“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

What Shall I Do with Jesus?”

(Please read Matthew 27:11-26)

June 18

This is a question which confronts every soul who has ever heard of Jesus. Many people regard the decision as nonexistent or trivial and give it little thought. But in so doing, they have made their decision; we hope they will have time to consider the matter seriously, with open minds.

Jesus himself had posed the question earlier to a group of disbelieving Pharisees: “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” (Matthew 22:42, NAS). Thus he highlighted exactly the truth that the Pharisees had missed about him: he was God in the flesh.

Isaiah had hailed the coming Messiah as “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6), but had also described him as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” a humble man not fitting the common conception of God (53:3 and following). The idea of a being who was both God and man was too much for most of the Jewish religious establishment, possibly because their arrogance had caused them to misunderstand the message of the prophets.

Pilate had found no reason to execute Jesus and had tried repeatedly to get the people to agree to set Jesus free, but was not brave enough to stand his ground. So the question in our title apparently was an attempt to transfer responsibility for the terrible thing the mob wanted to do. He finally, ceremonially, washed his hands of the dirty business. But that didn’t really make things right, did it?

Let’s avoid a decision by default and consider Jesus fairly. After all, a lot depends on what we decide.

 

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