Monday, December 24, 2012
Benjamin had a friend ask him, "How can we say Buddah isn't a god, yet Buddhists believe he is?" It seemed to me that the deeper question he was asking was, "Who are we to say our religion is the way to God, and another's isn't?" ..at least that is how I took it. I took it this way because Buddhists don't believe Buddah is a god anyhow.
Issue: There are many angles I can take on this. For this blog, I am taking the angle of, "Does the Bible really teach that Jesus the only way to God?"
1. John 3:16 alone, does not exclude people who don't believe in Him. While it says, "those who believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." It in no way says that those who don't believe cannot have this eternal life.
2. John 14:6 speaks of Jesus being the way, the truth, the life. But does not say that the way to Jesus is through faith. So what about those who follow his teaching as a good inspirational person but don't necessarily submit to his lordship & his propitiation?
So how would I respond to Ben & his friend's question, as his dad?
1. Buddah is not the Buddhist's god.
2. Most religions know of Jesus, as he is a key figure in each (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Christianity, Baha'i, Sikhism, syncretism, etc ). And all of these consider Jesus as someone to be followed. For instance, in Islam Jesus is to be followed as a prophet & al-Masīḥ (the Messiah).
So far, we would all agree. Now here is where the sword comes down...this is where the Scriptures and Jesus leave the realm of "coexist" and into the hard teachings of truth.
3. God, however, accepts worship on His terms, not on man's terms
A) Jesus, in John 14:6, notice that Jesus used a definite article (earliest Manuscript we have of this is between 175-225 AD, P75), "I am THE way, THE truth, THE life. No man comes to the Father except through me." What does this "through me" mean? The next passage will answer this question.
B) Jesus, in John 3:16-18, "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
So far, there is no exclusion of those who may not believe in Jesus. However, the next verse is where the exclusion starts-
There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son."
C) Exodus 32:1-4, 5-10 When Moses was up on the mountain for a long time, Aaron & the Canaanites got antsy, so they made a gold calf & worshiped it. Aaron told the people that this was the Lord who lead them out of Egypt. One thing to notice here is that God didn't look down and say, "Bless their hearts. They have the wrong idea of me, but I love the sincerity." No, God was not happy & wanted to destroy them for worshiping false gods. God wanted the worship of Him to be done on His terms.
D) Malachi- This book talks about how God refuses worship done in the wrong heart. He wasn't glad and relieved that they were worshiping Him. God was actually disgusted by their worship.
E) Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:5 states, " For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus." This is pretty awesome, pretty clear, and a great picture. I picture a man on a cross bridging the gap between God & man. All who come to Jesus can also come to the Father!
F) Jesus, in John 10, says that He is THE door. This is a beautiful picture.
Speaking of Buddhist, I was at the health club, running alongside a Buddhist man once, when we got onto the topic of Christians being closed-minded. I told him that this wasn't true. That God opened up the door of salvation to anyone who would come, buddhist, Baptist, straight, homosexual, drug user, atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Wiccan, whoever. The door is Jesus. He thought this was a pretty cool analogy, so I thought I would share it with you.
4. Jesus resurrection puts the exclamation point onto His message! God showed His approval of Jesus by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:31, Romans 1:4). To be cliche, "I am God, and I approve this message."
5. Action Steps: No one is converted but by God's Spirit (John 3:3).
-Prayer. We need to pray for our friends, that God's Spirit would open up their eyes to understand this.
-Discipleship (Mt. 28:18-20). We need to look for "God moments". Times where God is working in their hearts & stirring up questions. We need to be available to walk with them as they discover this truth.
-Love (Mt. 22). We need to love our friends, unconditionally. In other words, whether they believe or not is irrelevant to our loving care for them.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
So yesterday morning I threw on my dogtags & headed off to the front lines. On my way, God taught me a new perspective on Christian Warfare & especially on Ephesians 6. Up until yesterday I did not really grasp this passage, although I have accurately taught it many times.
How does a Christian fight this spiritual war for the souls of man? How does a Christian fight against the schemes of Satan?
