Summary: A message that reminds us of the rejection of Christ by sinners, and the sacrifice of Christ for those sinners.
Introduction: What first comes to mind when I say the word G’s? Some might think the pastor has resorted to using a slang word used by many which is an abbreviation of the name “Jesus”. Others may think first of the force of gravity, whether positive or negative, that is exerted against the body in high acceleration or deceleration and measured in G force. And some of you may have thought I said “cheese” because you didn’t hear me right! But this is what I mean when I say G’s - the plural use of the letter G. In the arrest, trial and death of Jesus Christ there are three place names that each begin with the letter G. The first one, though not named by John, is the garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36 tells us this fact, “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsamane and saith unto the disciples, ‘Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.’” From that garden Jesus was betrayed, arrested and brought to trial. When the “trial” was over the judgment was rendered at a place called Gabbatha, in John 19:13. From that place Jesus was taken to the third place that started with the letter G - Golgotha. I thought of entitling this message “The trip from Gethsemane to Golgotha by way of Gabbatha” But since we have already studied from the text of the book of John the events that transpired in the garden of Gethsemane, I have settled on just the last two of these three words that begin with G - From Gabbatha to Golgotha. Just as the Garden of Gethsemane was a place of preparation and betrayal, so to these two places have truths for us to glean and hopefully apply to our lives.
I. Gabbatha: The Place Of Rejection--19:13-15
A. The Struggle of the Heart in Rejecting Christ - 19:13
1.. The Conflict Stimulating the Decision
a. Pontius Pilate was faced with the decision of his life - what will he do with the Lord Jesus - a man he perceived was not merely of this world.
b. In his conflict, he attempted to do right - to release Jesus and to execute justice; but he bowed to the pressures applied to him by the world - “When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth...”
It is striking to note that the trial of Christ before Pilate was in seven stages. This is seen by noting carefully the following scriptures, which speak of the Governor passing in and out of the judgment-hall. The First stage was on the outside: John 18:28-32. The Second on the inside: John 18:33-37. Third, on the outside: John 18:38-40. Fourth, inside: John 19:1-3. Fifth, outside: John 19:4-7. Sixth, inside: John 19:8-11. Seventh, outside: John 19:12-16. God’s use of his number of perfection, seven, is found once again, even in the trial of His Son before men.
c. His decision was made independent of the eternal realities of the situation and instead, was based solely upon temporal values and priorities.
d. He was faced with a crisis moment wherein he had to decide between two worlds -
i. Potentially forfeit all that is dear in this world (power, prestige, position, prosperity, possessions, etc_, and gain eternal blessing; or,
ii. Certainly forfeit eternal blessing and joy in order to preserve potentially all that the world has to offer.
e. Such a decision is essentially forced upon everyone who comes into contact with the Gospel - cp. Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
f. Because of the pressure applied by the world, Pilate made his decision and brought Jesus out in order to announce it.
Application: How often do we make decisions based on the pressures exerted upon us by others? Sometimes those decisions can be good if the pressure exerted is based on sound reasoning, but many other times the pressure exerted is foolishly given and based on selfish reasons and ungodly principles. Our decisions need to be based first and foremost in the Word of God.
2. The Commitment Solidifying the Decision
a. As he was walking out from the Praetorium to the place of official judgment, he had already cast his soul’s direction - having loved the present too much to follow righteousness and side with Jesus Christ.
b. So, he "sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha." As we shall see in the next few verses, Pilate has made his decision and is scornful in his attitude now. I’m reminded of what it says in the first verse of the book of the Psalms, a book that has much to say about Christ. Psalm 1:1 says this, and while I read it, look at John 19:13 again - “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”