My kingdom is not of this world … You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. (John 18:36-37)
What will you do with Jesus? On the morning of what is now known as the first Good Friday, the Jewish religious authorities took Jesus to continue His trial before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. We can see in the details of the Gospel accounts how God sovereignly orchestrated all of these events. The Jews’ determination to secure Christ’s death by crucifixion would actually fulfill God’s plan from eternity. God had also planned Christ’s interaction with Pilate. As they stood before one another, Pilate asked significant questions about Jesus’ identity and authority. These questions formed an examination with eternal ramifications—an examination we all must make. Consider how the hymn writer puts it:
Pilate believed he was holding an examination on a purely intellectual, natural level. But answering the question “Who is Jesus?” is always a spiritual, supernatural matter. Jesus wasn’t a political king, as Pilate believed, but the heavenly King. He essentially told Pilate, My kingdom doesn’t find its origin in this world. The concern of My kingdom is the spiritual transformation that is brought about in the hearts of My people. The reason why I was born as a King was to testify to God’s truth. But Pilate, blind in his unbelief, had already made up his mind. Jaded and disdainful, he sought to avoid the fundamental question we all must ask: “What will I do with Jesus?” But in trying not to answer, he nevertheless gave his answer: I shall reject His claim on me and His rule over me, and therefore His offer to rescue me.
Neutral you cannot be. You will either live under Jesus’ rule or you will not. So do not close your Bible in the morning and then live as though this world and its concerns and kings are all that is or all that matters. Do not proceed as though Jesus has no place or interest in your life in this world. He stood friendless and forsaken before Pilate so that you might be welcomed as His friend into His eternal kingdom. There is no option of neutrality—but why would we want there to be?
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections— what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Devotional material is taken from Truth For Life: 365 Daily Devotions by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company. Used by Truth For Life with written permission.