A Word for the Week
Decisions--no doubt you have already made a few this morning. You will make many more before you go to sleep sometime later tonight.
Every decision brings a consequence of some kind. Some are larger than others and some linger much longer. But in every case--your decisions affect your life particularly and can affect the lives of others around you.
That brings me to Pilate. A powerful man in the political circles of Roman government.
Pilate faced life's most important decision and made the wrong choice. We read the particulars in Mark 15 where we find Jesus standing before the man who will ultimately make the decision as to whether He lives or dies. Would anyone like to step up and take the place of Pilate in this circumstance? Pilate tried to delegate it to others. He tried to negotiate with the crowd and yet he had to decide what was to be done with Jesus. It was his decision to make.
We understand from scripture that Pilate caved in to peer pressure in an attempt to keep his position politically and in so doing sealed his fate and his future.
This would have been one of those life-altering decisions that when made re-directs the rest of our life on a course that is much more difficult than it needed to be.
Pilate's life was never the same. The day came when he lost his political position and the voices of those whom he feared more than God that day in Jerusalem faded away. He had been warned by those closest to him and even decided to disregard the truth that Jesus shared with him face to face. Options were available to him and yet it all came down to the question you hear him ask in verse 12--"what then do you want me to do with Him, whom you call the King of the Jews?"
From God's position this question cannot be decided by others or delegated to others. Each of us, regardless of our place or position in this world MUST decide what must I do with Jesus?
Will I believe and live OR not believe and grieve my own death?
Verse 15 has a penetrating effect into the soul- "so Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them, and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified."
Pilate decided to go with the crowd instead of stand with Christ and his decision still haunts him from the halls of hell today. We have the record that Pilate delivered Jesus to His death and in so doing delivered his soul to destruction. There is a record of Pilate regretting his decision, as he washed his hands in public BUT there is no record whatsoever that Pilate repented of his decision to do away with Jesus. Remorse must not be confused with repentance. Being sorry you sinned is not the same thing as being willing to forsake it and follow Christ.
I am not his judge, nor are you, but the word of God tells us the day is coming when things will be turned around for Pilate and all who deny Jesus as Savior.Pilate, along with every other unbeliever throughout history will stand before Jesus individually and be judged for the decisions (plural) that flowed out of their decision to reject truth and deny Jesus.
According to the word of God, it will happen at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15) and everyone who chose 'to follow the crowd' in denying Jesus instead of denying self and following Jesus will be present to stand before Jesus, to be judged according to the truth they rejected.
The decision having been made on earth means their destiny is already sealed for eternity. All that remains to be settled is their degree of suffering, and that is NOT their decision to make.
Although there will be no genuine believer there that day, at the Great White Throne judgment, if you could somehow hear the particular proceedings of Pilate, this man who decided to follow the crowd instead of confess Jesus as Lord, you might well hear Jesus say, "what then shall I do with him?" And Pilate will be delivered to his death. Only in this case there will be no resurrection!
Pilate made many decisions while he lived, as all of us do. But none carried more importance than the one He made early on a Friday morning almost 2000 years ago. He still deals with the consequences of that decision as he awaits his final sentence. Truth is, he's not alone! He's just lonely!
That brings me to this in conclusion--
Has Jesus ever stood before you and spoke truth?
Have you been faced with the decision, 'what then shall I do with Him?"
I hope you realize that each of us are accountable for our own decision in this matter. Therefore, it is critical that you and I make the right decision because one day, we will face Him.
And what He decides then with me is determined by what I decided to do with Him here. For many. like Pilate it will be final and fatal.
Have you decided to follow Jesus? If so, you can expect a reward! (2 Cor. 5:9-11)
If not, you can expect retribution! (Rev. 20:11-15)
The time is to decide is when Jesus stands before you as Savior because it will be too late if you find yourself standing before Him while seated as Judge.
Decisions-- we make many on a given day and multiplied thousands throughout life. Not one, however is more important than what we decide to do with Jesus in the moment He stands before us!
It's one of the decisions that alters your life, forever!
Can you say with absolute confidence today--'I have decided to follow Jesus?" If so, you're blessed! If not, Jesus stands before you today, as Savior.
What will you decide? Remember, it's yours to make and yours to live with.
God's best to each of you in your daily decisions!
1 Corinthians 15:58