Summary: We are going to look at the most searching question in all of the Bible and in all of the world. If I were to ask you what might be the most important question for today, some would say health care or the war in Iraq. This is not the most importan
Life’s Most Important Question
Matthew 27: 11- 26
We are going to look at the most searching question in all of the Bible and in all of the world.
If I were to ask you what might be the most important question for today, some would say health care or the war in Iraq.
This is not the most important question.
“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ” is the most important question.
It is a personal question - “I.”
It is a particular question - “Jesus.”
It is a pertinent question - Heaven or hell depends on your answer. Your eternal destiny hinges upon your answer to this question. Your choice will decide between eternal delight and eternal despair.
"What shall I do then with Jesus?" This is the question of the Ages.
D.L. Moody called it the biggest blunder of his life. It happened on a Sunday night October 8, 1871, during a preaching series in Farwell Hall, Chicago, because of the increased crowds. His text was “What then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ.” Moody asked his congregation to evaluate their relationships to Christ and return next week to make up their minds about Jesus and to make their decision for Him. That crowd never gathered again.
He then turned to Ira Sankey for a solo, and Sankey sand “Today the Savior Calls.” But by the third verse Sankey’s voice was drowned out by the noise outside the hall. The great Chicago fire had begun, and the flames were even then sweeping toward the Hall. The clanging of the fire bells and the noise of the engines made it impossible to continue the meeting. In the years that followed, Moody wished that he had called for an immediate decision for Christ.
What will you then do with Jesus?
The question was first phrased by Pontius Pilate when he faced a bloodthirsty mob who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus (v. 22). The experience of Pilate in that day has a great deal in common with the experience of men in the day in which we live as we also face the most important question in the world.
I. The INTRUSION PILATE KNEW WAS INEVITABLE
I believe Pilate knew that sooner or later he was going to have to deal with this man named Jesus. Jesus interrupted Pilate’s life.
A. Reports about the person of Jesus of whom he was familiar
No doubt that he had heard of His name many times from the lips of others.
As a Roman governor, his position was not without great concerns. The Jews has proved in the past a difficult race to subdue and a difficult race to rule. As a result, a Roman governor would have an intelligence service equal to now. He was kept informed of anything or anyone who would threaten the peace of his rule. As a result, I doubt that there was little that he did not know about Jesus Christ.
He heard about the carpenter from Nazareth at the first and was just amused.
However, as growing hostility and bitterness grew, Pilate became alarmed. Finally, Pilate must have acknowledged to himself that one day he was going to have to deal with this man named Jesus.
He knew how jealous the religious crowd of that day were of their influence of the people; and he was aware at how embittered they were by Jesus’ attacks on their hypocrisy.
He was familiar with the words of Jesus.
Hew as familiar with the works of Jesus.
Reports about Jesus are familiar to people today. Men today have heard about his birth, death, and resurrection.
B. Reality of the presence of Jesus of whom he now faced
He is now no longer dealing with a report of a person but with reality of a presence. Jesus has been delivered to Pilate. He is now looking at this man named Jesus.
II. EVASION PILATE FOUND IMPOSSIBLE
Though Pilate attempted to evade dealing with Jesus, he found it was impossible. Pilate attempted to avoid decision about Jesus. He tired to dodge the responsibility, but he could not.
It was an unavoidable question. It was a question he could not dodge. You must do something about Jesus.
A. Alternative he pursued (Luke 23:7)
Pilate was willing to make friends with his enemy, Herod, to get Christ off his hands. However, Herod sent him back to Pilate.
Pilate could not dodge the issue and neither can you or I.
B. Appeal he presented (15-17)
It was customary at the feast of the Passover to release to the Jews one poisoner, whomever the people should desire. So Pilate had a crafty thought. He would limit their choice to two men. He selected the most wicked man in jail, a murdered, Barabbas. It was probable that his crimes had aroused great public indignation. Without a doubt he was a notorious criminal.