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The People on the Road to the Cross

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2022 9:00 am

The People on the Road to the Cross

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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February 2, 2022 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. takes us along the road to the cross, where we will meet a handful of different people—each of whom has a different response to Jesus’ sacrifice.

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Today on Summit life with JD Greer, one of all your life you been asking the wrong questions like you been taught to focus on how to get it to find the perfect marriage will not be happy to help you, but actually secure but one of the most important reality is not any of those things is God is, what if you took all of your questions. You just put them aside for a few minutes. Lisa Jesus forget my questions you what you want their interest in religion. JD Greer, as always, I'm your host Molly, but in its program. Pastor JD takes us on a journey down the road to the cross where we will need a handful of different people along the way, each of whom has a different response to Jesus's sacrifice link doesn't just record their stories because these people were there.

He records their stories because in them we see ourselves receipt their stories are our stories and they prompt the inevitable question. How would you respond to Jesus. Now if you miss any part of this study that began a few weeks ago called In-Stat. Remember you can always catch up online.

JD right now. Let's people on the road to the cross, castigating chapter 23 Bible. Have your Bible 23.

If you ever driven along the Blue Ridge Pkwy. You might see a little sign that just says Eastern continental divide is the divide that marks the eastward and westward slopes of archon that everything on the eastern side of the divide flows down into the Atlantic, the eastern seaboard toward us. Everything on the western side of that divide flows toward the Gulf of Mexico.

That means that you little to little raindrop friends that are falling together casually from the sky just chatted up the very best of friends.

On the way down by land 1 cm apart on opposite sides of that divide, and they end up on opposite sides of the planet. I share that because Luke 23 is the dividing line of eternity in Luke 23 working to meet several people individuals or groups of people use different responses to the cross, literally divide them for eternity how they handle the events of Luke 23 is going to separate them. Luke records their stories for us. I want to show you this, not just because they were part of the historical record and not just because they help us Understand What Was Taking Pl. in Jesus is life your butt, Luke records, their stories because their stories are emblematic of how people in all places at all times and all cultures respond to Jesus and I cannot tell you that if you listen closely this morning you listen closely, you're gonna see yourself in one of these groups, take the first five of them today and then really cover two more next week. What you think about your life in light of the stories which of these individuals which of these groups best depicts how you respond to Jesus you have responded how you are responding because just like those two raindrops I told you about. We got to people who exist side by side in this life that you share the same cubicle that your part of the same family.

Maybe you're even part of the same small group or maybe you're even sitting next to each other in church this morning and you can end up. Eternity is a part, because of which side of these events that you are on there we go to Luke chapter 23 verse one and their whole assembly rose up and brought Jesus before Pilate, they began to accuse him in to say we found this man misleading our nation opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, saying that he himself is the Messiah. He is the king and so Pilate asked him are you really the king of the Jews person of interest number one if you're taking notes is Pilate really call pilot. The preoccupied pilot the preoccupied pilot is to preoccupied with other matters to give serious consideration to who Jesus actually is and asking the question, are you the king of the Jews, she Pilate's concern is not whether or not Jesus is the promised Jewish Messiah's concern is not whether Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecies and if he's brought salvation's concern is whether or not Jesus is a political threat to him and to Caesar and so his question in verse three is a response to what Jewish leaders say in verse two to get that in verse two there like a pilot you, Jesus. We try to do is try to pull people away from your and Caesar political program and try to get people engaged in his own answer Jesus in response gives Pilate a deliberately evasive answer in verse three he says simply, you say so you say so what exactly does that mean literally in Greek is just two words you say you say some translations like the NIV, if you have an NIV Bible in front of you. They will interpret those two words positively as if Jesus was saying. It is as you say like Jesus is true, it is as you say that's positive, others are going to interpret it negatively. Well that's what you say as if he's given a negative answer. So which is it is a positive response or is it a negative response and the answer is neither is deliberately slippery. Why because Jesus is in essence saying wrong?