Ephesians 6, we do not wage war as the world does. Christians are not to fight like some Muslims or the military. Here are some thoughts from this passage for the Christian's Warfare:
1. People are not our enemy! (Ephesians 6:12, 2 Timothy 2:23-26).
2. Before going on the frontlines, we need to arm ourselves with certain things. The weapons of our warfare are (Eph. 6):
-Belt: Being truthful
-Body armor: Being righteous & holy
-Boots: Having the peace that comes from the good news
-Shield: Trusting/having faith in the Lord
-Helmet: Remembering our salvation
-Carbine: God's word
-Com Device: Prayer
Earlier this week I was subbing and found I am not allowed to share morality with people. We were talking about AIDS & the kids asked how we get AIDS & how to keep from getting it. In our conversation, I mentioned that abstinence was the best policy and the assistant teacher told me that I was not allowed to go there.
I know the laws & will not violate them, for the sake of not getting the school into trouble. Oddly though, you would assume that morality would help children.
So I have to make a choice, not mention truth or push wisdom, and morality...thus not really helping the kids blossom in life OR carefully use truth and package it without mentioning religion. So, I have decided that because truth is good, I will put on the belt of being truthful & really love the kids. It is part of my attire for battle. I will be tactful, respectful, but if asked a question, I will answer it with truth & wisdom so I can really care for others.
So, Christians fight war by loving people & living for their eternal well-being. This is how to fight a war, this is how to advance the Kingdom of God...and the gates of hell will NOT prevail against it. So fight Christian. And tomorrow morning when you head out to the front lines, remember to arm yourself & love others!
Monday, December 3, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
Answers the question, "What do I do?" or "What is my Purpose in Life?":
My focus in life is to make disciples of Jesus.
My desire is to tell people, "Come, follow Jesus with me."
I get it from Matthew 28.
Answers "How do I do what I do?" or the manner in which I do things or my ethic. I have 8.
1. Accurate. I will strive to accurately handle God's word.
2. Creative. I will creatively present God's word.
3. Obedient. I desire to be obedient to God.
4. Pure. I will strive to live with purity of character.
5. Care. I will care for the person in front of me.
6. Respect. I will respect the sanctity of life.
7. Compassionate. I will remember that people are on a journey-give them time to grow.
8. Thankful. I choose to have thankfulness for all God has done to me through Jesus.
All of these come from Matthew 22.
Feel free to hold me to it. What is your mission and core values?
Monday, November 26, 2012
I hate that question.
But to answer, success for me is:
1) Is God being highlighted (Jn. 3:30)?
2) Am I depending on God, not myself?
3) Am I handling the Text accurately?
4) Am I letting the Spirit convict & not me being heavy handed?
5) It isn't boring, but engaging.
6) 1 Peter 4:11, am I preaching God's word with authority and confidence?
7) Hebrews 10:24-25, is it encouraging & empowering to the Church?
8) My wife approves.
That is what goes through my mind in preparing and delivering a sermon.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
"I am a complete failure & feel worthless." he said.
The old man said, "I am busy. You can either come back or you can help me finish my work so we can spend some time together."
"Sure", the young man excitedly said.
The old man turned and handed the younger a gold ring, "Take this to town and sell it. Take no less than 1 gold coin for it."
The young man took the ring and went to town. After several hours of asking people to buy the ring, he was never offered more than a couple pieces of silver. Feeling even more rejected, the young man returned.
"No one was willing to pay the price for this gold ring", the young man told his mentor.
"Then get on the horse and take the ring to the jeweler. He will know what the ring is worth" , said the old man. "But don't sell it to him, no matter what he offers you. Then come bring the ring back to me."
The young man got on the horse and headed back into town. He came into the jewelers shop and asked the man to assess the ring. "If you sell it to me now, I will give you 63 gold coins for it", the jeweler said.
"I was told not to sell it", claimed the young man.
"Well", said the jeweler. "I could give you seventy gold coins, but it will take a couple days."
The young man thanked him & returned to the mentor.
"What did you discover", said the mentor.
"The gold ring was worth seventy coins", said the young man.
"Yes", the jeweler calmly said, while working in his shop, "a jeweler knows the true value of the ring, unlike the common men you saw in the market. Never forget that", the old man put down his tools and turned toward the younger. "You are looking for people to give you your value or to notice what you are worth, instead of considering the Master's evaluation. If you want to see what you are really worth, look at the cross. And never stop looking at it. People will never recognize your true value. Only God can see that."
