Haughty or Humble?

John 19:10

John 19:10

10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Without even realizing it, Pilate uttered the most haughty and arrogant single sentence in the History of the mankind!  Perhaps he spoke these words out of anger and frustration as Jesus continually refused to give an answer to his petitions.  Perhaps it was out of desperation to move Jesus to offer a defense of Himself.  Perhaps, even, it was out of humiliation that Jesus would be so bold as to disrespect Pilate by refusing to give an answer in front of the large crowd that had gathered.  Whatever the reason, Pilate did not hesitate to magnify himself and boast of his own authority and power. Even as he stood in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, humility was never a consideration.  Let us compare this response to a few others who had encountered Jesus in their lives.  When John the Baptist spoke of Jesus he said “one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie!”  When the prostitute in Galilee met with King Jesus, she threw herself at His feet and washed them with a mix of perfume and her tears and then wiped them with her hair.  In the presence of Jesus, Peter humbly protested as He began to wash his feet.  The humility of the Syrophoenician (Canaanite) woman was on full display when she compared herself to a dog that would be grateful to only be allowed to eat the crumbs that had fallen from the masters table.  And again, what was Pilates response in the presence of Jesus!?   “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”   But what power did he really have?  In short, he had none.  Jesus willingly laid His life down.  No one had the authority to take it from Him or demand it of Him.  And He did this out of complete obedience to the Father and out of great compassion for the lost sinners of the world.  I wonder, dear Christian, who it is that we are most like?  When we come face to face with Jesus, do we, out of our own pride and boasting, resist His will and calling?  Or do we humbly fall at His feet in complete submission and reverence?  Let us examine this serious question together.  When Jesus calls you to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, do you obey?  Or do you stand defiantly before the King?  When Jesus calls you to forgive as you have been forgiven, do you obey?  Or do you hold onto your bitterness like a miser clings to a single penny?  When Jesus calls you to walk across the street and share the Gospel with your neighbor do you obey?  Or through your disobedience, do you attempt to remind Jesus that He has no power over you?  When Jesus calls you to do anything, by your obedience, or lack thereof…who do you prove to be most like?  I think many times we are not so different from Pilate.  Claiming to have power over Jesus Christ, power over His will, power over our own lives, power over His commands, when, in reality, like Pilate we have none.  Dear Believer, there is freedom and joy in full surrender, but there is pain and frustration in clinging to our own delusions of control.  And what are we truly clinging to anyway?  When have your own will, desires and ideals ever brought about anything of real, lasting benefit in your life?  This Good Friday, as we consider the reality that Jesus gave all to redeem us from the power of sin, let us consider if we have truly surrendered all to Him.  You may say that you are too far from living this way, that you are too weak in faith and resolve.  But Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Today is the day to humbly fall at the feet of our merciful savior and say “Here I am Lord, send me!”

Yours in Christ,

Pastor John