SERIES: 43 John - Believe:879 - 2009
MESSAGE: A King, a Kingdom, and a Courtroom
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 18:28-40


Turn in your bible this morning to the Gospel of John Chapter 18.  Yup, we're back.  We're back continuing our so far two years study of the Gospel of John.  But as you can see, we're nearing the end, whatever that means.  John Chapter 18 this morning.  What if we go ahead and pray.

Lord, we're comforted to know that You know everything about us.  Everything about our personal life situations, about the things we're facing, dealing with, struggling over, and even all the joys in life.  Lord, as we're going to see in this text, we're always faced with a decision.  The decision is, will we allow You control over our lives or is there a part of our life that we just don't want you involved in.

We often pray Your kingdom come, and we pray Lord that You would reign as king's supreme.  Over not only today but this year in our lives you're going to take us to heaven.  In the meantime, I pray that You would make us heavenly minded, eternally minded.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Ladies, I'd like to introduce you to the perfect man.  He's a doll.  He's 13 inches tall, so he's manageable.  He's called Mr. Wonderful.  Have you seen the Mr. Wonderful doll?  This little doll is always happy, always smiling and he's been programed to always say the most sensitive, sweetest, and right things no matter what's the situation.  I have a little video clip.  Now there's music in the background but you'll get the gist of Mr. Wonderful and just how great he is.  Go ahead.

(Video Playing 00:02:18 - 00:03:45)

Mr. Wonderful.  Now ladies -- kick in, yeah.  Okay, what are the ladies whistling?  I want to know.  Can you imagine having a man who's never irritable?  Who's never selfish?  All you've got to do is give him three double A batteries and he's a happy man.

Now, think about this.  God could have made the world filled with Mr. and Ms. Wonderful dolls, right?  Just pre-programmed.  So, all we have to do because he prompts us to say, "I've been thinking about you all day, God.  Lord, does it matter what I do today as long as I'm with you?  Lord, I love to honor You, praise and bless You from my heart."  He could have preprogrammed mechanical dolls to give Him that kind of praise and that kind of submission.  Now, think about it.

If He would have done that, there would be no evil in the world.  There will be no rape, no murder, no selfishness, no crime, because that wouldn't be programmed into our components.

Bu I have a question.  Are there drawbacks to a Mr. Wonderful doll?  Ladies are going, "No, I can't see any right up the back."  Well, the first one that comes to my mind, he's not real.  It's mindless, mechanical, compliments.

So, he says, "I love you".  It cheapens that love because it's not real love from a real heart.  There's no real submission.  So God could have made people like that but there wouldn't be a real love involved and so He didn't do that.  He gave us an incredible freedom, we know as human volition, the freedom of choice.  Jesus came into this world and announced a kingdom was coming and that He was the king.  It's a very different kind of a kingdom than an earthly kingdom like what Caesar had in Rome or what like the Jews were anticipating to come to their country.  But three times in the section we're about to read.  Jesus says, "My kingdom".

His kingdom is not a kingdom filled with Mr. and Ms. Wonderful dolls, pushing the button and saying all the right things, but filled with real people dealing with a real God, living in real submission to his authority.

Now, let me bring you back into the scene of John Chapter 18.  It's a courtroom scene.  Jesus is on trial in the sentences before Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judaea.  Now, we have all of the elements to a courtroom scene.  We have the judge, that's Pilate.  We have the defendant, that's Jesus.  We have the plaintiffs, those are the Jewish authorities who bring Jesus for the trial.

Let me remind you also that this isn't the first trial.  This is one of six trials all together that Jesus faces before death.  This is the trial number four.  Let me refresh your memory.  The first trial was Jesus before the high priest Annas, he was the former high priest but he's clearly the one who had all of the authority in Judaism.  The second trial was after that before the son-in-law of Annas, the high priest who was the resident high priest of that time named, Caiaphas.