He had not come for earthly political reasons. One way or the other and so to answer Pilate's question would be to concede that the question had merit. I think about it this way. If I were to ask you have you stopped taking your cat answering either yes or no implies that you have been taking your debt. But if you do not own a cat because you don't like to have things in your house that remind you of the devil then you will not give to me a direct answer because the question has no relevance for you and so by answering this way Jesus was saying Pilate you're asking the wrong question was a that's a lead to a lengthy back-and-forth which which concludes with pilot say in verse four, I find no grounds for charging this man a statement that he's gonna repeat three different times in this chapter, you say to get a reporting your view of the universe 15th and then a final time in verse 22. Answer from those four repetitions you can conclude that pilot is absolutely convinced of Jesus's innocence and yet and yet in verse 23. He's going to consent to Jesus's execution anyway.

Why why it is because Pilate is more concerned with appeasing a crowd than he is doing right by Jesus. You see, historians tell us that by this point in Pilate's career.

Pilate was a pretty thin ice. Jerusalem had undergone several riots under his watch as her Caesar had told him Pilate one more blow up right one more revolt and your finished and that we know we know that pilot just a few years after this incident is going to lose his position because he he mishandled another disturbance in Samaria, and as punishment. Caesar is going to vanish in the gall, where according to Eusebius he commit suicide. The point is that pilot is so preoccupied with keeping his job.

They just didn't have time to consider a question like is Jesus actually who he says he is or what is he teaching about God and is it true Pilate just wants to know Jesus can help or hurt him politically to him.

That's all that really matters about Jesus. In fact, in John the gospel of John's account of this trial is a particularly revealing moment. John 18 when Jesus tells Pilate that he was sent here to testify to the truth about God, Pilate shrugged his shoulders and says what is truth what is truth.

In other words, I will have time to think about that province to run under political pressures. You would not believe the luxury to think about these kinds of questions they're just not that relevant to me. That's why call him pilot the preoccupied pilot is not so much a rejection of Jesus that is is as it is indifference to Jesus friendless in this distraction, since for more people to help in disbelief ever did distraction since for more people to help special place like ours. The disbelief ever has. Pilate represents a person who is too distracted by their circumstances to engulfed in the cares of this life to really consider what Jesus is claiming and then to make a bold decision on him one way or the other. You see the whole lives they've been laser focused on how to get the right career to get married.

I got a have a happy family how to make these kids turn out right to be wealthy and financially secure and so this morning when you come to think about Jesus you like. Can Jesus help me in these things are not like Pilate.

You're asking the wrong question about Jesus seen Jesus continue fix my family. Jesus, can you give me a happy life.

Can you provide me with a husband would.

Kids can you give me fulfillment in my career and Jesus says you say you say is nothing you can't just like the ones on Pilate that he never be King of the Jews he saying wrong question right now. What Jesus was here to testify, the reality that was so important that all those other questions that you been obsessed with all your life paled in comparison to that reality.

Once all your life you been asking the wrong questions on your life you been taught to focus on how to get ahead. I find that perfect marriage partner how to be happy and healthy and financially secure. But what if the most important reality is not any of those things is who God is and if you know him and if you are prepared to meet him and if you are living out his plan.

What if you took all of your questions and you just put them aside for a few minutes. He said Jesus forget my questions. Who are you what you want the preoccupied that you this weekend again distraction since for more people to hell. The disbelief ever did. Let's keep reading because were about to meet person of interest number two, verse five, but they kept insisting he stirs up the people teaching throughout all Judea from Galilee where he started even to hear and I will quit by bringing up Galilee religious leaders think they're being shrewd a stroke of political genius. They presume Galilee. You see, was a hotbed of dissension think burger center of the south side of LA by bringing up Galilee the hokum. Pilate can respond with panic, but back to Pierce verse six, verse six and tell her this. He asked of the man was a Galilean finding of the matter was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days I was like oh Galilee's uneven arm under my jurisdiction.

This is my lucky day. That's Herod you understand.

I gotta recuse myself. It's not my problem but send you to Herod and let him deal with you. She, Herod, was that the Jewish puppet king that Rome had placed over the rural parts of Israel.

He's person of interest number two Herod were to call him superficial.

