I’m going to ask you an important question here. It’s probably the most important question that I can ask you. Because the answer that is given has tremendous implications. It’s a question whose implications change the way you live your life, it changes the way you think, the way you move, the way you make decisions. It’s that big of a question that I’m about to ask you. You ready for it? What is Jesus for? Or to say it in different words- why did Jesus come into the world? What was his life about? Was it so that he could teach us how to live? Was it so that he could show us that he’s powerful enough to care for our needs? Was it so that we could have some proof that God is actually up there caring about us? What is the reason for the life of Jesus?
We’ve spent the previous four Sundays leading up to this point. We began by talking about the nature of grace- that God loves us with a love that is undeserved. We then talked about how that grace comes to us by faith in Jesus and by nothing that we have done. Then we talked about where that knowledge comes from- through only the Bible. And last week we looked at the beginning of sin and the beginning of God’s saving plan to cover our shame and to remove our guilt. This week, we continue on to look at the end and the fulfillment of God’s saving plan which is the life of Jesus.
Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. 15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.