Monthly Archives: March 2015
“The next day he saw Jesus was coming toward him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!’” – John 1:29.
“So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the man!’” – John 19:5.
HERE WE HAVE two scenarios, one in connection with the other: John the Baptist foreseeing the Lamb of God Who was going to take away the sin of the world and Pontius Pilate who beheld the ‘man’ that was just about to make atonement for our sin. In addition, we also have two completely different perspectives – Pilate being absolutely blind, while John was with sight; Pilate did not perceive God veiled in flesh, but John embraced the long-awaited Messiah.
Jesus Christ, we assert, is fully God as well as being fully man; the son of God fully entered into humanity and was born subject to everything man has tasted, yet without sin. He is Son of Man as well as Son of God. John saw the glorious mystery of both perfectly entwined together, but Pilate failed to see either of them. Jesus was just a good man to the one who was about to release a criminal in His place; Pilate knew he was guiltless, besides his wife warning him to have nothing to do with such a righteous Man, but his eyes were veiled to perceive beyond all the accusations and suppositions as to why He was called the Christ.
Yes, John the Baptist by faith foresaw the dying Lamb of God; Pontius Pilate, through unbelief and the fear of man, sentenced the Son of God and Son of Man to His death. John beheld the gentle sacrificial Lamb and Pilate failed to recognise the suffering Servant Whose kingdom is of another world. Both beheld Christ in completely different ways, but only one saw Him with eyes unveiled.
Amidst those who believe today, we have two very different kinds of people: those who view the Cross of Christ in an extreme sentimental way and those who embrace the death of Christ unto new life. The distinction is obvious, for when those born of the Spirit speak of Christ’s redemption, words of life are imparted, while those who once a year get sentimental over Christ’s death impart dead words. The blood of Christ is the very crux and life of the Christian; without it there is no belief, there is no Christ and Christianity is the biggest farce there ever has been.
Either we get excited over finding the Holy Grail, the exact place of Christ’s crucifixion and the tomb and shroud He was buried in, or we are raised to new life through the reality of His death appropriated to our hearts by revelation of the Holy Spirit. Either we embrace Christ just as a gentle, meek and mild Saviour Who only forgives our wilful continuation in sin, or we take Christ as Sovereign Lord as well as Saviour. The cross means death to our old man (person) and the ways of this world ruled by the prince of this air. The cross means being freely and undeservedly reconciled to God from our hatred and enmity towards Him and made alive to Him from our spiritual death. To embrace and encounter the power of the cross is death, not just to our ‘sins’ but our very God-opposing-sinful-nature and is the empowerment to live righteously unto God. There we are radically adjusted and altered by the power of God; from there we are called sons and daughters of God – and better than where Jesus physically walked this earth, we are raised up together with Christ, seated with Him at the right hand of God to walk by the Spirit in Him.
Who are you really beholding this time of year?