can even be true for some of us when it comes to following Jesus
FCF: Sometimes we may want to not follow Jesus too closely because his way of doing things does not look to successful, maybe it looks foolish or anti intellectual, or naive.
But then others of you don’t necessarily want to shrink back when being associated with him is though of as foolish, rather you want to go on the offensive.
In our passage this morning what we find is that Jesus is the suffering king, and while it might look quite foolish to follow him, what we find is that his path to the cross is none other than the way of life.
You are ready and willing to post anything on social media and it is not so much that you feel embarrassed, but you feel the desire to shame others their thoughts and beliefs. Like click here watch this guy totally embarrass some atheist.
In our passage this morning we see that Jesus while suffering and looks quite foolish, is really living into the wisdom of god.
the actuality of the human heart is on full display, in its vindictive pride and jealousy and it cowardice
In our passage we see that
First we should follow his lead into folly.
Main Point: because Jesus is the suffering king we should follow his lead
First we should follow his lead into folly.
Look with me at verses 1-3
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.
Jesus deserved a royal crown worthy of his honor to display his splendor, and instead he had thorns piercing into his forehead. A crown is meant to draw attention to someone, it sets them apart from others for either victory in athletic games or royal title, now Jesus is set apart not for royalty, but for ridicule. And eventually above the cross he will hang on will be another mocking inscription: King of the Jews.
And the original readers of this gospel would have known that to follow Jesus would mean that they too like would have to take op their cross, that to follow Jesus you will face ridicule.
Paul Tells us in
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Jesus was mocked and shamed, it is complete foolishness to think that king would ever go through what Jesus went through. That did not happen to kings, only a fool would think this man was king. And yet Christians see the wisdom of God in the suffering of Jesus. For a Christians there will alway be something about following Jesus that is at odds with the dominate culture. There will some aspect of a Christian's belief to be ridiculed. That will be seen as foolish, but what looks like foolishness, but is the wisdom of God.
Jesus was mocked and shamed, it is complete foolishness to think that king would ever go through what Jesus went through. That did not happen to kings, only a fool would think this man was king. And yet Christians see the wisdom of God in the suffering of Jesus. For Christians there will alway be something about what we believe that is at odds with the dominate culture that will be seen as something to be ridiculed.
And yet Christians see the wisdom of God in the suffering of Jesus. And not only that if we follow Jesus there will always be a counter cultural edge
Someone sent me a video a while ago of this body builder guy who had some professional make up artist dress him up to make him look like an old man. And he went out to the famous gym in California called muscle beach. And he hobbles around out there and people around are snickering and laughing that he is going out there. And some big muscly guy just finishes doing some exercise with a ton of weight and the old man asks if he can work in, the guy laughs at this foolish old man, but says sure, so the old man starts lifting and everyone is worried he will hurt himself, but to everyone surprise he lifts the barbell, then adds more weight and more, until he is lifting more than everyone out there.
What looks like foolishness and weakness, a suffering king, is actually the wisdom and power of God. And for those who desire to follow Jesus into the way of life the path is through the cross.
To the world Christian belief may look foolish it is the power of God.
Now I do want to mention that what Paul is saying is not anti intellectualism. Even when Paul wrote what he did about wisdom and folly he did it using the best rhetorical methods of the day. Christians have a rich intellectual tradition, and we should not shun learning, but should always seek to deepen our understanding of God, humanity, and the cosmos.
But know this, and be prepared. There will alway be a point at which following Jesus runs at odds with the wisdom of this world, and will look like foolishness.
Early church Christians were foolish for believing in one God and not many.
The church was foolish for beveling slavery is wrong and seeking to stop it.
Later some thought Christians were foolish believing that God can perform miracles.
Today some might think Christians are foolish for welcoming refugees from a war torn nation.
Or foolish for seeing gender as gift from God that is not fluid or socially construed, but fixed in our DNA.
Jesus was ridiculed, and mocked as he walked the path to the cross. And his path to the cross is none other than the way of life.
He was charged with blasphemy
He was charged with blasphemy
Jesus did not shrink back from being seen as a fool, because he trusted the wisdom of his Father, so we should follow his lead
We should also follow his lead in humility
Look with me at how Jesus interacted with Pilate in verses 7-1
Look with me at verses 7-11
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
Jesus did not defend himself here. He did not even answer his Pilate’s fear filled question Where are you from? Are you one of the gods? Which then Pilate tries to insight fear in Jesus. Do you not know who I am! I have the authority to crucify you.
And notice how Jesus responds. He does not say: No you don’t! Do you know who I am, Oh Ill show you who I am. How dare you threaten me. Shame on you, don’t you know your place.
No that is not what he does. He actually agrees yes Pilate you have authority over me. And that authority is a gift from God. What are you going to do with it? Will you crucify me? Jesus interactions with Pilate in humility. He actually respects that he has authority, and his interactions are not adversarial, but invitational.
invites Pilate into a different kind of relationship, one that is not adversarial, but invitational.
Jesus is humiliated, shamed and threatened, and did not retaliate. He did not retreat, but in humility he stayed relationally connected with Pilate.
