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Decisions to be Made

Decisions to be Made

Words of Faith 2-7-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 23:1-7

   [23:1] Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. [2] And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king."

    [3] So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?"

    "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.

    [4] Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."

    [5] But they insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here."

    [6] On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. [7] When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

 

         Much of the leadership in the Sanhedrin at the time of Jesus was very corrupt.  Annas, the high priest at the time, was so corrupt that even the Romans refused to deal with him and demanded he be removed.  Annas' son, Caiaphas, was put in place as a sort of puppet high priest doing the bidding of Annas. 

       The priestly families had grown wealthy through the business of the Temple. They wanted this problem of Jesus shut down as quickly as possible because these disturbances caused them nothing but trouble with the Romans.  Only a Roman authority could impose the death penalty, so they sent Jesus to Pilate, the governor of the province of Judea, where Jerusalem was located.

       The visit to Pilate would be early in the morning because Roman officials met the public only from sunrise to noon.  They accusation was subversion of the Roman government by claiming to be the Christ and a king.  "King Messiah" was a standard title for referring to the Messiah.  "Messiah" simply means "anointed one," but in popular thought, it was most often used for the king from David's line who would be associated with the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.

          The religious leaders of the Sanhedrin had interpreted Jesus' messianic claim to mean He was a political revolutionary.  There were a series of such "messiahs" that led revolts in the first century until the final dispersion of the Jewish people in about 132 AD. These political messiahs threatened the power and security of the religious authorities and were especially troublesome to Rome.

           Pilate chose to understand Jesus' claim in a religious rather than a political sense and therefore did not feel that it came under Roman civil jurisdiction.  Pilate's relationship with the priestly aristocracy was stormy and strained at best.  He was eventually removed from office by the Romans because he managed things so badly.  For now, Pilate wanted to get the matter of Jesus off of his hands.  The whole situation was too volatile especially at the time of the Passover feast. 

          Herod Antipas was the Roman tetrarch of the region of Galilee.  Herod Antipas would have been in Jerusalem for the feast and was probably staying at the old Maccabean palace nearby. Pilate had the authority to try Jesus if he had committed a crime in Pilate's area of jurisdiction, but by refusing jurisdiction, Pilate could pitch the problem to someone else.

          The thing we see here is that everyone must make a decision about what to do with Jesus.  The religious leaders in the Sanhedrin had to make a decision.  Some of them actually decided to become followers of Jesus.  Pilate had to make a decision.  He chose to pitch Jesus to another part of the government, but it would only be a short time before Jesus would be back before him.  Herod would now have to decide what to do with Jesus.  

           The most important consideration is you and me.  While we do not play a role in the historical drama, we play an essential part in the eternal plan of God.  We must decide what to do with King Messiah, Jesus.  Will we file him off into a religious category of life?  Will we pitch Him to someone else?  Will we defer making a decision?  Or will we choose to follow Him as Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords?  Eventually, we must all decide-- What will we do with Jesus?

 

          Father God, thank You for sending Jesus, the King Messiah.  Thank You for the historical events that led to the covering of my sin, the outpouring of the Spirit and the hope of resurrection.  I receive the King Messiah.  Walk with me today and guide me.  Give me careful steps and bold attentiveness to You.  In Jesus' name.