Jump Start # 2646
Matthew 27:22 “Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Crucify Him!’”
Black lives matter—that’s painted on the side of buildings, on streets and worn on t-shirts. Others say, ‘All lives matter.’ Some say, ‘Police lives matter.’ Then some say, ‘Unborn lives matter.’ But in all of this, what is forgotten the most is that Jesus Matters. And, indeed, He matters the most. He matters more than I do. And, He matters more than you do.
Our verse comes from Jesus’ investigation by Pilate. Pilate was the final step between Jesus and death. What Pilate said would determine if the Lord would live or die. And, Pilate was painted in a corner. He saw the trouble with Jesus as a religious issue among the Jews. He saw nothing that would require the heavy hand of Rome executing this simple teacher. But the Jews wouldn’t let go of this matter. They wanted Jesus dead. If He was dead, then things would quiet down and return to normal. Get rid of the problem and people would return to everyday life. Jesus was innocent in Pilate’s eyes. That’s because He was innocent. What a tough place Pilate was in. Execute an innocent man because people didn’t like Him or have the Jews riot and report him to Rome. If he couldn’t keep the lid on things, Caesar would have to send troops to keep peace. If that happened, it was certain that Pilate would be replaced. And, he didn’t want to go where they would likely send him.
What to do with Jesus? Great question. A question that needs to be considered and looked at today.
First, some just want to ignore Jesus. This is a passive form of killing Jesus. Ignore Him and He will go away. Don’t go to church. Don’t read the Bible. Just leave those things to religious people. Have fun. Chase your dreams. Make money. About the only time one would be reminded of Jesus is at an occasional funeral.
Second, some want to deny Jesus. They want to argue against Jesus. They want to use science, current events and misunderstood passages to show that Jesus wasn’t who He claimed to be. They want to do more than ignore the Bible, they want to destroy it. They do that by planting all kinds of ridiculous ideas in the minds of young people. They point to the injustice, the suffering of the innocent as reasons why there cannot be a God. God is not good, they claim, because the world is not good. Arrogant, loud and proud, these scoffers plague social media with offensive, false and inconsistent claims against Jesus.
Third, some want Jesus around when they need Him. Mama in the hospital, need Jesus to make her well. Lost a job, need Jesus to find you a new one. But most of the time, Jesus isn’t needed. He’s in a box on the shelf, nicely tucked away until the next crisis. There is no need for Jesus when things are going well. Why would I have Jesus around? I don’t need Him today. This person sees no need to be thankful or to follow the Savior every day. Jesus is just a big help when we need it.
Fourth, for some of us, Jesus has become the center of our hearts. Our lives have changed because of Jesus. Our attitudes, choices and behavior is all shaped around Jesus. We forgive, because He has forgiven us. We are patient, because He has been patient with us. We serve, because He served. We honor Him by living godly and righteously. We adore worshipping Him. His word molds our lives. His manner has caught our attention and we try to imitate that. Our perspective, our goals, our values, our future has all been changed because of Jesus. What shall I do with Jesus? Give Him to us. We want Him. We want to be like Him.
Pilate’s question is a question before us. What shall you do with Jesus? Ignore Him? Destroy Him? Use Him when there is a need? Invite Him into your heart? What really matters is not our lives, but His life. What is most important is Jesus.