Summary: Conversation amongst Jesus and the thief on the cross; are you listening to Jesus or simply hearing Him?
“Are You Listening to Truth?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?”
Throughout the ages Churches celebrate this week as Holy Week, the week prior to Christ’s death on the cross. Much activity took place during that week as Christ traveled on the Road to Calvary. On:
• Sunday (today recognized as Palm Sunday) – was the day that is known as Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem riding on a colt thus fulfilling the prophecy as recorded in Zechariah 9:9
• Monday – the cleansing of the temple; Christ chases out the corrupt money-changers
• Tuesday – was a day of controversy because Jesus confronts the authorities and defends His claims to being the Messiah.
• Wednesday – was a day of silence for after an exhausting day of controversy, Jesus spends the day resting; and now we come to
• Thursday – was a day of preparation (traditionally known as Maundy Thursday); 1Christ prepares for the Passover Festival; 2institutes the Last Supper; 3goes to the Mount of Olives to pray; 4is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the temple guards; 5goes to trial before the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas with trumped-up charges and untruthful practices.
So in remembrance of Maundy Thursday (the day before Christ’s crucifixion), we now reflect on Christ last act on that Thursday. The High priests and elders angrily took Jesus before the Roman government, the Sanhedrin council. Jesus stood in a courtroom before the Roman Governor, Pontus Pilate because the Roman law didn’t give the Council the authority to carry out the death sentence which was the Council’s verdict. Pilate under the authority of Emperor Tiberius knew that he had legal authority and power over life and death and at his command he could overrule Jesus’ death penalty which the Sanhedrin council deemed fit.
Pilate was annoyed because he believed that the situation was more of a religious cause rather than a legal cause as he listened to these unlawful charges that the High priests and elders brought against Christ. For, the Jews were extremely upset because Christ informed them that He was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. However, Pilate proceeded on with the trial after sending Christ back to Herod. Herod returns Christ back to Pilate because Christ refused to speak with Herod. Now, the Son of God stands before Pontus Pilate and the subject of truth comes up. That’s tonight’s question: “Are You Listening to Truth?” Exactly what and who are you listening to? Like so many individuals during Christ’s reign, Pilate and Christ had opposing views on the matter of truth. However in the latter part of verse 37, Jesus told Pilate these words,
“Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
The Roman Governor placed truth in his earthly position. His truth was that his position automatically made him superior to others. In response, Pilate sarcastically asks Jesus a rhetorical question, “What is truth?” It is at this point where we truly see the opposing sides in which Jesus and Pilate represented. For, Christ represented truth as the things of God;’ however, Pontus Pilate represented ‘truth as the things of this world.’ I ask you tonight that same question “Is your truth based on the Word of God or the things of this world?” Pilate believed because of his position and earthly power, people bowed down to him. But Jesus let’s Pilate know that because of His assignment from His father in Heaven, “people will live a life of freedom” not succumbing to any man. Scripture further declares “Jesus is the why, the truth and the life.” Truth declared “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Listen my brothers and sisters, many people’s lives are incarcerated physically and mentally by man. Earthly freedom is subject to the hands of the man who views freedom within himself/herself. If the truth be told, freedom isn’t in the hands of man but rather in the arms of Jesus. God’s Word states, That the truth will set man free.” Therefore, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to Christ.”
As Jesus and Pilate continued their dialogue Jesus bear witness to the truth when Pilate asked Him, “37You are a king then?” Christ replied, “You are right in saying I am a King. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”