Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Truth Incarnate

Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. (Luke 23:1 NLT)

Pontius Pilate was accustomed to people lying. But he wasn’t used to someone being silent. As Jesus stood before him, He professed neither guilt nor innocence.

Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” (Luke 23:3 NLT). He might have even emphasized the word “you.” From his standpoint, here was another criminal, another problem.

But the reply Jesus gave surprised this hardened Roman governor: “You have said it” (verse 3 NLT). John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus also said, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” (18:34 NLT).

No one spoke to Pilate that way. But Jesus exhibited calm in the midst of this storm, and Pilate had never seen anything like it.

Then Jesus said, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true” (verse 37 NLT).

Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (verse 38 NLT). Maybe he even thought, “This prisoner who is going to die shortly has the audacity to speak to me about truth?”

He was a pagan. He had no core beliefs except self-preservation. Today he would be a moral relativist or postmodernist, holding to the belief that truth is a matter of subjective opinion. In fact, more than 60 percent of Americans don’t believe there is such a thing as absolute truth.

Yet standing before Pontius Pilate that day was truth incarnate. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6 NLT). Truth became a man, and there He stood. Yet Pilate asked, “What is truth?”

If Pilate had pressed the matter, he could have found the answers to all his questions. He had a private audience with Jesus Himself.

But what did Pilate do? He left the room.

That is the case with a lot of people when you confront them with the gospel. They don’t want to talk about it. They’ll change the subject. They’ll leave the room. Or, maybe they’ll barrage you with tough questions. They will do anything but listen carefully to what you’re saying, because they’re under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

We can allow indecision to rule our lives as Pilate did. Awhile back I was talking with someone after a church service who indicated to me that she wasn’t yet a believer. I asked her what was holding her back.

“Well, I’m afraid,” she said. But she couldn’t tell me what exactly she was afraid of.

“Quite frankly, you should be afraid of life outside of Christ, not life in Christ,” I told her. “Jesus offers you safety and security and fulfillment and protection. It is life apart from Him that you should be afraid of.”

Many times we can be undecided. However, there’s an element of faith required to believe in Jesus. You won’t necessarily have it all worked out in your mind. But if you will say, “Lord, I choose to believe,” then God will help you in that step you take.

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