After both of those trials, the third trial was Jesus standing before the entire Jewish counsel called the Sanhedrin in the earliest hours of the morning.  But because they couldn't bring the ultimate sentence, they thought Jesus should have the death penalty.  They now have to bring it into the civil courts.  So we're at trial number four, the trial before Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judaea.

Now, here what's ironic.  We have the King of Kings, who will one day rule overall of the world, over all the kingdoms of men standing trial before a puny human court, Pontius Pilate and his other ambassadors.

What happened in Jerusalem 2000 years ago where Jesus stood on trial is played out every single day in the hearts of men and women around the world.  In the courts of public opinion and the courts of personal decision comes the wrestling, "What am I going to do with this Jesus?  How am I going to handle him?  What are my thoughts about Him and dare I lead Him be king over my life?"  Those were always the issues at stake.

As we look at our verses, and today we're going to begin in Verse 28 of Chapter 18.  I want you to know these three things.  A kingdom denied, a kingdom discussed, and a kingdom disbelieved.  First is the kingdom denied, this is the Jewish authorities that bring Christ into this trial.  Look at Verse 28 of John 18.  Then they, they being the ambassadors of the high priest, the Jewish authorities, part of the Sanhedrin, they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium, that's the judgement hall.

And it was early morning, I'm guessing 6 o'clock, no later, between five and six in the morning, but they themselves did not go in the praetorium.  Watch this, less they should be defiled but that they might need to pass over.  Now, the Jewish leaders felt if they were to go into the home of the gentile, they would be ceremonially defiled.  How ironic is that?  They're willing to kill Jesus and push this through in illegal case but, "We don't want to defile ourselves.  It's the only thing ceremonially weird."

Then Pilate went out to them and he said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"  They answered and said to him, "If you were not an evil doer, we would not have delivered Him to you."  And then Pilate said to them, "You take Him and judge Him according to your law."  Therefore, the Jew said, "It's not lawful for us to put anyone to death, that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke signifying by what death He would die."

All right, these Jewish rulers, the Sanhedrin, Annas, Caiaphas, the ones that are bringing Jesus into the courtroom seen with Pilate.  All of them believed in and anticipated a kingdom that was coming, a messianic kingdom.  The trouble is, they rejected Jesus as that messiah who would be their king and here's why.

They believe that whoever the messiah would be he is going to bring in an immediate kingdom, an outward kingdom, a political kingdom.  He's going to overthrow the enemies of the Jews, in this case the Romans.  Push them out of the country and then set up his eternal messianic kingdom from Jerusalem.  Jesus didn't deliver those goods, did He?

Now, let me just sort of trace this thinking.  As soon as Jesus began His ministry, one of the first sentences out of His mouth was this.  "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."  When He said that, their hopes started rising.  The kingdom of God is at hand, like immediate, like soon, like maybe this is the messiah.  And it got to be such that His popularity rose and rose so that when He was in Galilee and he fed 5000 miraculously and did other miracles.

In John Chapter 6, some of the crowd said, "Let's take Him by force and make Him our king."  They wanted to bring in that kingdom.  But, to top it all off, that anticipation reached fever pitch.  With just a few days before this courtroom scene, Jesus comes into Jerusalem on that donkey, the crowds brought palm branches and threw their clothes in the road as Jesus sat on the donkey, and do you remember what they cried out?

"Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."  Listen, "the king of Israel".  So they thought at any moment this guy is going to pull out all the stuffs and set up that immediate political outward messianic kingdom.  That's not why He came the first time, right?  He's going to eventually do that in the future, the bible says at His second coming.

But when Jesus came the first time, He didn't come as the ruling, reigning king, right?  He came as what?  Savior, He came to deal with sin.  He came to conquer sin in people's lives and to be the savior.  That's what the angels said to Joseph, you will call His name Jesus because He will save His people from their sin.

So, what did they do?  Waiting for this kingdom, Jesus isn't delivering.  They have a sham trial, a mock kind of a trial, breaking all of the Jewish rules, three of them to be exact.  They leveled a sentence against Jesus.  They want Him killed.  But, because the Romans had taken away the right of the Jews to execute anybody, the right of capital punishment, this is reserved for the Romans.  We have to bring Him into a civil trial.  That's why they're before Pilate.

