Summary: A powerful series based on the book "Grace: More than we Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine." The series will look at the many different aspects of Grace. Part 4
SLIDEGrace Happens - 4
December 2, 2012
His jail cell was small, it contained only one small window. The view from his window took his breath away. He only had to look one time for the air to get sucked out of his gut. He turned his back to the window and slid down the wall and sat in the dirt. He didn’t say anything. There was nobody to talk to, nobody to brag to, there was nothing to say. He was falling apart. For a man who wasn’t afraid of anything . . . he was now scared spitless. The image in his mind was causing his hands to shake uncontrollably.
What caused his fear? What did he see? He saw the hill. He saw the place of the crosses – there were 3 crosses and one would have his name on it.
About a 1/4 mile away there was a group of men. With every passing second, this group was growing in size. They weren’t happy and were voicing their disapproval to anyone who would listen. Many of them had been up most of the night; they were tired and angry. They were looking at Roman governor in charge
SLIDE13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this Man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion.
SLIDEI have examined Him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against Him.
SLIDE 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; as you can see, He has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish Him and then release Him.”
SLIDE18 With one voice they cried out, “Away with this Man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
That last sentence explains the life of Barabbas – a rebel and a murderer. He was a trouble maker and a law breaker. What was Pilate supposed to do? You don’t extend grace and freedom to a murderer. But the crowd thinks so. Instead, the crowd wants the innocent man to be killed. But Pilate responds, ‘He’s not guilty. He has done nothing to deserve death.’
Maybe Jesus is guilty of stirring up the crowd, of misapplication of scripture, or just giving a bad look to the wrong person. Pilate doesn’t know, and frankly doesn’t care. He doesn’t know who Jesus is. Maybe Jesus deserves a lecture and a warning. Maybe He deserves a beating; but He doesn’t deserve death. Pilate had nothing to gain by releasing Jesus. He even made 4 attempts to release Jesus. He told the Jews ~
They shouldSLIDE settle the matter (John 18:28-31)
He referred the issue to Herod (Luke 23:4-7)
He wanted the Jews to accept Jesus as the prisoner released at Passover (Mark 15:6-10)
He offered a compromise - scourging instead of the cross (Luke 23:22)
SLIDEEven in Matthew 27, Pilate’s wife gets into the discussion and tells Pilate “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” Pilate wants to release Jesus, saying, “I find no fault in Him at all” - John 18:38.
SLIDEHas anybody ever said that about you? With that statement by Pilate, he speaks a very important and deep theological truth. He said what Paul would later say in 2 Corinthians 5:21 ~ God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. The apostle John, echoed the same statement, saying And in Him is no sin. - 1 John 3:5
SLIDEIt’s an amazing theological statement! You see, it’s not that Jesus couldn’t sin, but He chose not to sin. He could have broken bread with the devil in the desert; or disobeyed the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. He could have sinned; He was tempted to sin. The writer of Hebrews tells us, 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — YET WAS WITHOUT SIN. (Hebrews 4:15)
Can you imagine, He never once broke the laws of Rome, and He never violated the laws of God? Can you imagine someone leading a life that had no fault? In Proverbs 20:9, we read, “Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’” Who can say that? Not a single one of us.
Remember when we were in school and a teacher would make a mark in their book when you did something wrong? Maybe you weren’t listening, or sleeping in the class, or spit ball fights, passing notes, too much flirting or too much talking. Whatever it was, they would make a tick mark next to your name. At the end of the semester they would be calculated into your grade. Sometimes, it might not look all too good. Know what I mean?