According to historical documents, a man was publicly executed for a crime many years ago. He was not famous then, but now He is known all around the world.
Some think he must have committed a heinous crime because the method of his execution was reserved for the worst of the worst.
He was crucified on a cross. Unlike other common criminals, His Name was posted on his cross.
“Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the jews.”
You might have guessed right away Who the condemned man was, but do you know The reason He was sentenced to death? He claimed to be God.
Hear His Own Words.
“I and The Father are One.”
The beginning of the journey to Calvary began with church people, those who were identified as “keepers of the law.”
They believed they understood Who God was. In their eyes, Jesus was not God. They felt it their duty to silence Him. And when He could not be silenced, they felt it was their duty to eliminate Him.
Judas believed he understood Who God was. In his eyes, Jesus was not God. He was a great teacher. He was potentially the revolutionary who would free Israel. But He was not God.
Herod believed He understood Who God was. He was the lead keeper of The Law. It was his job to contain God for his people. He was no missionary. He understood God chose his people and he wanted to assure no one trespassed the limits. No one in. No one out.
Pilate was not sure Who God was. He knew about kings and while this man standing before him intrigued him, it seemed unlikely he was king of anything.
Pilate asked the right questions, including “What is Truth?” (John 18:38). But he didn’t wait to hear the answer.
And then there was the crowd, made up of people just like the teachers of the law, Judas, Herod and Pilate as well as those who had no opinion, but were just lured in by all the action.
Many in the crowd did not know God or Jesus. But if so many wanted this man crucified, they concluded there must be a good reason to support their call. They were the crowd and they followed the crowd.
Herod and the teachers of the law could not contain or limit Jesus. Judas could not get Jesus to do what he wanted him to do. Pilate could not find any charge to condemn Jesus, but also found no grounds to free Him.
Pilate did not want to make a decision, but under the influence of the crowd, he cast the final vote. And his sentence was carried out.
What was the real reason for the sentence? Jesus Himself revealed The Answer.
“The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.”
Why would anyone think that? Jesus explained.
“They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me.”
They did not know God or Jesus. They did not know They were One. They did not know that the same God created all of them. They did not know that The One standing in front of them was their Creator.
“In the beginning was The Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
They did not know that
The Word had become flesh and had made His dwelling among them.
They did not see His Glory, The Glory of The One full of Grace and Truth. (John 1:14)
But Jesus knew them and He loved them as He had from the beginning.
“When He (Jesus)saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Even from the cross, Jesus forgave them because He said they did not know what they were doing. (Luke 24:34)
The One knows you and loves you. He wants you to know Him and love Him.
When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus answered,
“The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
Do you know The One?