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June 13, 2021 12:01 am
Of all the people who were involved in the suffering and death of Jesus, why is Pontius Pilate specifically mentioned in the Apostles' Creed? Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of Mark's gospel to take a close look at the Roman governor who condemned the King of kings to die.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind.
Jesus said that the reason he came here was to bear witness to the truth than remember what Pilate said what is truth. How ironic was that when the truth incarnate was standing right in front of the unbelieving Roman government reset judgment over Jesus beheld her Savior's life in his hands. This was no error.
No cosmic mistake know it was God's sovereign plan.
A plan that had been in place since before time began. This Dr. RC Sproul continues preaching through the gospel of Mark returns today to chapter 15 earlier this morning in our worship we gave our affirmation of faith by reciting together the words of the apostles Creed and you might notice that in that grade all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned, but apart from them. There are two others who make it in to the creek. We are told in the creed that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and immediately after that affirmation of his entrance into this world through his mother, Mary, the creed says then suffered under Pontius pilot never wondered why it is that in the course of history and in the early centuries of Christianity that when the church formulated this symbol of faith that they were inclined to include the name of Pontius Pilate. In this record could adjust as well of been betrayed by Judas Iscariot or denied to by Simon Peter, or delivered by the high priest Caiaphas. Instead, it simply suffered under Pontius pilot again. Why should this third rate Roman politician be elevated to such a level of importance in the history of the church. The immediate and simple reason of course is the because he was the presiding officer.
The supreme judge in that earthly court, the condemned Jesus to death. And in that role as church historians and theologians agree he function not merely as a local prefect of Rome but say Flicka's persona that is a public person who issued a judgment that was far more significant in terms of history than his own personal opinion, this record of Jesus before Pilate is filled with RME mark, as is his custom, gives us an extremely brief summary of the discussion that took place between Jesus and Pilate if it's indeed proper to even call it a discussion but first a little background about the man before whom Jesus stood on trial for his life.
Pontius Pilate was appointed by the Roman government to be prefect over this conquered land of Palestine. This was the custom in the ancient Roman Empire that whatever lands were conquered by the Roman legions would then be ruled by some representative of the Senate and people of Rome in that particular locale in terms of history.
Pilate was the fifth such prefect over Palestine, and his tenure of office, there was from A.D. 26 two A.D. 3711 years may not seem like a long time, but again one of the ironies of history is that Pontius Pilate had the longest tenure of any prefect of Rome in the land of Palestine. Now that might sound like a complement of his administrative capacity and of his gifts as a ruler, but on the contrary, to be posted by Rome to Palestine was anything but a political plum that was perhaps the lowest land on the Imperial totem pole for a young aspiring Roman administrator to find his stripes and to stay in that outpost for 11 years was not so much a sign of success as it was a sign of failure. Other men who were posted in Palestine is prefect if they did well would quickly advance in the Roman system and be transferred to a better venue, but Pilate was stuck for 11 years in dealing with this very unhappy Jewish nation's tenure. Finally ended, not when he received a promotion. But what he was basically fired and banished from government by the Emperor Caligula and you may recall that Caligula is second only to Nero was one of the worst of all Roman emperors, and so to fail to impress Caligula gives again. Further evidence of what a dreadful administrator.
Pontius Pilate was over.
Not only have the record of the New Testament about pilot but we also have allusions to his tenure by the historian Philo and the Jewish historian Josephus, and they agreed that Pilate was inflexible, stubborn and cruel in the reason why he was finally banished was because of those characteristics in his personal behavior during his reign there in Palestine.
He was involved in several ghastly Bilotti episodes whenever he put down insurrections or protests and rebellions by the Jewish people, and there were times where he deliberately provoked them. For example, he invited the legions of Rome to enter into Jerusalem and into the temple area with banners that proclaimed the bust of the Roman Caesar, which was seen as blasphemous to the Jewish people. On another occasion, he was engaged in a public works project that you would think the Jews would celebrate and that he built an aqueduct that ran for 23 miles following the Roman architecture for building aqueduct bringing water and refreshment into the city of Jerusalem itself that was the good news. The bad news is to finance it.