Friday, October 12, 2012
Jesus' death on the cross was sufficient & satisfied God's holy wrath. Those who trust in him for their salvation have this payment applied to their sin debt. Past, present, and future sins. This is awesome news! And brings dignity to the person who trusts in Christ.
cf. Romans 5:1, Psalm 103:12
We are accepted on this basis alone.
2. We will never find lasting, fulfilling peace if we must continually prove ourselves to others.
3. The Christian life is not a playground but a battlefield. It is a battle on all levels, both from within and without.
4."Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." -Romans 8:1 God does not condemn the believer. Nor shall the believer bend to the feeling of guilt. In Christ, you are not guilty before God. You may, however, be CONVICTED of wrong action.
"Because God loves us unconditionally and does not punish us, we don't need to punish ourselves." p.9
We can rest & enjoy a relationship with the Creator.
5. "Our true value is not based on our behavior of the approval of others but on what God's Word says is true of us." p.23
6. To fail is human. I need to be graceful with those who fail & me when I fail.
7. Depression is generally a result of anger turned inward and/or a deep sense of loss. p. 43
8. Don't always try to determine what people think of you.
9. Jesus had many people trust him, but he didn't entrust himself to them, for he knows that men are fickle.
10. For me, often: self-worth = Performance + Others' Opinions
A better equation would be: self-worth = God's Opinion of me
I am not there all the time.
11. Fear & faith can never be co-equal. One will always dominate the other.
12. People need people they can talk to openly, vulnerable, honestly. May I be someone others can talk to.
13. In Christ we are a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. -2 Corinthians 5:17
Our desire changes, our nature changes. It is nothing short of supernatural. I have seen it & have experienced this.
All in all, this is a good deep book. Sometimes it is easier to suppress our feelings & thoughts. A guy I know works a factory job because he doesn't want to think about things. When you dig into a book like this it causes you to look inside and deal with deeper issues. However, this is good to do from time to time.
I was with my dad the other day & I mentioned that his van was making a funny noise. He said that was why he plays the radio...so he didn't have to hear the noise. We both laughed. However, if you go through life without "checking under the hood" occasionally, you may end up with a serious problem. This is a "check under the hood" book. If you reflectively read it you will get "oil" and "grease" /it may get messy for a while. But the benefits can be good.
In conclusion, this gave me such a rekindled deep appreciation for God, His care for me, and the strength, depth, life-giving ability, and kindness of His word. I often forget or dilute His promises, because of circumstances, or odd thoughts that erode the height of His word. It is good to read books about His word, because through these the fires are rekindled.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Have you hugged your pastor today?
Dealing with Rejection
Saturday, September 29, 2012
1. "Leadership as an Identity" by Crawford Lowritts
2. "Help! I'm a Small Group Leader" by Laurie Polich
3. "The Lost Art of Disciplemaking" by Leroy Eims
4. "Becoming a Contagious Christian" by Bill Hybles
5. "The Master Plan of Evangelism" by Robert Coleman
I have used these books in the past & they really help your leaders on many levels.
I wish I could design the Youth Ministry degree for Moody, because I would require these for Youth Pastors as well.
In fact, for Youth Pastors, I would require, besides Scripture:
1. The 5 above
2. "Purpose Driven Youth Ministry" by Doug Fields
3. "Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry" by Doug Fields
4. "Reaching a Generation for Christ" by Rick Dunn
5. "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem
6. "Turning Vision into Action" by James MacDonald
...but this is not the blog to give my full unveiling of a degree for Youth Minstry so I will just stop with some of the vital books.
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I wrestle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Psalm of David, Psalm 13:1-2
This is one of my favorite Psalms, because I was a wrestler & I can often relate to David's struggle here.
He goes on, in verse 3-4, to ask the Lord to turn and answer him.
Then in verse 5, David says, "But I will trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me."
David clearly trusts that the LORD has unfailing love for him & has, in no way, ignored, failed to hear, or has forgotten David. If you are a child of God, then you have this same relationship with God.