Now I believe that Caiaphas, the acting high priest wanted nothing more and nothing less than to see Jesus hung on a cross, crucified.  That's what he wanted.  That was not how the Jews executed people.  By the way, in the Old Testament, what was the method of execution?  Stoning, Leviticus 24, if somebody is worthy of death, they are to be taken publicly and stoned.  It was a brutal way of execution.

They probably could have done that with Jesus, because in a few weeks they're going to do it with Stephen in Jerusalem.  They're going to stone Him and they could have talked their way through it with the Roman authorities afterwards.  But I'm convinced Caiaphas didn't want to stone Him.

Caiaphas wanted the worst kind of death, crucifixion because the Law of Moses said, "Curse it is, everyone who hangs on a tree."  And Caiaphas thought if the Jews see this man crucified, they're going to think, "No way could He be our messiah.  He's cursed by god.  He's on a tree."

So that was their agenda.  They want to see Him crucified and they bring Him before Pontius Pilate.

There's an old adage that says, "If you can't find a lawyer who knows the law, find one who knows the judge."  Evidently, Caiaphas and Annas knows the judge and they bring Jesus before him.  They bring Him to the praetorian that is called.  That was the ancient Antonia Fortress.  It is where the Roman soldiers were garrisoned in Jerusalem.  It was their fort.

Now Pontius Pilate the Governor, he had his headquarters not in Jerusalem but in Caesarea on the ocean, great place to hangout.  But whenever there is a festival of the Jews, he moved his headquarters to Jerusalem, why?  Just in case a riot would break out, some kind of a scene like this, he could be there to quell that riot.

And so the leaders come and they bring Jesus, and they have to have some accusation.  That's what Pilate says, "Well, what accusation do you bring?"  And they said here in John's gospel, "If He were not an evil doer, we would not have brought Him to you to begin with."

Now John didn't give us anymore details but the other gospel accounts do.  Luke actually records what the charges were against Jesus at this trial.  I want you to look at them.  Turn with me or if you don't have a bible, I'll turn and you can listen to Luke Chapter 23.

Now, I cheated because I marked it before I got here, so I just had to flip to it.  But Luke Chapter 23, I'll give you a moment to turn there and you'll read the charges yourself.  Verse 1, Luke 23, "Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate.  And they began to accuse Him saying --" now, you're going to notice three accusations.

Number one, we found this fellow perverting the nation.  Number two, forbidding to pay taxes to Cesar, and number three, saying that He himself is Christ the king.  Three charges they level against Christ, all trumped up charges.  Let's go through them.

Number one, this man is perverting the nation.  Was that a true charge or a false charge?  It was a false charge.  He never perverted the nation.  Jesus said, "I didn't come to destroy the law.  I came to fulfill it.  I'm not here trying to destroy my nation.  This is the nation God has given to this earth and has a covenant with."

Number two, the charge was He's forbidding people to pay taxes to Cesar.  Was that true or false?  It's false.  Jesus held up a coin one day and He said, "Render to Cesar what belongs to Cesar, but make sure you render to God what belongs to God."  But look at that third charge.

This guy says He's the king.  Was that a true charge or false?  It was a true charge.  Now, that charge was a true charge.  This guy says He is a king.  The trouble is, they rejected His authority, they rejected His kingship.  They didn't want anything to do with Him ruling over them.

A few days before this trial as Jesus is coming into Jerusalem and the crowds do give Him the adulation, "Hosanna to the highest, the Son of David, the king of Israel."  Do you remember that as Jesus was making His way down to the Mount of Olives, He stopped and He did something?  What did He do?  He wept.  He cried over the city.

And He said, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers its chicks under its wings, but you were not willing.  Your king has come to you.  You would not recede His authority in your lives.  You were not willing for Me to comfort you and gather your children and bring in any kind of a kingdom whatsoever.