He confiscated the money from the temple in order to build his aqueduct so there is a sense in which the Jews even despise the water that Pontius Pilate brought to the city. But what is most important. Besides his stubborn brutality and cruelty are the points that were discussed in this brief meeting with Jesus and if we look at all for the Gospels we see that there were basically four things that were in the discussion and I want to look at each of those briefly this morning. First of all, there was the question of Jesus being a king that was front and center in the discussion. Second of all, there was the discussion of Jesus guilt or innocence. Thirdly, there was the discussion recorded by the apostle John about Jesus understanding of truth.
And finally there was the question of amnesty that Mark records in his gospel. So in the first instance, we see that the charges that were brought by the Sanhedrin to Pilate about Jesus were that he claimed to be the king of the Jews, and as I mentioned before any such statements running around the Roman Empire of somebody who would be king when the only king that was recognized was king. Caesar would indeed provoke a political crisis. So Pilate says to cheeks is a true, are you the king of the Jews on the terse record that we have for Mark's Jesus reply is very simple. You say that it is so no I think every translation that seeks to render this in English has a problem because the real force of the reply of Jesus would be something like this so you say that you are a king and slave Jesus said you set it is not too slow simply saying what you say that I don't say that. It's like what you're saying. Pilate is the truth. Yes, I'm okay. But as we raged from the other accounts. Jesus qualified that by saying but my kingdom.
My kingdom is not of this world. If it were of this world.
My subjects would rise up right now. Pilate and free me from this mark but that's not the kind of Canadian. In other words you have anything to fear for me in terms of your political power or the Roman government there with Caesar. My kingdom is not of this world is a transcendent king. Now, in this discussion of change the order of the four points that I gave you a moment ago.
According to John when Jesus answered and says that business about you the king of the Jews, Jesus introduces another discussion he said. For this reason, I came into the world to bear witness to the truth and everyone who is of the truth hears my voice and that interesting that in the middle of this discussion of kingship. Jesus changes the focus just the pilot do you want to know what I'm about going on. My mission is nowhere I came into the world. I came to this world, to bear witness to the truth.
We repeated Jesus said that the reason he came here was the bear witness to the truth than remember what Pilate said what is truth.
How ironic was that when the truth incarnate was standing right in front of and what Jesus said I came to bear witness to the truth and all who are of the truth hear my voice stuffer second only people in this room right now.
Three. 400 people. I can't see past your dresses and suits and shirts. I can read anybody's hardness room I can remount so I don't know who's in Christ and who isn't. But we're always told that the church in every age and in every place is a mixed body. There will be people in church who are unconverted, unregenerate, who don't hear the voice of Jesus because are not of the truth and here's a good time to ask yourself about the state of your soul. Do you hear the words of Christ, do you delight in the words of Jesus or to the words of Jesus bore you. Perhaps they offend you. If that's the case then you need to say will maybe I'm not of the truth because he said everyone who is of the truth. Everyone who is a genuine, authentic truth seeker hears his voice, then what does Pilate say he gives his verdict. I find no fault in the man. Remember in Matthew's account Mattel's apology wife having a disturbing dream. And then, after pilot makes this pronouncement of the innocence of Jesus.
He watches his pants publicly. I wash my hands of this matter. I find no fault in him going to crucify them why, what evil has he done whomever his whole life had Pilate more accurately, spoke the truth than when he, as the judge of Jesus in this public role set I find no fault in him at the Homo behold the man the man the man without a blemish, the man without a fault why dear friends, couldn't Pilate find any fault in Jesus, was because he didn't look hard enough that one. Many find their you can't find what doesn't exist and there was no fault there was no blemish in this so as of this discussion.
