Matthew 27:22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”
Although this Easter has come and gone, I can not help but continue to dwell on thoughts of my Savior and that life changing event that changed everything for all of us. I can not help but remember the scripture, consider the events, and recognize the awful tragedy that turned out to be the most magnificent, life changing event of all time. Our Savior was betrayed. He was beaten. He was crucified. Life left His human body, but we can not forget that our Savior was one of a kind. He was fully human, yes, but He was also fully God. Death and burial could not keep Him. He arose on the third day just as it had been prophesied.
This morning, let us ponder the words of Pilate. Pilate was in charge of keeping peace, and He searched Jesus and reviewed the claims against Him, but Pilate could not find cause to crucify Him. However, the religious leaders of the day wanted to have Jesus crucified for their claim of blasphemy. Still, Pilate found Jesus guilty of no crime. He wanted to wash his hands of this situation, and he asked a question that we should still be asking today. Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” What should we do with Jesus who is called the Messiah? Well, the people responded to Pilate that Jesus should be crucified. They shouted it. They chanted it. They called for the release of Barabbas. They wanted Jesus to take the place of this criminal. They chose to crucify our Savior.
When asked what to do with Jesus, the crowd crucified Him. They thought that the story would end in His death. Oh how wrong they were! The centurion who witnessed the death of Jesus, the ripping of the temple curtain from top to bottom, the darkness over the whole earth, the earthquake, the splitting of rocks, and tombs opening with saints rising and walking again, recognized the glory of Jesus and who He was. He declared, “This man truly was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54 The women who came to the tomb to prepare the body with spices were shocked to learn that the Messiah had risen, but they believed. Over 500 people saw Jesus after the resurrection before He ascended to heaven, and when He ascended, He did not leave us alone. He left a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who is with us wherever we go.
Jesus took the place of Barabbas on that cross, but it wasn’t merely Barabbas that He took the place of. No, my friends, Jesus didn’t take the place of Barabbas on that cross. He assumed that place for you and for me. He suffered and died on that cross so that you and I could be redeemed. He took on our sins that day. A sinless Christ took on the sins of each of us so that we may be made right with the Father…so that we may have eternal life in our heavenly home.
So I ask you today, “What are you going to do with Jesus?” Are you going to think of Him as a religious leader who died long ago? Are you going to consider Him a main character in the oldest, most read book of all time? Or are you going to recognize that Jesus is who He said He is…realize that He is the Son of God? Will you understand that He came to earth as man to feel our emotions, feel our pain, and show us what unconditional love truly is? Do you know that He truly is the Messiah, our Salvation, Immanuel, God with us? His death on the cross was not the end of the story. It was only the beginning. Accepting Him as your Savior is not the end of the story. It is only the beginning. When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, it is the beginning of new life. So what do we do with Him now? We live our life for Him. We stay in His Word. We worship Him. We sing His praises. We commune with Him. We can go to Him anytime day or night. He is always there, ready, willing, and able to take you call. We can get dressed and go to church this morning to hear His word and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We share Him with this lost and dying world. There is so much that we can do with this Jesus. The reality is that everything we do should be done with Jesus in mind. Ponder this question today, and I assure you that it will help bring you closer to this Jesus!