Well, what did you think about our last two character studies on Malchus and Pontius Pilate? Did aspects of their life convict, encourage, and exhort you? Which one did you relate most with?
We have two more people to look at before finishing this series. But before we get into the next character, let’s take a moment to reflect and focus on our Savior as He carries the cross—which should be ours—up the hill Golgotha.
The gospel of John doesn’t give us nearly as much detail surrounding the actual crucifixion as the other gospel writers do. However, John alone gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ private conversation with Pontius Pilate, and the bold statement Jesus made during His defense.
“For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Roman culture was saturated with the relativity of truth, as evidenced in Pilate’s follow up question, “What is truth?” Sound familiar?! Like Rome of old, America is falling further and further into the appealing but extremely deceptive and dangerous philosophy that truth is relative and what’s true for me might not be true for you, so don’t tell us what absolute truth is. In short, our culture is echoing the arrogant, insolent words of Pilate, “What is truth?” However, absolute truth is real and is a set standard does exist which was placed by God. And Jesus, as He stated during His defense before Pontius Pilate, came to bear witness to that truth. He is the only One who can bring truth and illumination to this broken world, and He did so when He walked this earth. A couple of the most powerful truth statements Jesus made are:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
The understanding and acceptance of absolute truth is vital in order to grasp the message of the gospel, because without truth we would never admit the existence of sin and concept of falling short of God’s perfect standard. Instead, we would live our lives in Satan’s deception that, since truth is relative, we can never do wrong, because as long as it’s okay for me that’s all that matters. Period. But the reality is that God—the Maker of the universe and Mastermind behind all that we see—has set a standard of complete perfection, and all who fall short are worthy of His judgment and wrath. This is the absolute, unwavering truth that was established before the Garden of Eden and will stand to the end of time.
So the question is…have YOU grasped the importance and significance of this principle? Do you fully understand that no matter what the world propagates, there is a standard fixed by God that we have all violated? Or are you living in Satan’s lie of truth relativism? Have you submitted yourself under the authority of God’s absolute truth that God is God and you are not, and that He has set an absolute truth that dictates right from wrong?
Without the appropriate understanding of truth and acceptance that God has set the standard of truth, we cannot continue on to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For until we come to understand that we have grossly sinned and are deserving of God’s righteous and just wrath, we will not be able to even remotely grasp the significance of Christ’s act of love and the tremendous sacrifice He made. So I challenge you to spend some quiet moments with God this week, examining your heart and studying the holy, righteous, and just attributes of God. If you need some help and direction with these attributes, you can visit the Who is God? Series and see what I discovered about the holiness, righteousness, and absolute justice of our God. These attributes are important to understanding the seriousness and gravity of what took place on Calvary that day over two thousand years ago. It was because God is holy, righteous, and just that Jesus—the only perfect man in history—took our cross upon Himself in order to satisfy the requirements dictated by the perfect character of our awesome God. So take as long as you need to prepare your heart for the holy ground we’ll be covering next time, and do not come to the foot of the cross without the acceptance of God’s absolute truth—for to do so would belittle the great sacrifice and blaspheme the Giver.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”