Truth of the kingdom and Pilate's pronouncement of the innocence of Jesus, we come to the fourth aspect of this meeting, which perhaps has more RNA than any the subject of amnesty comes up while it had a tradition that during the Passover festival he would give to the Jews. A prisoner with full amnesty to be released made completely free and Pilate was aware of that and he was very much troubled by the fact that the Jewish leaders had tried to manipulate him to punish Jesus, whom he felt was innocent of any guilt and he realized that they had delivered him to Pilate. Why, because of envy. One of the cardinal sins of fallen humanity and you know how many miscarriages of justice. How many slanders how much vandalism how much violence how much theft how much murder how much war is being waged on account of those three words be cause of envy. It was envy that led to the death of Christ instead of fallen humanity rejoicing that the perfect Redeemer had come there envy blinded to his greatness, and so Pilate is aware that he sees the dynamics. He knows what's going on he reads the minds of the Jewish leaders is that they've only brought this guy here because they're jealous of it, but I can't see that he's done anything so I know how I let him off the hook, all offering for the people offer amnesty. I'll release this man to which one you want me to release a murder or your king again.
Pilate completely misread the mop because they cried out.
Give us perhaps while Barabbas was his last name was his first name you notice first name was recording the gospel of Matthew Jesus to the option for amnesty was Jesus. Barabbas, or Jesus of Nazareth, which one do you want… Take that irony a step further. What does the name Barabbas mean number one the spirit of enables us to address God his father by which we say Abba father. Jesus is called Jesus bar Joseph Simon bar Jonah bar means son of Barabbas means son of the father. Here's this murderer standing there, and policy. If you want Jesus son of the father, Jesus, Barabbas or do at this other Jesus. The irony is that the real Barabbas was the one they reject because Jesus of Nazareth was Jesus bar Abba, son of the father, the only begotten of the father not the son of the earthly father, Joseph, but the son of the heavenly father Barabbas. They didn't want the heavenly scent they wanted a different Jesus. Jesus, I could live with a Jesus, for whom there was no envy.
A Jesus who would make them feel guilty. A Jesus of this world.
11 for 2000 years the world has cried for different Jesus and the church has cried for different Jesus, give us one more like ourselves one for whom we have no envy, no hatred, you know that it wasn't like that. The choice of the crowd was so close that Pilate had the poll the audience vote was decided by acclamation governors. Barabbas right know I do with the king of the Jews that's easy and you can crucify, crucify, give us Barabbas kill Jesus twice. They cried out. Crucify why, what evil has he done 1/3 time they cried out all the more.
Crucify him. Verse 15 says it all doesn't. So Pilate wanting to gratify the crop release Barabbas to them and he delivered Jesus after he had scourged him after he had beaten him after he had mocked him after he had shamed the very one. He pronounced innocent gave them to the crop. The past five think Pilate was the last person in history to do that friends pilot read the crowds asked one of his assistants. What's the latest Gallup poll. What you think would be the politically correct thing to do here.
Keep the people happy.
What price justice and so he delivered him to be crucified. What a travesty of shame, but the good news is even in that very moment Pilate was putty in the hands of God being used to bring about redemption, God ordained from all eternity. Even when things appear to be the darkest for Jesus. Everything was under God's perfect control and within his plan. It's good for us to remember that is in it when circumstances around us seem out of our control. We can remember that God's perfect plan is well within his control. Glad you joined us for this Lords.
The addition of Renewing Your Mind. I we web Dr. RC Sproul sermon series from the gospel of Mark is our focus each Sunday we been studying this book for several months and I hope you been with us throughout the series or resource offer today provide you with an opportunity to study Mark's gospel in depth on your own when you contact us with a donation nobody about will be glad to provide you with a digital download of Dr. Sproles commentary on Mark. You can request that online at Renewing Your Mind at work. You also find Reffner to be a rich source of biblical content Reffner that streams trustworthy teaching and preaching Scripture reading and audiobooks 24 hours a day. We've heard from so many listeners that the riff that has become their go to app for Christian Internet radio. You can listen for free at any time when you go to ref net.FM or when you download the free ref net app next week. Dr. scroll, take a look at the most evil event ever to take place on earth. Jesus, the perfect spot was Lamb of God, the one who never sin is crucify. I hope you make plans to be with us that something for Renewing Your Mind