4/13/12 Jesus is Identifies himself and is Condemned

Jesus is Identifies himself and is Condemned

2012 Easter Bible School Lecture 2 Part II by             #Amanda K#

Luke 23:1-25 Key Verse: 3

“So Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied.”

Thank you, Missionary David, for your powerful and moving message. We see through Luke 22:63-71 that Jesus was despised by the Jewish leaders and violently mocked by their guards. However, Jesus boldly proclaimed to be the Son of God before the chief priests and the teachers of the law, knowing that admitting such a position would mean death. Now, through Luke 23:1-25 we will look at Jesus’ trials before both Pilate and Herod, government leaders with the authority to carry out capital punishment.

Jesus, having been arrested and questioned by the religious leaders now stands before Pilate, a Roman-appointed leader. Because the religious leaders do not have a political accusation against Jesus, they lie to fulfill their ultimate aim, the death of Jesus. Looking at verse 2, which states, “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,’” we see that the religious leaders turn Jesus’ role as “Spiritual king” to the role of “Political king,” hoping that the government leaders would not know the difference. With this unjust accusation placed on Jesus, Pilate has only one question for Jesus, from verse 3a, “So Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’” Jesus knows that any truthful answer to Pilate’s questions will mean death for him but he also knows that this trial and his ultimate death and resurrection is his Father’s will. The answer given, from verse 3b, was, “Yes, it is as you say.” With that one word, yes, Jesus sealed his fate. However, for a moment the hardened hearts of the Jewish leaders and people were compared to the innocent heart of Pilate.

Through the grace of God, Pilate was able to see past the religious leaders facade and recognized Jesus as a “Spiritual king” rather than a “Political king” and therefore not a threat as the religious leaders proposed. Verses 4 and 5 tell us that Pilate found no basis to charge Jesus with a crime but upon saying this, the religious leaders insisted he stirred rebellion from Galilee to Jerusalem. Verses 6 and 7 tell us that one Pilate realized Jesus was a Galilean and under Herod’s jurisdiction, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod.

Verse 8 tells us that, “When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle.” Herod had no interest in who this Jesus claimed to be or in whether or not he should be charged with a crime. Herod was only interested in having a little fun with at the expense of someone he deemed to be a magician. From verses 9-12 we are told that after having many question hurtled at Jesus, none of which did he reply to, and being vehemently accused by the religious leaders, Herod found no cause for condemnation either, so he dressed Jesus in “royal” robes, mocked him, and sent him back to Pilate.

Verses 13-17 tell us that Pilate, now having the judgment of Jesus solely in his hands, called the religious leaders together again, and three times he appealed to the crowd, saying he did not find Jesus to have committed any crime and would therefore punish but release him. However, from verses 18-25 we know that the crowds’ hearts were hard and they demanded Jesus to be crucified and Barabbas released, as was the custom of the season. Pilate acquiesced, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah 53:7, which reads, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Jesus was now completely at the mercy of the religious leaders.
It is through these trials that we can see the true love and grace of God. Why would a father allow his son to be so wrongly accused and sentenced to death? Our heavenly father loves every one of us unconditionally, to the point of sending his son to suffer for us. Jesus took the suffering we were supposed to endure so that we would not have to. We are told through Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If we surrender our lives to Jesus and choose to accept his gift to us, we are set free from condemnation.

Life throws many trials, many snags, and many distractions our way. These are worldly concerns that may have meaning now. But they mean nothing to our eternal life. We can have peace knowing that our sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. May we each, by the grace of God, fully surrender our lives to him and accept the tremendous of life his son suffered and died to provide us.

I was raised in a very Godly home in a small town near Indianapolis Indiana called Monrovia. Both of my parents were and are Christians, we would attend church service and Sunday School every Sunday morning if not on Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings as well. My father would always encourage my younger sister and I to read our Bibles every day and would provide incentives of chocolate or other sweets when we memorized Bible verses. Outside the home, we would attend Church Camps, where my parents were leaders and we would attend Vacation Bible Schools until we were too old. Then we would serve at those events with my mother and sister teaching classes while my father and I ran the sound and light systems. These events along with church orchestra were very spiritually uplifting and would give me joy in the Lord for a time.

However, as exciting as the events were, they did nothing for my spiritual growth. Although I knew many things about the Bible and knew many verses, I never placed much importance on the words I knew. I did not think about my life with God, I only thought about feeling good and making others happy. When I was 16 I made some very poor choices, ruining my parents’ trust. From that time through my first year in college I rebelled, lying to my family, lying to my friends, doing whatever I wanted regardless of the consequences. Over and over, my father would say, “Remember who’s you are.” I didn’t know what to tell him. The guilt I felt for the disrespect I had shown my parents, for the things I had done, and for lies I had told pulled at my heart day in and day out. I tried to get back into the word, rededicating my life to the Lord but that soon fell apart for I felt I could not trust anyone to keep me accountable. When my senior year of high school finally ended, I graduated with many honors. I was 6th in my class and I was going to attend a prestigious college where I had received a full-ride scholarship to study biochemistry and take part in Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. I knew that my college studies would be hard but I had done well in high school so I thought I could do well there. As soon as I arrived, I was invited to a church where I attend only a handful of times, choosing to sleep off a week of hard studying. College was much harder than I had anticipated. Instead of working hard, I spent too much time with my boyfriend, too much time playing computer games, and too much time with friends. At the end of the year, I was ashamed of my poor grades and was afraid to come back the next year for repeating my actions again. The only person I told these fears to was my boyfriend at the time. He feared I would not be able to pay for school elsewhere. His suggestion was that we marry and then I would receive more money from the FAFSA. At first I agreed but God told my heart this was wrong. The next suggestion was for me to move to Chicago and live with his family while attending COD for music and working. This seemed like the best option because I knew I could not live with my parents out of guilt. This is course of action I took but did not pray about it. I was able to secure a job and was accepted to COD in a matter of three weeks. I was very happy to have these things but something was still missing. One stipulation of staying with this family was I was to talk to a counselor, Julie, a friend of the family who was and is very strong in her faith.

I had seen her a few times and she had asked me to read my Bible. I did not follow through thinking I had too many things to do. However, one afternoon as I was leaving the COD campus, a woman stopped me and asked, out of the blue, if I wanted to do a Bible study with her. At first I didn’t know what to say but God moved me to accept. Ever since that first Bible study with Missionary Joy Kim, the Lord has opened my heart to His word and to the ministry again. Being a part of the ministry at UBF and having Julie in my life, has brought me closer to God than I have ever been before. However, I will be the first to admit that school and work and life have tried to tear me down. I look to the Lord for my strength and know that if I, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things shall be given to [me],” as Matthew 6:33 tells us. I pray that God will lead me to put him first in my life and allow me to let go of my worries. I also praise him every day for the Godly people he has put in my life, David and Joy Kim, Julie Katsi and others.

One word: Give one overwhelming YES to God!

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