Friday, September 28, 2012
This is a picture of Scythopolis in Israel, otherwise known as Beit She'an. A place where humanism was the philosophy of the day. They elevated the human body & the greatness of humanity above all else. This was a city rich in the arts, athletics, education, and military might. There is a large theatre, gymnasium, and public entertainment and eateries here. Large Roman roads, grooved by the many chariots that pounded the pavement, still remain.
It was at one of these flourishing places that Jesus sent his drab disciples to tell people they need God. I can imagine the scene, rich hedonistic people dining and in comes a couple of former fishermen telling them they need something more than they already have. The people probably thought, "We have health, we have a ample supply of resources, we have comfort, we have friends, we have everything that we could ever need and want. What more can these Galileans offer us that we don't already have?"
If someone was to ask you this question, what would you say, Christian? What do you have to offer the rich, the healthy, the well-off, those who have much more resources than you can have, those who are close to their family?
This Psalm of David gives some insight. There is a day where God will judge people. Fortunately, for many people who have everything in life, many have a nagging sense that they are still missing something. This something is reconciliation with God. And that is what the Christian has to offer those who have everything else.
Monday, September 3, 2012
2. Ace Hardware Store
3. Construction (framing houses)
4. Cleaned pools
6. McDonald's (2 years)
7. Car Detailer (2 years)
8. Started my own car detailing business
9. Cook @ Moody
17. Shaklee Corp. (CSR, Independent Sales)
18. Rank Video (HR, engineering)
19. Side job changing oil
20. Youth Pastor (Itasca, Plymouth, Niles, Findlay)
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
1. Are there problems in the church that you saw?
Yes. There are problems in every church. What do we expect? After all Christians aren't perfect, they just realize they aren't and that they need a savior and direction from God. This is not why we are leaving.
Shout out to Blair, Dave, Dan & the elders, I enjoy Pastor Blair, think he is a very strong leader. I also enjoy the direction the leaders are taking the church. Dan, I don't know you too well, but think you will be a blessing to the church & they should be thankful to have you. Dave, holy mackerel! What can I say about you.
2. Did the leaders know about this change?
A. Blair has been discipling me to grow in my skillset to become a senior pastor.
B. Blair assumed that I would be transitioning out at some point, but didn't expect it this soon. But neither did we.
3. Do you feel like you are abandoning the teens?
Yes. Of course I do. But I also understand that they will be cared for and that God is much bigger than me. Also, Christians are to follow Jesus, not just some mere man. Teens are in the hands of their family & in the hands of God.
4. Is this bad timing?
It is always a bad time to transition out of a Youth Pastor position, seeing that there is never a lul. In my opinion, I leave things up to what I see as God's timing. I am glad that he allowed me to at least be here to lead the summer mission trips.
5. So what led to this decision?
-About 2 1/2 years ago the Lord started putting a burden for South Bend area on mine & Shellie's heart. We started sensing God wanted us to minister to the people there. So we started praying & seeking God's timing on this.
-We looked at becoming a Lead Pastor at a church in South Bend to see if God was at that time opening a door, but sensed that God was not, so even though we know and love many of the people there, decided that God was not leading us in that direction.
-2 years ago, I was reading Scripture & praying about this burden & I believe the Lord had me write down "August 2012". Which I did, and you can see it in my journal. So I believed the Lord wanted us to enjoy the people of Findlay for two years & work hard among them. (my philosophy is that I am on assignment for the Lord here on earth)
-July 2012, August was coming, so I started to once again seek the Lord's direction regarding this burden. So we quietly put our house on the market sort of as a "fleece". We set a deadline of August 13th. If we didn't have a firm offer by then, we would assume that the Lord wanted us to enjoy Findlay for another school year.
-August 10th, we sold our house, 3 days before the deadline. While we were on vacation. We even thought, well maybe we could stay anyhow, but felt like God was telling us, "Um, I sold your house before the deadline. What do you think I want you to do?" So GERONIMO! we are excited to follow the Lord and see what He has for us.
6. Wasn't this really fast?
Yes, it seems pretty fast! The Korhorn family definitely feels that. It has been a whirlwind for us...yet the decision has not been.
The process has been about 2 1/2 years, but the answer to when... happened very recently.
