Sermons

Summary: The most important question you'll ever answer in your life is this: What will I do with Jesus?

INTRODUCTION

There are three terminal punctuation marks. A period marks the end of a stated declarative statement. An exclamation point marks the end of a statement of strong emotion. A question mark is used at the end of an interrogative statement. In written Spanish, they place the inverted exclamation point and question mark at the beginning of a sentence, which I think is a good thing. In English you may be reading along and only at the end you know to raise the tone of your voice for a question?

If you have an iPhone you can ask Siri questions. She’s pretty smart at math. You can ask her to find the square root of any number and she can give you the answer in seconds. But some of her answers can be funny. Try asking Siri, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” She will give you different answers. You can even ask her, “Where is Elvis?” But my favorite is when you ask Siri, “What is zero divided by zero.” Her answer is, “Imagine that you have zero cookies and you divide them between zero friends. See it makes no sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad because you have no friends.”

The Bible contains many questions. In fact the first recorded word of Satan in Genesis 3 was a question to Eve about God’s character. He asked, “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the Garden?” That wasn’t what God said at all, but the devil is still trying to get people to question God’s character.

In the same chapter, God’s first question in the Bible was when He asked Adam, “Where are you?” Of course, He knew where Adam was; He just wanted Adam to admit it. God said to man, “Where are you?” And the first question of the New Testament is man asking where God is. In Matthew 2, the Magi asked Herod, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?”

There are many other important questions in the Bible. Job asked, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” Jesus asked, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Paul asked, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” The writer of Hebrews asks, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.”

But of all the questions in the Bible, I believe the most important question is the one we are going to hear Pontius Pilate ask. I believe this is Life’s Most Important Question. In Matthew’s account, Pilate asks, “What then shall I do with Jesus?” (Matthew 27:22) I have to answer that question. You have to answer that question. In fact, that is a question that every person who has ever lived must answer.

Mark 15:1-20. Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

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