3/31/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
The first Good Friday was the day Jesus was crucified. The crowd was made of many people who had previously been in contact with Jesus. Jesus had done so much for these people already. Some of these people had been healed, some had been raised from the dead and some had demons cast out of them. There was even a group of people there that had been at the all-you-can-eat “fish and chips” buffet where Jesus fed 5000 men plus women and children. Yet on this day, some of those people that had praised Jesus and benefited from His miracles are some of the very people that are now yelling, “Crucify Him!”
After His betrayal by Judas, Jesus was led from the garden of Gethsemane to Caiaphas and then on to Pilate in the Praetorium. At this point it should be stated that Pilate was no fan of the Jews. History indicates that Pilate had apparently murdered Jews right in their own Temple. So, to mock their King, Pilate confronts Jesus with this question: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say.” (Mark 15:2)
Jesus was surely not Pilate’s King.
The Roman soldiers then placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head and mocked Him while slapping Him in the face. Luke writes… “The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.'” (Luke 23:36-37)
Their total disrespect for this innocent Man speaks of their disdain for who He claimed to be. Jesus was surely not the soldiers’ King.
Jesus did not attempt to hide who He was… “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion. (John 18:37-40)
Jesus was surely not the crowds’ King.
Now enter the chief priests and the religious leaders. Surely they will recognize Jesus as their Messiah and King. These religious leaders are preparing sacrifices in the Temple for the Feast of Passover… It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. (John 19:14-15)
The priests blasphemed the God of Heaven by calling Caesar their King (and not God), making it obvious that Jesus was surely not the priests’ King.
I have never seen it more evident than in past 12-16 months: I am amazed how many people in our country are not only looking, but expecting our government to solve all of our problems. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are Democrat or Republican, religious or not… even race doesn’t seem to matter. Countless people simply expect our government to solve all our woes, when that has never been part of their job description.
The crowd that day, including their chief priests, were willing to put their faith and trust in Caesar and reject the King that God had sent them. This same Jesus who once said… “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) This same Jesus who once said… “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
We know on that Good Friday that the crowd, Pilate, the soldiers, and the Priests got their way: Jesus was crucified…
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.John 19:28-30
Everyone agrees that Jesus died that day, and if the story ended there, I too might run to my government to meet all my needs. But the story does not end there. Listen to what the Apostle Paul writes…
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also.1 Corinthians 15:3-8
So whose King is He? The crowds rejected Jesus as their King. Pilate rejected Jesus as his King. The soldiers totally rejected Jesus as King. The High Priests also rejected Jesus as King.
So my question to you is this:
Have you rejected Jesus as your King? I would beg you not to reject Jesus, because He is the only one that has life’s solutions, not only for this life but also for the life to come…
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11
On that first Easter, everything changed!