Here is what happened:We let the leaders know as soon as the inspections passed & we firmly sold our house. Then the leaders let the church know right away. And as timing has it, school started right away, so Shellie had to get the kids to school (they missed a week already). And for me, I don't want to be away from my family any longer than 3 weeks. They need dad to be in their lives. We let everyone know ASAP, and this was right on the heels of school starting.
7. What about the Youth while you are gone?
A. Parents are the primary spiritual leaders to the youth.
B. Blair & I are working hard on the transition.
C. In anticipation of "August 2012" I have been working on this transition for about 2 years. Discipling people & getting good people plugged in.
D. There are still some holes in the high school youth group. I am hoping to get some parents to help out until God brings on another pastor to serve as the point.
E. I am very emotional and will miss the teens & families. But I trust that the Lord is bigger than Jeff Korhorn, and He will use this time for His glory.
Hopefully this makes sense. Love God. Love people.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
So I am reading through Jeremiah and contemplating it right now. I am currently in chapters 15-17, and have noticed that there is a lot of judgment and hard things in it. Today, we focus on God being a loving God, and He is. However, we define love by him blessing us with nice, easy, kind things.
In Jeremiah 15, this concept is challenged:
"Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn't help them."
"I am tired of always giving them a chance."
"I will destroy my own people, because they refuse to change their evil ways. There will be more widows than the grains of sand on the seashore."
"I will cause anguish and terror to come upon the suddenly. The mother of seven grows faint and gasps for breath; her sun has gone down while it is still day. She sits childless now, disgraced and humiliated/ And I will hand over those who are left to be killed by the enemy. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
In Jeremiah 16:
"For I have removed my protection and peace from them. I have taken away my unfailing love and my mercy."
Why would a nice God do something like this to His own people?
To be fair, God sent the prophet Jeremiah to tell these people to return to Him.
They had forgotten their God and had turned to their old ways of worshipping stone, wood, and bronze (reminds me of the song, "Who Made Who?" by AC/DC). They had become wicked, evil, and worthless. When they discovered they were on the wrong road, they didn't turn back. Even worse, they became so twisted that they thought they had God's word, and even had false prophets who they thought were right.
God told them, "If you oben me and do whatever I command you, then you will be my people, and I will be your God. " (11:4)
Jeremiah 9:7 I believe is key. "Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: 'See, I will melt them down in a crucible and test them like metal. What else can I do with my people?'"
They had gone off the right path & had chosen the path of destruction (which is the result of sin). God pleaded with them, sent prophets to them, and had turned up the heat on them (sent a drought, and took away the animals in the land). They were headed toward destruction & eternal suffering.
So God, being wise, and caring for their welfare, really increased the heat by sending in foreign (Assyrian & Babylonian) armies to judge Israel SO THAT they would return to the Lord.
Under the New Covenant, the Lord also disciplines & brings difficulty into the Christians life, and into the unbelievers life, to draw us to Jesus. He does this because He knows that a relationship with Him is best for us.
People can respond to this in a few ways:
1. Turn from their stubborn direction and embrace Jesus. And be thankful that God grabbed their attention.
2. Become angry with God for the crappy life they have.
3. Miss the message completely.
4. Surround themselves with people who will lie to them, so they feel better about their suffering & thus totally miss what God was saying to them.
At this point, Israel was choosing 2-4. Not the best choice.
How do you respond to hard times in life? Is God trying to get your attention?
Friday, July 13, 2012
When he arrived he set up a stand in the poorest of cities.
At this stand he offered fruit, fresh water, and choice nuts & lean meat.
However, the people kept passing by and ignoring the man.
Some would look at the fruit, some would talk with the man.
They all admired the man but they would not eat or drink.
He watched as the children became sick.
He watched as the mothers put their babies in the ground.
He saw the fat stomachs of starvation & heard the cries of malnutrition.
He himself cried out, in their own language, "I offer you good food that will bring healing to you and your family. It is free."
But this concept of being healed was foreign to the people. They had grown accustomed to the centuries of death from starvation.
For years the man cried out.