That Pilate sought to release him from then on.
If anyone could have put Pilate in his place Jesus could have done it. But rather he maintained a humble open posture.
And if we want to follow Jesus lead we into the way of life, it will be none other than one of humility.
If anyone could have put Pilate in his place Jesus could have done it. But rather he maintained an open posture. And if we want to follow Jesus lead we should have cultivate our desires to be open to relationships.
So when we engage with those who hold to different views on ethics, politics, theology, or whatever it may be we should seek to humble ourselves and stay relationally connected with others.
One way this looks is refusing to delight in others with opposing views being shamed. Jesus could have “put Pilate in his pace, yet he remained humble.”
Shaming others happens a lot on social media, memes that talk about how stupid Trump is or anyone who voted for him or how disgraceful Obama was. Or video’s with click bait titles like this: Watch Trey Goudy totally destroy this liberal person, or watch Al Franken embarrass that conservative judge. Or watch this atheist finally meet his match…
If we desire to follow Jesus and cultivate a Jesus kind of humility, it is not simply that we don’t share those things we should not even seek to not even delight in those things.
Or when we engage with others with whom we differ we do so assuming the best about them.
Because people are not shamed into the kingdom of God. Jesus maintained a humble posture of openness, inviting people in to a different reality a reality where he is king and where love and grace overcome shame and guilt.
This is actually really hard in our culture, because here is what happens.
We should not seek to “put someone in their place, and that includes social media. People are not shamed into the kingdom
Application: We should not seek to “put someone in their place, and that includes social media. People are not shamed into the kingdom
To some this may look like weakness, but the weakness of God is more powerful than the strength of humans.
Jesus humble path to the cross is none other than the way of life.
Following Jesus into his life is none other than the humble way of the cross.
Main Point 3: We should follow his lead in our associations
Pilate is like Pharaoh
John has gone to great lengths to show us that Pilate saw Jesus innocence.
Twice Pilate says “I find no guilt in him”
In 19:4 “I find no guilt in him
and in 19:12 we see Pilate trying to release him, because he finds no guilt in him.
Jesus was innocent, Pilate knew this. Yet still Jesus was judged guilty and delivered to be crucified.
Why? Well John reminds us again in verse 14
It was the day of Preparation of the Passover, and the passover was when God’s people celebrated and remembered God’s salvation from Egypt. Nine plagues had come to Egypt, one more to go 10th and final plague and worst of all the death of all first born.
There is only one way to be rescued: to sacrifice an innocent lamb, a lamb without blemish and spread its blood on their door post.
and in we read
The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
God counted the death of the lamb in their place.
The lambs that died in exodus were a shadow of the ultimate innocent lamb to come. The Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world.
Jesus came to associate himself with sinners, Jesus did not run from the shame, rather he chose to associate himself with those people, people who know shame, who know guilt, so they can know his purity and his righteousness. He is not afraid to be associated with sinners, he is not ashamed to be with those people.
So does his life.
Jesus did not run from the shame, rather he chose to associate himself with those people.
He is not ashamed to be associated with you. He is not embarrassed by you.
We all know shame is contagious
Application: I don’t know if you have read any church history, but the church has dragged Jesus name through the mud on more than one occasion. Jesus could be embarrassed about, but yet he still calls the Church his bride, my saints, my holy ones.
I mean there is a lot about my life that I am embarrassed about, but that does not stop Jesus. It does not take anyone honest about their life to feel a twinge of embarrassment for something.
But Jesus associates himself with you, and joyfully takes it upon himself, he is not embarrassed to call you friend.
And if we are to follow Jesus who is not ashamed to be associated with his people we should seek to follow his lead and not be ashamed to associate with other Christians. Even our brothers and sisters who make you want to do a face palm, actually especially the ones who make you want to do a face palm. Because when you do associate with them you learn more of Christ love for you. So who ever that is for you the fundamentalist, the Catholics, the Presbyterians, Pentecostals, the Anglicans, you name it.
So if Jesus is not ashamed to be associate with his people. We should follow his lead and not be ashamed to associate with other Christians. Even our brothers and sisters who make you want to do a face palm, actually especially the ones who make you want to do a face palm. Because when you do associate with them you learn more of Christ love for you. So whether that is the fundamentalist, the Catholics, the Presbyterians, Pentecostals, the Anglicans, you name it.
Jesus associated with sinners so much so that he became their sin, he became our sin.
Application: Jesus is not ashamed to associate with you. And those Christians you are ashamed to be associated with, he is not.
We are part of the same blended family of God. And your reputation may be hurt because you are associated with those, but because Jesus is the suffering king the path to the cross is none other than the way of life.
And if we de
Jesus is the suffering king, and his wisdom may look foolish, and his humility may look weak, and his friends my look embarrassing, but his way is not the worlds way. The path that he took to the cross is none other than the way of life.
Jesus is king, and to associate with him means that we to must suffer with him, but what we find is that what looks life foolishness is really the way to life.
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus is the suffering king, and there is something so foolish sounding to a suffering king, it would have made no sense