Friday, March 19, 2010

Eternity Matters

Our current sermon series is titled, "The Final 24," and is focusing on Luke's account of Christ's 24 hours leading up to his crucifixion.  It has been very deep and thought-provoking.  When reading the passage on praying in the garden and how his sweat was like blood.  I was moved.  Just seeing these passages in a light that I haven't seen before.  Or maybe just a little deeper.  While we're reading this scripture I'm also playing The Passion of the Christ over and over again in my head.

We try to watch that movie every year during the Lenten and Easter season, but aren't always successful.  I hope we can this year.

This week's passage was Luke 23:1-25; when Jesus is on trial before the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod and Pilate again.  

Because the guilty verdict the religious leaders gave held no legal weight, they had to take Jesus to Pilate in order to have him sentenced.  They lied to Pilate, saying that Jesus said the people didn't have to pay taxes and that he claimed divine authority as only a King (Caesar) would have.  Pilate, however, saw no fault in Christ.  So he sent him to Herod.  Herod was looking for a magic show; wanting to be entertained.  Jesus refused to speak and be a part of Herod's game, so Herod mocked him and returned him to Pilate.  

Pilate tried to compromise and just have Jesus flogged, but the Pharisees would not oblige.  Pilate tried to release Jesus as part of their traditions to have a prisoner released during the passover.  But again, the Pharisees would not have any of that.  They wanted Christ dead and there was no convincing them otherwise.

Pilate finally gave in, but tried to convince himself that he was not committing this act, the Pharisees were.  He washed his hands of it.  This was done to prevent an uproar by the Pharisees and Jewish people.  There was much political turmoil and Pilate was trying to prevent losing his seat.

Jesus knew one thing through all of this.  What Pilate, Herod, the Pharisees, even the disciples did just didn't matter.  Only ETERNITY MATTERS.  Knowing that everything he was doing was for His and OUR eternity, He kept his mouth shut in front of Herod.  He did not argue to the Sanhedrin.  He didn't beg Pilate to stand up to the Pharisees.  He just did what God, His Father, was telling Him to do.

The full sermon can be heard here or found in itunes.  Search for Centerpointe Presbyterian Church in Pleasanton, CA.

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