So that's the first section of John Chapter 18 that we have read, the kingdom is denied.  Let's go to the second.  We now have the kingdom discussed.  The second scene is a private scene.  It is Pontius Pilate the governor face to face with Jesus.  Verse 33, Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus and said to Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

Jesus answered him.  "Are you speaking for yourself about this or did others tell you this concerning me?"  Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew?  Your own nation and Chief Priest have delivered you to me.  What have you done?"  Jesus answered.  "My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight so that I should not be delivered to the Jews.  But now, my kingdom is not from here."

Pilate therefore said to him.  "Are you a king then?"  Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king for this cause I was born, for this cause I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth everyone who is of the truth hears my voice".  We have here one of the most provocative encounters of two people in all of history.  The Roman governor who represents the king of the world, Caesar himself, and Jesus the King of Kings.  Now, Pontius Pilate is famous because of what you and I are reading.

In history, he is one of the most infamous characters.  There is a group of Sunday school kids and the teacher asked the kids to draw a rendition of the Christmas story.  Most of those kids drew shepherds and angels in the major scene, the Wiseman, the camels et cetera.  One boy decided to draw something different for his picture of the Christmas scene.  It was an airplane with four people in them.  The teacher stopped and said, "I don't get this!"  And the boy looked up like "Duh," and said, "This is the flight into Egypt".

Okay, if you're laughing is because you know in your bible the little subheading says that when Jesus and Mary and Joseph had to flee from Herod's wrath they went to Egypt, the flight into Egypt.  So he drew an airplane, the flight into Egypt.  The teacher said "Oh, okay I get but why are there four people?  I get Joseph and Jesus and Mary, who's the fourth?"  And the guy looked up again the kid said like, "That's Pontius, the Pilate!"  Okay, it's a kid, truth be told.  We don't know a whole lot more about Pontius Pilate than that kid thought he knew.  We just know a few things or it's just a sketchy bit of information about him and I tried to amass as much as I can to give you a little snap shot of this guy, Pontius Pilate.

Pontius Pilate was the fifth Roman governor of the province of Judea appointed by Caesar Tiberius in 26 A.D.  He reigned for 10 years as the governor of Judea.  But get this.  Pontius Pilate was not Roman.  That is he wasn't born in Rome, he was born in Seville Spain.  Later on, he joined the Roman army, The Legions of Rome.  And he got this job because he married strategically into the family.  His wife was Claudia Procula the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus in Rome.  So he got the job because he married the boss' granddaughter.  He is placed in his position, biblical passages as well as extra biblical history paint him as a very prideful, arrogant, conceited, cynical kind of a man and some of that is seen here, it's played out in the text, you can see yourself.

Okay now, all four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, all record that the very first question that Pilate asked Jesus was this.  "Are you the king of the Jews?"  But all four gospels also have the way it's worded in the original Greek of all four, the word "you" as being emphatic in the sentence.  So here's the correct translation.  This is how it should be stated.  Jesus is brought before Pilate.  Pilate comes in and looks at Him and says, "You?  Are you the king of the Jews?"  That's how it's written in the original.  "As if I'm in shock, you're the threat to imperial Rome?"  Here is Pilate with all of the authority of Rome behind him.  Here is Jesus in peasant clothes stained from the blood sweat that He sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane, the great drops of blood, had no sleep that night then pummeled probably in Caiaphas' Praetorium before He got here.

"You?  Are you the king of the Jews?"  Now, the Jewish people have their idea of a kingdom, right?  An immediate outward political messianic kingdom.  Pilate, Pontius Pilate also had his own ideas of a kingdom and that is Rome is the kingdom and Caesar is the king and this is a Roman rule enacted by force.

So, I'm looking at you, you're no threat to me.  You?  Are you the king of the Jews?  Notice Verse 34, Jesus answered him "Are you speaking for yourself about this or did others tell you this concerning me?"  I've loved this.  Jesus doesn't answer his question.  Jesus didn't say, "Well, yes I am the King," because immediately Pilate would have thought, "Now he's in insurrection is maybe we do have a case here."  If Jesus would have said, "Well no, I'm not the King" then He would be denying the truth about Himself.  So, He didn't even answer the question and my mom always told me never answer a question with a question, but this is Jesus, He can do whatever he wants.