The superficial verse eight Herod was very glad there was very glad to see Jesus because for a long time. He had wanted to see him because he heard about him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by him, so he kept asking them questions that Jesus did not answer him now this Herod is an interesting guy who has a long history the New Testament and Blondie will get him confused because there's more than one person in your Bible and Herod. This is Herod and to press or think of them as Herod number two. He is the son of Herod the great bear number one the Herod number one Herod the great was the Herod that had had all the babies younger than two years old killed when Jesus was born Herod Antipas his son was the Herod that was confronted by John the Baptist for having an affair with his brothers wife. If you remember that story his brothers wife Herodias was her name had been so offended by being called out in her sin that she demanded John the Baptist head on a platter and Herod Antipas comply will Matthew the gospel writer Matthew tells us Matthew 14 that Herod had been guilt ridden over this so guilt ridden that he thought that John the Baptist just might be GMAC me thought Jesus just might be John the Baptist raised from the dead come back to haunt him here in this chapter we find Herod curious about Jesus. He wants to see Jesus do some magic trick essentially show off his power. But here's the key.

He doesn't want to press into much to who Jesus is, because that would require reckoning with his messy and painful history as we keep Jesus at arms length.

He dabbles in Jesus. He is curious about Jesus, but only on a superficial level, you say superficial. That sounds like an SAT word yet.

How do you know if you're superficial or just a little official like regular official normal official superficial judgment, shallow in case your you know what your mother were but Herod represents a person today that comes to church but never really get serious about Jesus is getting serious about Jesus would just cost way too much to really deal with the mess that you made your life to really come clean with Jesus and to acknowledge the wrongs that you've done to seek restitution to really repent just the way too embarrassing way too costly way to messy, that maybe just like here and here you feel like your sin is painted you into a corner. As I look, I had an affair and then murdered an innocent man to cover it up as no one back now. Maybe you're sitting there thinking pastor I got mistakes built upon mistakes and lies that are covering lives and this is no way I'm tumbling now Messiah good news for you this morning. It's hard news is good news. The good news. Jesus can forgive every sin he can break every chain to the power of the resurrection he can reverse every curse. Do you hear the hear King David testifying from the Old Testament. Herod.

Herod I did the same thing I did the same thing. I had an affair and I killed Amanda cover it up.

And God forgave me any claims me he wants me.

Psalm 51 with hyssop and maybe white as snow he restored to me the joy of my salvation and he reestablished me on my throne, Herod he can do this for you. Also know one of my favorite Old Testament verses is from the book of Joel, for God says that Israel after God had sent swarms of locusts into Israel to to punish Israel for their persistent sin. Joel said God says to Joel Joel 225 I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust of Eden.

The locusts had destroyed their crops and devastated their country economically. God said to them, if you repent not only not only can you make locusts stop I can actually restore to you the years of crops and hundreds years of wasted harvest that those locust destroyed from let that sink in for a minute.

You may think that your sins have so destroyed and so disqualified your life that there is no returning, but you're wrong. This is the God who resurrects the dead.

This is a God who spoke into a dark chaotic mess in the world and created the land and the continents in this disguise and that the CZ, the God who calls the storms and still the seas of God who says behold I make all things new goddesses calling to me and I will answer you and I will show you great and mighty things you don't know yet. The guy who says come now and let us reason together, says the Lord.

Though your sins are like scarlet, make them as white as snow, and you can never overestimate his power to forgive. You can never overestimate his willingness to forgive. You can never overestimate his power to heal and to restore the gospel is the power of God under salvation. All who will receive it. Regardless of the circumstances and the mess that they bring into the situation.

The point is not what cost center you are the point is, how powerful the Savior. He is mess. The good news hard news is that the get that you gotta come to him on his terms.

That's a place where breaks out for many of its their powers their power to forgive power to heal better restore the come him on his terms means honesty and transparency humility, surrender, real repentance, surrender no more games and tell you there is more grace and love and power way down on you than you could ever imagine. But it is only available to those who come into the light and surrender this and I beg you have begged you some of you are being tempted right now to this retreat farther and farther in the Senate was a Herod like curiosity that brought you here is a superficial interest in the Jesus and now you're being tempted to just keep hiding to let shame keep you in the shadows all do it, there is Christ for you. If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and able to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Listen, I know that road to repentance.

I know the humility that is required to open yourself up and admit mistakes and conclave.

I know it may seem difficult but I'm telling you the path of hiding is even more difficult. Let me warn you, continuing on in sin deadens you like a dark cloud that chokes out your spiritual life. The Bible Bible talks about your conscience how it can become hardened and calloused seared through unconfessed sin's you say no to the Holy Spirit.

So many times that you start to lose the capacity even to feel conviction of sin anymore. My mom my mom used to always tell my son whatever you do, do not deaden your conscience.

