What Shall I Do With Jesus?
Governor Pilate of Judea was confronted with Jesus of Nazareth! He offered the restless crowd of Jews a choice when he asked, "Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:17). The religious leaders of the Jews persuaded them to ask that Barabbas, a murder, be released, and that Jesus be destroyed. When they announced their choice to Pilate, he asked, "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:22).
The Creator of all things, the Lord of glory, the Son of God, the Judge of all stood on trial in a court of mortals! Jesus was a defendant in the court of judge Pilate, and that judge did not know what to do with that defendant. It is ironic that at the last day all those who put Jesus on trial will stand before the judgment seat of that same Jesus (Romans 14:10).
All who study history are confronted with so-called great people when they study history; such as Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon and Churchill. But what we do with these, or what we think about these will not likely effect our eternal destiny. But, we cannot pass off Jesus that easily! You may say, "I'm glad I do not have to stand where Pilate stood. But, in a sense each of us stands where Pilate stood! We are confronted with Jesus. What shall we do with him?
Pilate Tried To Be Neutral
Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, and that for envy the Jews had delivered him (Matthew 27:18). He had in his power to release Jesus, but he washed his hands before the motley crowd in an effort to dismiss himself from any responsibility in the affair. He did not want to make a decision about Jesus, but he made one, and he was wrong. He decided to be neutral. But one cannot be neutral about Jesus! One is either for Jesus or he is against him (Matthew 12:30).
The Jews Crucified Jesus
The Jews crucified Jesus in that they wanted it done. Even though the Roman soldiers carried out orders and scourged Jesus and nailed him to the cross, on Pentecost, Peter told the Jews that they had slain Jesus with wicked hands (Acts 2:23). We are guilty if we get others to do wrong.
Some in the church crucified Jesus afresh (Hebrews 6:6). When one leaves Jesus and forsakes his church and disobeys God he crucifies Christ afresh. He says by his actions the Jews who insisted on his crucifixion were right.
The Soldiers Mocked Him
Governor Pilate's soldiers took Jesus into the common hall. "Common hall" is a translation of the Greek praitorion which was the word used to refer to the tent of the general or abode of the commander-in-chief. This means the soldiers took Jesus into Governor Pilate's palace (Matthew 27:27). They called the whole band of soldiers and they all had a "fun party" with Jesus. They stripped him and put on him a scarlet robe. They plaited a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and bowed before him in pure contempt and mockery. They spit upon him and smote him on the head with the reed, no doubt while he still wore that crown of thorns.
Many today attempt in their thinking and teaching to strip Jesus. They strip him of his real identity and try to reduce him to being a mere human. They mock him and blaspheme him. Do you? What do you do with Jesus? Do you make fun of him? Is he just a joke to you?
Judas Sold Him
Judas bargained with certain men and betrayed his Master for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a common slave. He got the legal price of a slave for betraying Jesus, but think of what the transaction cost him! In the very first chapter of Acts we are reminded of what it cost Judas to betray his Lord when we read about his hanging himself and how his putrefied body finally fell to the earth and burst asunder and his bowels gushed out!
Covetousness and greed have led many to betray Jesus. Too often the church of Jesus and his great cause suffer because his disciples fail to give as they should. A good question each of us should ask himself is: "Will I look back at the end of my life and say, I wish I had done more and given more for Jesus and his kingdom?"
Peter Denied Him
The apostle boasted how he would never forsake Jesus. But, he soon cursed and swore that he did not even know him (Mark 14:70). Peter no doubt really felt he would never do such, but he soon found himself in circumstances in which he though he would never be. Such is so often our own lot!
All of us who were baptized into Christ, confessed Christ before baptism. We are often called on to confess him after being baptized. If one is ashamed to live the Christian life and do right in the presence of worldly people, he thus denies Jesus, and does not confess him (Matthew 10). Jesus will deny such before his Father.
Paul Persecuted Him
The apostle Paul was known as Saul before he was converted. Before he became a Christian he persecuted the Lord's people. When he was on his way to Damascus to persecute the church, the Lord Jesus appeared to him and said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4)
When one persecutes the church he persecutes Jesus. Whatever you do against the church you do against Jesus. Those who ridicule the church of Christ ridicule Christ. If you neglect the church, you neglect Jesus. What do you do with Jesus?
Felix Put Him Off
When Paul preached Jesus to Governor Felix, the Governor trembled but told Paul, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25). How cruel! Felix asked to keep the Lord waiting! Jesus does not come into one's life uninvited and unwanted. We wonder if Felix ever found that convenient season!
What will you do with Jesus? Will you let him wait? Will you put him off? Postponing serving Jesus can be the worst mistake a person can make. Beware!
If you have not accepted Christ; if you are not a Christian, you should become one today! Yesterday is gone forever. Tomorrow may never come. Today is the day of salvation. Believe on Christ as God's Son and your Savior. Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30). Confess Christ as God's Son and be buried with him in baptism and rise to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). What will you do with Jesus?