Good morning! I’m glad to welcome you to worship today at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
In Chapter 27 of Matthew, we are approaching the end of the life and earthly ministry of Jesus who– after being betrayed by Judas, arrested and sentenced by the Jewish authorities, and denied by Peter–now finds himself in front of Pontius Pilate, to be judged by him.
The Jewish High Council had presented three accusations against him: 1) deceiving the nation, 2) prohibiting the Jews from paying taxes to the Roman government, and 3) claiming that He was King.
Curiously, Pilate ignored the first two accusations and focused on the last. Dr. Warren Wiersbe comments regarding this, “…this was a definite threat to Rome. If he [Pilate] could deal with this “revolutionary” [Jesus] properly, he could please the Jews and impress the Roman emperor at the same time.”
Jesus limited his response to several simple words, “It is as you say. (v. 11),” and then to continued silence. After this, Pilate was convinced that Jesus was a just man who had done no wrong, nevertheless, he condemned Jesus to death. He did not act like a judge committed to justice but like an astute politician winning the favor of the voters.
When Christ was born, the magi from the East arrived at Herod’s palace looking for the “King of the Jews”, and this was the excuse Herod used to try to kill the innocent child. In this new encounter, the Lord’s True Royalty puts his life at risk at the hands of another false king.
The scenes of the suicide of Judas, the injustice of the Jews, and the serene calm and valor of Jesus leave us with a clear warning to all: “Our acts, more than our words, reveal who we are.”
We trust that the time you have spent with us today will have been of great blessing in your life.