And out of all the years, only a few took the fruit and were healed.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
So I am reading a book on logic, by Norman Geisler. In it he states that John 3:16 teaches that Jesus is A way to God, but the verse does not limit Jesus to being the ONLY way. I agree with Mr. Geisler. Are there any verses that teach that trusting in Jesus is the ONLY way to God?
*This is assuming, of course, that all-Scripture is God-breathed, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient for life and godliness. Which I fully affirm that Scripture is.
About six months later I had to be shock paddled while leading a group of about fourty teens on a trip. Because of these, I have been dealing with PTSD. It is like a switch went on that I couldn't control. This has been going on for five years now...every stinkin day.
Also, part of my PTSD is a fear of losing control in a crowd again...which is hard because my job is a pastor....God has a sense of humor right? I have tried Prozac and it didn't help (although it certainly took the edge off). Xanax and that was a big waste, just made me tired.
Anyhow, I have been praying and fasting for something totally unrelated for about five days now. While I was praying today, suddenly the switch turned off and I felt my body go, "Ahhhh." For the first time in five years! I am no one special. All I can say is, is that for me, Jesus did a miracle to my physiological issue. He clicked it off and finally after a long annoying time, I can learn how to be myself again.
Hope the knot unravels for you also.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Jesus’ Prophecy about the Roman Destruction of Jerusalem
Here is the prophecy Jesus made as he tearfully approached Jerusalem,
“How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace.
But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.
Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.”
-Luke 19:41–44 (NLT)
According to the dating of Luke’s letter to Theophilus, this was a very vivid, very specific, very closely fulfilled, very radical, very emotional prophecy.
- The destruction of Jerusalem, which Jesus originally made in about 33AD, 37 years after spoken was fulfilled in the remembrance of his followers.
- This destruction of the Temple ended the sacrificial system, because it was no longer necessary. The sacrificial system met it’s intent & was completed in Christ. In fact, there is still no sacrificial system today.
- In case you are skeptical & believe this may have been added later by Luke, Luke’s Gospel was written between 58-65AD. The later date would place it 5 years before the destruction of Jerusalem & the surrounding area by the Romans.
This is a good example of the Bible/Jesus putting itself on the line. This happened, and just as Jesus said it would. Be encouraged, God knows the future and He knows you. If you are a child of God (believer in Jesus), then He is doing a good work in your life.
Monday, March 19, 2012
The Mockery of God
1-5 The Accusation
6-15 The Rejection
16-20 The Beating
21-32 The Execution
Have you ever felt the sting of rejection? The bite of false accusation? Ever had to endure the grizzly pain of abuse either physically, verbally, or emotionally? Have you ever had to endure a sharp, mean-spirited character assassination?
Today we are making a major transition from the ministry of Jesus, to the final rejection and death of Jesus. As we look at the abuse Jesus endured, on our behalf, put yourself in His shoes and consider 2 thoughts.
#1- Jesus took your place. The punishment you deserve, for your sin, fell upon Him. He endured the worst of life, taking our pain upon Himself so that we can be healed, so that we can be forgiven, so that we can have everlasting life.
#2- Jesus is your sympathetic high priest. He has endured the worst of humanity & can relate with the struggles that you face.
- Jesus was a real person, real feelings, real emotions, real nerve endings. There was nothing plastic about Him.
1-5 The Accusation
1 Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. 2 Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.” 3 Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, 4 and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” 5 But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.
“Very early in the morning”- Blair mentioned last week that this whole process, this whole trial was shady. He was hung at 9AM so this was pretty early, at a time the masses were still turning in their beds, weary from the travel to Jerusalem.
After this trial before Pilate, Pilate pulled Jesus aside to talk with Him (Jn. 18:33-38).
6-15 The Rejection
6 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner—anyone the people requested. 7 One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising. 8 The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual. 9 “Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. 10 (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) 11 But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. 12 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!” 15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
To keep peace with the people, Pilate released 1 prisoner
- “Barabbas”= Son of the father
- Zealot, murderer (Ex. 20:13)
- Jesus=worse criminal Ex. 20:2-6 - No other gods, don’t worship idols (higher tier)
BUT, they didn’t realize who they were killing. They were killing the very God they wanted to honor.
13- “Kill Him”, “hang him”, “a curse be upon him”.
