Saturday, February 26, 2022


Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

We went a bit further last week than I thought we would; we made it past verse 14, and finished at verse 25 of Matthew 27. We found Governor Pilate between The Rock, and a hard place politically. He had judged Jesus to be a just man, not having done anything in violation to Roman Law. He saw through the witnesses’ lies, and the jealousy of the priests was evident. But, washing his hands of the entire matter, Pilate declared himself to be clean of the blood of this innocent. (Can a Judge declare himself to be Innocent?)

That’s when the Jew clamored for His crucifixion. The crowd had been primed and worked up, and as a mob, they declared, “His blood be upon us, and on our children.” Pilate prevailed at nothing, and instead his actions created an even more riotous response from the Jews.

On this Jewish Holiday weekend, but the City of Jerusalem was filled with duty bound worshipers of Jehovah, but they missed the mark, and followed the lead of the Priests and Sanhedrin instead.

I find it curious that Pilate openly stated that Jesus was a “just person.” Yet Rome had removed the ability of the Jews execute anyone for violating Jewish Law. Yet Pilate’s lack of a spine caused him to cave to the will of true insurrectionists! So, the “son of the father” (Bar-Abbas), was released, and Pilate commanded that Jesus be taken and scourged. The murderous son-of-the-father was accepted, and the Son of Jehovah was rejected.

Mark and Luke tell us that Barabbas was part of an insurrection, and had killed a man in the process. That’s a capital crime against Rome! Jesus had taught His followers to “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  - Matthew 22:20-21.  Apparently, the type of government believers live under makes little difference to God. But the Jews wanted their freedom and independence!

Regardless of who or what rules a nation, full trust in Jesus and His teachings will provide a peace that no earthly ruler can. And even in our own tumultuous times, Jesus supplies a peace that surpasses all understanding to them that are looking to Him. Blessed be His Name!

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:7

Today's Audio Message:
Matthew 27:26-44 - "The Just and The Unjust"


Today, we are continuing our study in Matthew 27.

Last week, we learned that the Jewish religious leaders tried everything within their power to have Jesus condemned to death. Pilate becomes rattled by the demands of the multitude. He grows tired of trying to reason with the Jewish leaders. He knew Jesus was not guilty of any crime. He knew that the chief priests and elders delivered Him up out of envy. Pilate’s own wife warned him that Jesus was a just and innocent man, and not to have anything to do with it.

And just before Pilate tries to wash his hands of his responsibility in the shedding of innocent blood, he asks the crowd a very important question. It’s a question that we all must ask ourselves, and give an answer to:
“What then shall I do with Jesus?”

Nothing is hidden to God. He knew what Pilate would do, and what He did was play right into God’s perfect plan. The plan of redemption.

Pilate decides to hand Jesus over to the Jewish leaders with his authority to do what they wanted with Him. As we will see, Jesus endured the most horrific pain and suffering imaginable before He is condemned to death and crucified for our sins, thus fulfilling the scriptures.

Today as we look at the agonizing experiences that Jesus went through on this terrible, yet significant, day in history, know that He did so by His own choice. He didn’t have to endure the humiliation and shame. He didn’t have to endure the pain and the suffering. Jesus did not have to stay on the cross; He had the power to get off. In fact Jesus said, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” John 10:17-18

It was because of Jesus' faithfulness that He endured humiliation. It was out of obedience to the Father that He suffered the insults of man. It was because of His love, that He laid down His life for you and for me.

John 3:16 tells us why:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 
It was the power of His love, not nails, that held Him there. He did it because it was necessary for our salvation.

J. Vernon McGee said, “If He were to save you and me, He would have to die on that cross. If he had come down from the cross, you and I would have to be executed for our sins.”

This is the moment Jesus had been preparing them for.  Jesus laid down His life to make us right with God.

In order to get “right” with God, we must first understand what is “wrong.” The answer is sin. “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3). We have rebelled against God’s commands; we “like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).

The bad news is that the penalty for sin is death. “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). The good news is that a loving God has pursued us in order to bring us salvation. Jesus declared His purpose was “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10), and He pronounced His purpose accomplished when He died on the cross with the words, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

Having a right relationship with God begins with acknowledging your sin. Next comes a humble confession of your sin to God (Isaiah 57:15). “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:10).

This repentance must be accompanied by faith – specifically, faith that Jesus’ sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection qualify Him to be your Savior. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Many other passages speak of the necessity of faith, such as John 20:27; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:16; 3:11, 26; and Ephesians 2:8.

Being right with God is a matter of your response to what God has done on your behalf. He sent the Savior, He provided the sacrifice to take away your sin (John 1:29), and He offers you the promise: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).

What then will you do with Jesus?

The decision to accept or reject Jesus as Savior is the ultimate life decision. Why do so many people choose to reject Jesus as Savior? There are perhaps as many different reasons for rejecting Christ as there are people who reject Him. Whatever the reasons, the rejection of Christ has disastrous eternal consequences. “There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” than the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12), and those who reject Him, for whatever reason, face an eternity in the “outer darkness” of hell where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

Do you believe Jesus Christ is who the Bible says He is, and are you trusting Him as your Savior?

Do you believe that Jesus is God in human form (John 1:1, 14)? Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21), for which you deserve eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23)? Do you believe that the sacrifice of Jesus, God incarnate, is the only adequate payment for your sins (1 John 2:2; John 14:6; Acts 4:12)?

Do you believe these things? 
"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
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