HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Our text is taken from the book of Matthew 27:27-31
Everyone who encounters Jesus must make a decision about Jesus.
This morning, we are looking at the Gospel of Matthew. And we come to the most famous ‘trial’ in all of human history. It’s the story of when Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate—just before being given over to crucifixion.
And given the identity of the One who was standing before Him, it was actually Pilate who was the one on trial!
Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified (Matthew 27:11-26).
Pay special attention to the words of verse 22. They are the reason why I suggest that it was really Pilate who was ultimately on trial rather than our Lord. Pilate said, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
In Pilate’s case, the question was a matter of expediency. And yet—unwittingly—he illustrates for all time a spiritual reality that every man, woman, and young person must experience when they encounter Jesus Christ as He really is: They must decide what they are going to do with Him. Shall they accept Him for who He claims to be? Shall they reject Him as a blasphemer and a liar? Shall they try to ignore Him? Shall they pretend that He’s something that He’s not?
The life that He was said to have lived, the claims He made concerning Himself, the miracles that it was said He performed—all of these things absolutely require that everyone who encounters Him must respond to Him. He puts everyone at the crossroads of a decision. They must answer the question, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
The choice is your today What will you do with Jesus that is called the Christ? The choice is clear and certain that you have to answer “yeah” or “nay”. You have to make that choice after reading this message.