The word Gospel simply means Good News.
We offer you this Good News. We offer you Jesus
Pontius Pilate – a Roman ruler from about 2000 years ago with authority over the Jewish people asked this question, “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?”
The Jewish people said, “Crucify Him!” So, Pilate did. But first he washed his hands and said, “I am innocent of His blood.”
- Why did he crucify Him?
- Why did he wash his hands?
- What will you do with Jesus who is called Christ?
Why did he crucify Him? The bottom line is that Pilate crucified Jesus because the Jews wanted him to. Even though he had doubts that Jesus had done anything deserving death he was unwilling to resist the strong opinion of the Jewish people. And, they wanted Jesus put to death because He claimed to be God and He opposed many beliefs which the Jews of His day believed about God, about eternity, and about salvation.
Why did he wash his hands? Obviously Pilate felt guilty about giving in to the pressure of the Jews and sending Jesus to be crucified. He thought that by washing his hands he could cleanse himself of guilt in this matter. Guilt is a funny thing. Sometimes we can feel guilty when we are not, and other times we don’t feel guilty at all when we are. And, Pilate was guilty. All the handwashing in the world wouldn’t change that.
What will you do with Jesus who is called Christ? You and I are guilty too. You and I and everyone else in this world are sinners. We fail to keep God’s law. In fact, when we’re honest with ourselves, we must admit we can’t even keep our own standards all the time.
You see, our problem with God is not an intellectual problem. God has revealed Himself to us through the world around us, but left to ourselves, we deny this. We don’t want to be accountable to God. We might even say we don’t believe in God.
But God exists. God created us. God will hold us to his standard—perfection. That’s the bad news. Bad, because no mere human can keep that standard.
But, there is also good news.
God has provided a solution. Jesus Christ, who is completely God and became man, perfectly kept God’s standard. Although when He lived on this earth His enemies tried, they could make no legitimate charge against Him.
Yet, Jesus willingly gave up His life. His crucifixion wasn’t just Pilate’s idea. It wasn’t just the Jews’ idea.
In Jesus own words, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
And so, Christ died a physically gruesome death, but more significantly, He faced God’s anger. That anger was not for Christ’s own sins; He had none. Instead, God punished Christ for the sins of those He would save. After being dead three days, Christ rose from the dead. God willingly accepted Christ’s perfection for those sinners who believe in Him.
To believe in Jesus, according to God’s word, the Bible, is to admit our own sinfulness, to turn away from that sin and away from living our own way, and turn to following Jesus, trusting that only He can save us from our sin.
God says in His word that such an admission, when granted by His mercy, is followed by a life of serving Christ in His church out of love for Him and thanksgiving for His mercy. And is followed by an eternity in loving fellowship with God and with all who love God.
So, what will you do with Jesus who is called Christ? We urge you to turn from your sin and follow Him.