Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from September 26-October 2 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who is a teacher.
Devotional Thought for Today
Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
There is a man living in Brazil who calls himself Inri Christo. Taking his first name from the acronym written on the cross of Jesus, “INRI,” and his last name, meaning “Christ,” he believes himself to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. While fasting in Santiago, Chile, in 1979, Inri claims to have heard a voice, saying, “I am your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It was at this moment that he realized his divinity. Subsequently, Inri has acquired somewhat of a following, and continues to make appearances around Brazil as a spiritual leader.
Take a moment and soak this in: How can someone have the audacity to claim to be the Son of God? Not only is he lost in his blasphemous delusion, he has also misled many people who actually believe his nonsense. If I ever meet Inri, I would surely give him a piece of my mind.
But if you think about it, two thousand years ago, a man from Nazareth, named Jesus, claimed to be the Son of God. If we put this in perspective, it’s not hard to see why the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes wanted to have Jesus killed: He was claiming to be God! Over the past weeks, we have been looking at the life and ministry of Jesus through the Gospel of John. After reading, we must come to a decision for ourselves. Was He a phony like Inri Christo? Or, is He truly the genuine Son of God?
In our passage today, Pontius Pilate found himself at this very crossroads. We can tell that in his interactions with Jesus, it began to dawn on Pilate that this was no ordinary man. But since the Jewish leaders were pressuring him hard, Pilate had a choice to make, and at the end of the day he chose to remain passive. While he wasn’t the one yelling, “Crucify Him,” he ultimately decided that it was too risky to intervene, and as a result, lose his posh job; so, he handed Jesus over to be crucified.
There are people all around us today who scoff at the notion that Jesus was God. For those of us who do follow Him, this is the question we must ask and answer, not just once for salvation, but each day as we follow Him. Are we going to live today as if Jesus is truly the Son of God? Or will we take the passive route that Pilate took?
Lord, we know that it isn’t by our own strength or wisdom that we came to know you, but rather, in your grace, you knew us first. We repent for all the days we have spent taking the passive route, living as if You didn’t exist. We remind ourselves today of your Lordship over our lives. Come and be our King.