You know why He does this?  Because this is an illegal question that Pilate asked Him.  I mentioned a few weeks ago, maybe a month ago now.  That in court cases back then as in now, you could never privately ask the defendant about his case.  You had to have witnesses in the room.  This is the precursor to the Fifth Amendment.  You can't self incriminate.  So he asked Him a question, Jesus didn't answer the question, seemingly illegal question.  What He does is turn the tables on Pontius Pilate as if going after Pilate's heart.  "And let me ask you a question Pilate, are you asking me this because you're the Roman procurator?  Are you asking me this because you've heard rumors about who I am or could it be that you yourself are interested in this possible relationship?"

And noticed Pilate immediately says, "Am I a Jew?  Like you're accused of being the king of the Jews, I'm a Roman.  I'm above this.  Your own people brought You here."  But here is Jesus going after his heart.  Verse 35, He says, "Your own chief priest have delivered you to me.  What have you done?"  Jesus noticed how he answers that question.  "My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight so that I would not be delivered to the Jews.  But now, my kingdom is not from here".

Did you know that one of Jesus' favorite subjects to talk about was the kingdom?  Did you know for example the Gospel of Matthew records the phrase the kingdom of God four times?  Mark records it 14 times.  Luke records Jesus saying it 32 times.  John records it twice, that's just the phrase the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, and Matthew has used another 33 times.  Jesus taught us to pray.  When you pray say, "Thy kingdom come" and then after Jesus rose from the dead it said He spent 40 days with His disciples speaking about things pertaining to the kingdom, the kingdom.  It's like He said.

Now, let's get back to that kingdom thing I was talking about.  He always brings in the kingdom.  He's talking here about the kingdom even to Pontius Pilate.  Now, what kind of a king is He?  Is he a political king?  Is He a military king?  Is He a king who enforces his rule?  No He's not, not yet at least.  He's not that kind of a king.  He's a spiritual king right now, but He will be an eventual world-dominating king.  Did you know that?  He will come the second time and become the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In revelation 11, appearing into the future, when the angel sounds the seventh trumpet, all of heaven breaks out in an anthem and this is what they sang "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He will reign forever and ever."  That is coming.  Until then, He says, "My kingdom doesn't come from this world."  That's what the Greek has acted out of this world.  It doesn't have its authority based here, like every other kingdom has.  My kingdom is from another realm.  My kingdom is not of this world.

Now, Pilate is in the quandary here.  Because if Jesus would have just said, "Yup, I'm a king.  I'm an earthly king."  It would have been easy for Pilate.  Kill Him.  Execute Him.  But Jesus says, "Well I'm a king, but I'm not a king like that.  I'm a spiritual king".  Pilate is thinking.  "What do I do with a spiritual king?"  It puts him on a quandary.  How is he going to adjudicate this case?  And to make matters worst, you may recall Matthew 27 tells us, the Pilate's wife Claudia Procula warned Pilate.  As he was going into the courtroom he said, "I have nothing to do with this righteous men.  I suffered many things about Him in a dream last night"

So he's got his wife saying "Hey Pilate, Mr. wonderful, don't do anything with this man, don't even touch this case."  And now he's dealing with the case and Jesus says, "Well, I'm a king but I'm a spiritual king.  My kingdom is out of this world."  So in Verse 38, Pilate said -- Verse 37, Pilate therefore said to him, "Are you a king then?"  Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king."  Now he's candidly admitting, "Yup, I am a king.  For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."  Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"  Can you hear the cynicism dripping from his words?  And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all."