14- Why? (Matt. 27:19-Pilate's wife’s dream) (Pilate=frustrated)
Their response Matt. 27:24-25 “blood be on us”
16-20 The Beating
16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. 18 Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 19 And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. 20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
21-32 The Execution
21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) 22 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 23 They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. 24 Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 29 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. 30 Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!” 31 The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.
23- Wine & myrrh. Myrrh, until recently was used as a painkiller & was prescribed by Greek doctors for pain & to treat infections. And He rejected it, choosing rather to undergo the full pain and suffering on our behalf.
Talk about kicking a man when He was down. All God’s people gathered it seemed in this rejection of their Messiah, their God, their king.
32- “So we can see and believe”
- They didn’t understand their own Scriptures (that Jesus would be pierced for them).
- Remember what Jesus said? “Not sign shall be given except the Sign of Jonah”- He was actually fulfilling their sign so that many would believe and be saved.
So why did Jesus go through all this suffering?
1. Couldn’t God have just forgiven us so that we could one day live in His presence? Couldn’t we do good works? No.
Sin is damnable, we are so wicked, so wayward, in God’s eyes. That there was no other option. Sin, our sin, deserves Hell & suffering. So Jesus paid the price for us. Are you starting to understand just how evil our sin is in God’s eyes? Have you invited Jesus to be your savior (TAKE TIME TO PAUSE & PRAY). He paid the necessary price for our sin. He took our place so the many could be forgiven.
2. He suffered, and therefore, He is able to understand us in our weakness. Hebrews 11:38.
Are you being accused of something falsely? Are you dealing with the sharp sting of rejection? Are you enduring physical abuse? Verbal abuse? Mental abuse? And not sure who to turn to? Do you carry the weight of others treating you as if you are worthless or not worthy of dignity and the respect that a normal person should have? Have you recently had to deal with the ripping of a loved one from you? Well, there is great comfort in knowing that there is one...
Sunday, March 18, 2012
"I will give it all to you if you will worship me." -Luke 4:7
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Test Tube Jesus: Proving God
“Prophecy to us you Messiah! Who hit you that time?” -Matthew 26:68
So, recently I talked to a guy on Yahoo! who said that he wouldn’t believe in God unless He could be proven using the scientific method. In other words,
Step #1-put God in the test tube.
Step #2-then he would believe.
I was reading and contemplating this verse this morning and thought about this guy. A thought some might have is, “Why didn’t Jesus prophecy for them & win the skeptics over?” or “Why not just do a little miracle, and prove yourself to them, Jesus?” Well, HE DID!! In fact, He did many, yet they refused to believe. Their “education” clouded them. Here is the closest Jesus will get to hopping into the test tube-
In Matthew 16:1-4, we see the religious leaders demanding that Jesus give them a sign in order to convince them. Jesus’ response was, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then He left them & went away.
I have heard a few people say they would not believe unless they could prove God by the scientific method. Well, then they won’t believe & will be held accountable for that unbelief. They know the truth about God, because GOd has made it obvious, but they suppress the truth (Romans 1:18-19). In fact, I bet even if God were to hop into their tube, they wouldn’t believe. Why? Because they suppress any evidence of Him that they see, because they don’t want to believe.
Now on a kinder note, God is spirit, immaterial. You cannot put a spiritual being through the scientific process. So basically these guys are really saying, “I just don’t want to believe.” I asked one guy, “What if God appeared to you ever day in the sky and said, ‘Hey, here I am.’. Would you believe then?” He said, “No. I would assume it was a figment of my imagination.” And that is why Paul says they suppress what they already know, and Jesus calls them evil & unfaithful.
In conclusion, God has made Himself obvious through natural revelation & inside your soul. Jesus has already given you everything you need to believe. He died, was buried, and three days later rose bodily from the dead. The choice is up to you.
Monday, February 20, 2012
The Law is not bad, if one uses it Lawfully. Example, say I want to use Saturday as my chill out day. I am free to do so. Which is what I do. Does it earn me salvation? No. Is it pleasing to the Lord? Yes, because I am living to please Him, not because of the particular day.
I can expand for volumes, but I won't. Feel free to discuss this, debate/argue this with me.