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It was dawn when the religious crowd finally got Jesus to admit He was the Son of God. The Sanhedrin was desperate to see Jesus crucified before Passover. Their religious obligations pressured them into action before sundown. They needed judgment passed and the process completed before anyone came to their senses. It is like rushing a bill through Congress before anyone finds out what is really in the law.
In the end… the Sanhedrin lacked power to carry out the death sentence. They had to convince the Roman authorities to crucify Jesus. The Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus on theological grounds – “blasphemy”. Because this charge would be thrown out of a Roman court, they had to devise a political reason for executing Jesus. Their strategy was to present Jesus as a rebel who told the people not to pay their taxes….therefore a threat to Caesar. Sounded good, except Jesus wasn’t a rebel. In fact, He encouraged His followers to “render unto Caesar what was due Caesar.”
Here is Luke’s description of the event:
“Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. (2) And they began to accuse Him saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He himself is Christ, a king.” (3) Then Pilate asked Him, saying, Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him and said, “It is as you say.” Luke 23:1-3
“Are you really the king of the Jews?” This question is recorded in all four gospel accounts. The word “you” is emphatic. It is a big question. It should be important to you as well.
In fact, not much has changed in 2000 years. Jesus is still the biggest rebel to have ever lived. People love Him without hesitation or reservation… or they are repulsed by the very mention of His Name. His very existence divides people quicker than Moses parting the Red Sea. You can walk into virtually any room in America and ask, “Do you believe in God?” and expect to get an answer in the affirmative. But if you wish to push buttons and start a controversy go ahead ask, “And do believe that Jesus is the Son of God – the Only means of going to heaven?” Get ready to clear the room, because unless the room is full of believers, there is going to be immediate problems. The atmosphere will change just like it did in Jesus’ day. The barometer will drop so fast, your ears will pop. “Are you really saying Jesus is the King?”
The religious of Jesus’ day accused Him of “perverting the nation.” They basically called Him a rebel pervert. The word means to “distort” or be “morally corrupt.” They didn’t like what Jesus taught or how Jesus lived… so they labeled Him a pervert. In order to rid themselves of Jesus’ message, they killed the rebel. Their problem and our problem today is that Jesus is not a mere rebel… He is the very Son of God. He will not go away. If killing Him would have solved the Jewish leader’s problem, then we wouldn’t be discussing Jesus today.
The truth is exactly as Jesus said… He is what you say He is. If you say He is the Son of God and the King, then He is. If you are going to call Him a rebel, blasphemer and pervert, then this is what He will be to you. Only judgment will reveal the truth. Everyone born eventually places his faith and trust in something. The problem will be that one day the rebel pervert will be your Judge.
Today Jesus is who we say He is. None of us need another pious religious leader to heap upon us more rituals and regulations. We don’t need more ceremony and pageantry. We need a Rebel King! We need someone just like Jesus to set us free from sin. He is exactly what we have always needed.
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,