Pause for a moment, Tivo this scene if you will.  Over here you've got Pontius Pilate, the emissary of Rome.  Over here you've got Jesus Christ, the son of God.  You've got two people facing off, what a contrast between both of them, one an earthly ruler, one a heavenly ruler.  One would do anything for power, glory and honor.  The other would give up glory, power and honor and come to this earth as a servant.  One would live only for the material what he can see, feel, touch, have, the other one says, "I don't care about this, I am from another realm and I'm dealing with different things.  One is wearing the robes of Rome, one is wearing the peasant dress of a Galilean.  But who's in control of this judgment scene, Pilate?  Pilate's on trial.  Jesus is turning the tables.  It is Jesus who is clearly in control, in fact, "He is managing His own death."  John said, "All of this was done that it might be fulfilled what kind of death he would die.  Jesus had predicted if I'd be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself."

Jewish execution as I said was stoning, that's where a person was bowed down to the earth, Jesus said, "Oh no, the prophet has predicted I would be lifted up and crucified."  And so God in heaven arranges Rome and Pilate and the Sanhedrin so that that all can be fulfilled.  Jesus is clearly in-charge and Pilate is clearly on trial.  And I think he's feeling very uneasy as he is face to face with Jesus Christ.

  Now look in Verse 37, that last little phrase, that last little sentence.  Jesus said, "Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice."  I believe that's an invitation now to Pilate.  "There is such a thing as truth, Pilate, and I have come to bear witness to that truth and everyone who listens to Me and they're interested in the truth, they're going to listen to My voice."  As if to say, "Mr. Governor, you can know truth man.  My sheep hear My voice, they listen to Me, they follow Me" Jesus said.  Now, in a few words he says that to Pilate.  Pilate disgusted and says, "What is truth?"  And he storms out.

Now, you and I, Christians, we were taught to pray something by Jesus.  When you pray, say "Our father in heaven, hollowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  He taught us to pray that, Your kingdom come.  I don't think that necessarily means that we're to pray that his kingdom will eventually come that eventually Jesus will return and set up his kingdom, and we're praying for that because whether you pray for that or not, it's coming.

I think on a more personal level, it's saying, "Lord, God, reign over me, rule over me, may Your kingship, Your authority, Your kingdom come over this life.  I surrender voluntarily.  You don't have to push a button, I'm not a Mr. Wonderful doll, I voluntarily allow You to rule and reign over my life and may Your will be done in me, in this part of earth as it is heaven."  That's what I think its saying.  You see, every one of us has a throne in our heart.  Who's sitting on you throne?  Is God, is Jesus controlling your life?  Is His kingdom come over you or are you still sitting in that throne of authority to your agenda.

My parents used to watch a TV show so I grew up watching The Honeymooners.  Remember that old black and -- how many of you, show hands honestly if you know what that is.

Ralph Kramden, played by Jackie Gleason which say -- I think probably every episode, he would say to his wife, "Alice, I'm king of the castle."  He love that phrase, "I'm in charge".  A lot of us would say to God "I'm king of the castle.  I'm in charge."  Well, if you're a true believer, there has been a kingdom shift or it's not about you and your authority and your agenda and your whatever, it's "I'm off the throne".  You're sitting on the throne, Your kingdom has come, You rule and reign over me.

Let's finish this out.  Look at the last two verses, this is now the kingdom disbelieved.  Pilate said Verse 38, "What is truth?" when he had said this he went out again to the Jews, that is the problem.  I'll show you why.  And he said to them "I find no fault in him, but you have accustomed that I should release someone to you at the Passover.  Do you therefore want me to release you the king of the Jews?"  Now, he thought they would say, "Yes, release him."  He was surprised.  They all cried out again saying, "Not this man but Barabbas."

Now Barabbas was a robber.  As soon as Jesus spoke about truth, Pilate like a true politician said, "What is truth?"  Because politicians live in the sliding scale of spin.  And when Pilate said, "What is truth?"  He echoed what so many people say even today, "What is truth" as if to say, "No one can ever know absolute truth."  It's impossible.  There is no such thing as objective absolute truth, it's all depends on your own personal experience, it's all relative.

