Summary: The 2nd in a series going through all Christ endured leading up to the Cross. The series ends Easter Sunday with the Glorious Resurrection
Last week we began paving the way to Easter. We started to look at one of the 15 things they did to our Lord. As we continue down that road, let us look at the second thing they did to our Lord. Last week we talked about the fact that they arrested Jesus. They arrested the great I am! After He was arrested, Jesus was put through a series of so-called fair trials. Two of those trials took place before Pilate. Pilate was the Roman governor in charge of the region. Pilate sentenced Christ to death on the cross. Through that death on the cross Christ took the place of many so that they might be with Him.
Read Matt. 27:15-26
Jesus was put in the place of:
I. The Envious- v. 18.
The Jews that handed Christ over to the authorities knew that they had done so not because He was guilty of a crime, but because they were envious of Him. To envy someone is to be discontented or have resentful longing aroused by another’s possessions, qualities, or luck. They were jealous of Jesus because He was the Son of God, did good to all, performed miracles by the power of God, had the presence of God with Him, had a righteous heart. They could not stand the fact that Jesus said He was the Son of God and then proved it by His actions and fulfilling the Scriptures.
There were many people in that day that were jealous of who Christ was and what He stood for. There are many people in this day who are jealous of who Christ is and what He stands for. People who are willing to do whatever it takes to put themselves in the limelight rather than let Christ rule.
Christ took the place of all those people. There is no need to be jealous. For He is our Creator, our Lord, our King. His word tells us that we can be remade into a new creation. All we have to do is come to Him and let Him transform us.
II. The Spineless-vs.24-25
Pilate was a spineless coward. He was a man of absolute power, but he feared the people he ruled. He kept asking the crowd who do you want released in hopes they would change their mind. Pilate knew that Christ was innocent. The man even marveled over the Lord (v. 13-14). Pilate was amazed by Christ, but not changed. He refused to take a stand for what was right. He knew that Christ did not deserve death, yet would not stand against the people. Fear of people judging you is a terrible thing. Judgment of the Almighty God is an eternal thing. What people can do to someone is only temporary. God promises that His judgement will be forever.
Pilate refused to stand for what was right. His popularity was more important than justice.
There are an incredible amount of people today who trade justice and righteousness for popularity. We have corrupt courts because some judges and lawyers are more worried about doing what makes them look good in the eyes of the people than they are doing justice. There are groups like the ACLU who would rather speak out against righteousness than take a stand against sin. Many of these people claim to be Christian, but fight against Christian values and morality. Whatever it takes to make people happy.
There are too many people today who are just like Pilate. They know what is right, yet they fear the crowd more than they fear God. Refusing to stand for righteousness, justice, godliness. I am not necessarily talking about just the lost world. We cannot expect them to act any different. I am talking about those who claim to have been changed by the Lord. Those who claim to be Christians.
Christ refused to change His stance in the face of opposition. He stood for the things of God. Just a little bit of bad was not ok. Jesus would not back down and was willing to die for you and I.
**make brownies: have all the ingredients, add just a little bit of dog poop. Everything is still there and it is only a little. Would you eat them? Why are our lives any different? A little bit works through the whole thing.
He died for men and women like Pilate. People who refuse to take a stand. Those who let others dictate their values and morality.
Christ died for them and took their place.
II. The rebellious and murderers- v.16&26.
V. 16 tells us that Barabbas was a notorious prisoner. The other gospels tell us that he led a rebellion and was a murderer. He had been convicted and sentenced for his crime. He was to pay the price for the things that he had done. There was a man that came that changed all of that. Jesus was innocent. There was no doubt in the mind of those who ruled over the trials. However, Jesus would take the place of this known criminal.