Pilate responded, "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" (Mt 27:22)
Attending college and being a student are two different things. I attended college. My goal was survival. I was immature and I’m not advocating for blowing off college courses, but it was my way. You’re thinking, ‘oh, I blew off classes, too…I understand.’ No, friend, you don’t.
I was surprised once by a mid-term, one of my 4 grades for the semester. I hadn't been in class and had no idea what the test was over. I didn’t panic though, because I felt I had a knack for guessing right. I thought could make at least a 25, since every question had only 4 choices. With my keen instincts, I figured I might even pass. Worst case, 30-40 points would hold a C average. My mathematical assumptions were all wrong and I found myself staring at a red 17. Like 1-7, like if my folks find out, I won’t be back next semester. Through the gift of salesmanship and a very gracious teacher, I found a path to survive.
Only a fool would take a college exam without any preparation and expect to do well. Even then, I knew doing well involves attending class, taking notes, reading assignments and studying for exams. In the same way, I wonder, how is it many are willing to face eternity without any preparation? Maybe family disappointments, frustration or anger with those who say they follow Jesus have prevented a true search for God. Trusting eternity to personal opinions, feelings and assumptions about who God might be is a whole lot like walking into a mid-term without any prep work.
We have access to the Bible, where God reveals Himself to us. Through His Word, we learn the characteristics of God, what He is like. Ultimately, we’re confronted with the question Pilate posed to the crowd on the day he sentenced Jesus to die, “what should I do with Jesus?” It is a question every one of us faces. Before we answer, let’s consider…
- how remarkable the life of JESUS was
- He was born in a manger, to a virgin (Luke 2)
- He healed the blind and lame, repeatedly (Matthew 15, John 5)
- He walked on water (Matthew 14)
- He brought a little girl, a widow’s son and his close friend back to life…from death (Mark 5, Luke 7 & John 11)
- what Jesus said about Himself
- He said He was the Messiah (John 4)
- He said He was The Son of GOD (Matthew 26)
- He said belief in Him would lead to eternal life (John 3)
- He predicted His death and resurrection (Matthew 26)
- how Jesus died
- He was whipped, beaten and mocked, but He forgave His torturers (Matthew 27)
- One of the soldiers who crucified Him came to believe in Him (Matthew 27)
- After He died, the earth quaked, rocks split apart, tombs were opened and people who were dead came out and walked into Jerusalem (Matthew 27)
- He was crucified, buried and then resurrected (Matthew 27-28)
- and the impact Jesus has had on people
- Marriages have been saved & addictions have been overcome
- Hospitals, Universities, Orphanages have been established and maintained by people who have been impacted by Jesus
- Starving people have been fed, all over the world
- People have given their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ
These truths about Christ beg an answer to Pilate’s question. Either I can accept His offer for eternal life, or reject it. I can believe what His Word says about Him is true, or I can choose not to believe it. I can confess He is who He says He is, or I can deny Him. What I cannot do is ignore Him.
So, let’s not punt our responsibility to respond to The Creator. The stakes are too high; it’s more reckless than how I confessed I attended college. If you haven’t read His Word, I hope these few observations will motivate to read His Word and search for the truth. If He loved and forgave those who crucified Him, He will love and forgive us all, no matter what we have done, thought or said.
“Everyone who calls on the name of The LORD will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)