He asked the question "What is truth?"  But then he left the room.  He went out again to the Jews.  He said, "I find no fault in this man."  If he only would have asked it with sincerity and waited for an answer, "Hey, Jesus, tell me, what is truth?"  I believe Jesus would have told Him what He had said on other occasions, "I am the way, the truth and the life."  You will know the truth and the truth can set you free.

He asked the question, he stormed out of the room as if to say, "There's no way I will ever know the answer to that question, what is truth because there is no answer."  I mean people who often talk about truth and they try to feign some kind of interest in truth "Oh yes, I'm really interested in finding the truth," and they talk about an interest in knowing the truth philosophically and epistemologically.  That's sort of their general façade.

But I probed a little bit deeper and I find that I'm dealing with a person who is predetermined that there is no such thing as absolute truth.  I had a person get right to my girl and say, "There's no such thing as absolute truth."  And I smiled and said, "You were telling me that so absolutely."  See, it's a self-cancelling statement the way you just worded it.  You just gave me an absolute.  Jesus is absolute truth, Pilate thought it couldn't be found so he dismisses the case and in effect, he dismisses Jesus from out of his life.  The kingdom is disbelieved.

Now, a word about Barabbas.  According to one of the early church fathers origin, and if you done any reading in church history, you've heard that name.  Origin said the full name of Barabbas -- get this, was Jesus Barabbas which means Jesus, son of a father, "Bar aba", son of a father.  And so the choice was which one do you want?  Do you want Jesus, son of a father or do want Jesus, son of the father?  And origin said, that is always the human choice between the two kingdoms, the human kingdom or God's kingdom.  And he said most people always want the human kingdom.

Give me Barabbas, son of a father, just give me the human solution, the human thing, I don't want God ruling over my life.  God doesn't want dolls that he can just push a button and go "I love You God.  I praise You Lord."  He wants real people exercising their freedom of will saying, "Lord I want Your kingdom to come and Your will to be done and I surrender."  Speaking of reality, here's a real little boy who wrote his understanding of the bible.  He had some facts right and some facts wrong but he really wrote this, after the Old Testament came the New Testament.  That's accurate

Jesus is the star of the new(ph).  He was born in Bethlehem in a barn.  And he said, "I wish I'd been born on a barn too because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door, were you born in a barn?'"  And it would be nice to say, "As matter of fact, I was."  During his life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the democrats.  This is a little boy, give him a break.

Jesus also had 12 Opossums.  The worst one was Judas Asparagus.  Judas was so evil.  They named a terrible vegetable after him.  But Jesus, He was a great man, He healed many leopards and He even preached to some Germans on the mount.  But all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilate.  Pilate didn't stick up for Jesus.  He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins and then He came back to life again and He went up to heaven but He will be back for the illuminum, he meant the millennium.  His return is foretold in the Book of Revolution.  Okay, he got a few things wrong but he got a few things right, Jesus is coming back, He is bringing a kingdom but we can submit now, not later, now voluntarily to that kingship.  Because here's the deal, Jesus came first to conquer sin and deal with that and then later to conquer the world and rule and reign in a kingdom with us.  The question is will you let Him rule?

          Father, as we close this service today, we're struck by the sin of the King of Kings and Lord or Lords, the one with all power, might and authority who could raise the dead and heal the sick and calm the sea allowing Himself to be paraded around by humans that He had created, who had their agenda in mind, their kingdom in view and they wanted to push that through no matter what.  When it was all really prearranged by heaven as Jesus was totally in control and then standing before Pontius Pilate, even then Jesus so graciously extending favor wanting to get into that man's heart and allowing Him even then to turn and be submitted to another king in another kingdom, not of this world, from the authority of heaven itself.  And we think of the choices we're faced with today, to let heaven and the God of heaven rule over us or for us to live with ourselves sitting upon the throne of our lives.  I pray that we would abdicate that throne and allow Jesus his rightful place, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.


A King, a Kingdom, and a Courtroom - John 18:28-40 |
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