Do not sear your conscience if you see your conscious you lose your capacity even to hear God's secret sense unconfessed sense that corrupts you with a deaden you what what beautiful advice going to happen to you today today.

You're listening to me, that means there still a glimmer of hope.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit yet again told silence him. Listen, you may never have another chance like the one giving you today many are arrogant.

You think they'll always be tomorrow. And I'm Tony that's not true. You may never have another chance like a moment. I'm about to give you right now.

You sit here thinking I thought you talking like to me. I am if you're thinking that is 100% correct is not made by the Holy Spirit is talking to you matter where you are. He opens his arms to you and tells you to come home right now you can rebuild what sin has destroyed he can restore the years for you that the locusts have eaten come to him that right now. Right now I believe I really do. The Holy Spirit is arresting some of you right at this very moment.

Would like a pyramid you would look out Herod story ends. Verse 11 then Herod with his soldiers treated Jesus with contempt Martin dressing in bright clothing and sent him back to Pilate.

That very day Herod and Pilate became friends previously say they been enemies when Jesus would not satisfy Pilate's curiosity, where he should be here is curiosity which Jesus never will. By the way, for those who are seriously seeking him, Herod's interest to sketch this turns into mockery.

That is where this refusal to come clean always ends. If you are not seriously seeking Jesus. If you have unconfessed sin. You will find I don't care how much you know about the Bible you will find that you begin to mock those who do seek Jesus. Sincerely it is your guilty conscience that is fueling that mockery, you better be careful. Galatians says do not be deceived, God will not be mocked.

If you do not do with your sin that can lead you to the most extreme hostility toward Jesus.

That's why verse 12 says on that day Herod actually became best friends with Pilate revisited been enemies.

Now their friends deadening the voice of your conscience ends up making you friends with Jesus's worst enemies lead, you will place you do not want to go in understanding doing don't even thinking about your story, which went so far best depicts how you've responded to Jesus you're listening to Senate life with pastor JD Greer.

Today's message is titled the people on the road to the cross and tomorrow will be introduced to a couple more of these people. If you miss any of our previous teaching or if you want to study the transcripts. You can find and free of lounge on the website you can find a whole host of resources including a weekly podcast called ask me anything taking a little bit about it yet you had this been a great new resource I wanted to do it for a long time. I do know for an interest the way God wired me thinking about try to give short answers to the really difficult question.

Some some of these I get asked on college campuses. Some of them I get asked the coffee shop. Sometimes I come in the form of email sometimes it's one of my kids are asking me these questions and and I just go over. I guess a lifetime trying to figure out how to take complex biblical answers are all apologetic answers for the Christian faith and put them in bite-size chunks and to put the cookies on the bottom shelf, so to speak.*The spike as well go this way seems to connect with people having to find quite an array of answers there. I think they could be helpful. A lot of times listeners will tell us the listener want to pass it on to somebody that they knew asked that question I dabbles tell me the other day I answer the question about like a how should Christians think about dating submit was so helpful I pass it on to my 15-year-old daughter to said hey here's a here's a short mercifully short 8 to 10 minute answer on on the biblical essentials of updating so that a lot of others if you go to our website. JD or discard your favorite podcasting app and you can you can find it there called ask me anything with JD Greer. It helps you leave us a rating there in the AppleShare or somebody else or reach out us here at JD Greer a comment if you have your own question to submit it to us because it might make something other people enjoy hearing an answer to, as well, and roughly 10 to 12 minutes. Pastor JD tackle questions from listeners like you, such as if you can get divorced or if a child wonders from the faith that the parents moment. Check it and while you're checking out the site. You can also preview our latest resource.

One of our goals is to acquaint everyone who listens to time in life to be making a site developing healthy spiritual discipline. According part of that is important to know that the discipline itself doesn't necessarily make you more spiritual change that these disciplines bring to our life can certainly draw us nearer to Christ.

So we created a pack of 59 reversed cards for you to carry on display throughout this next year, helping me to remember God's promises memorize and recall them on your spiritual journey. We left thinking that it is hard today and they come with our thanks Wendy Denny to support this program today and remember to rejoice always scripture memory cards, 868-3528 335 20 that online JD I'm only usually thickened Thursday dictating introduces us to more people along listen Thursday to Senate life

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