Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… We all know that Jesus knew His days on earth were numbered. He knew His path would be to the cross. He did not ask His Father to get Him out of this pickle; it was the reason He came.
Jesus said, “I did not come to judge the world, but to SAVE it.”
The cross speaks of God’s grace, mercy, and salvation. Our theme verse as a Movement of churches for 2015 is Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (NLT). This is our YEAR OF SALVATION. I am praying that many of you will have the joy of witnessing others come to Christ this Easter.
Before the resurrection, Jesus endured His arrest and trial. His trial was a sham, a total joke. In a period of eight hours, Jesus actually experienced six different trials: three Jewish trials and three Roman trials — all illegal because they were performed at night. Annas, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, King Herod, and Pilate again. Six trials in eight hours. The average trial in Canada takes months, if not years from start to finish!
They had little of which to accuse Jesus. They found false witnesses with trumped up lies, perjuring and contradicting themselves. They finally found one accusation that would stick because it was true.
“Do you claim to be the Son of God?”
Jesus said “yes”, and that was blasphemy — punishable by death.
Think about that… Jesus never claimed to be a religious leader, prophet, ethical teacher, or a man of God. Instead He claimed to BE God. That seems to change everything. But his accusers refused to believe; that’s why he had to die.
The truth is, Jesus allowed them to put Him on trial. That is His own testimony in John 10:18:
“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”
Why do you suppose Jesus allowed the mockery and shame of six trials?
Because it was an essential part of fulfilling His ultimate purpose: to save humanity. Or more precisely, to be the Saviour of the world.
One day, everyone, everybody, every last human being in past, present, and future will acknowledge this fact. Philippians 2:6-11 makes this very plain. Everyone on earth, in heaven, and even in hell will declare Jesus is Lord and Saviour.
People often say, “What is this world coming to?” I’ll tell you what the world is coming to: all of history is focusing in on a final day — a final day of judgment. Every last individual will stand before God and in that moment will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is exactly who He said He was. That is a fact.
All rebellion, all foolishness, all skepticism, all doubt, all arrogance, and all denial are going to be swept away and everyone will declare, on bended, prayerful knee, that Jesus is Lord.
Every nationality will admit it. Every generation will admit it. Every culture will admit it. Every person of every religion will admit it. Every atheist will admit it. Every politician, business person, home maker, rock star, pro athlete, and child will admit it.
The issue is not whether we will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. The issue is not “if”, but “when” every person chooses to admit it. Either now in a spirit of joy, or later, done in a spirit of regret.
God gave Jesus the name above all names!