The Gospel of John | Day Fifteen
By: Brittany Green | Not of This World
"Growing up I didn't really go to church often, but my parents introduced the idea of Jesus to me. When I was in middle school my friends took me to their student ministry. I decided Jesus was what I needed in my life and I began to pursue a relationship with Him. That has been the best decision of my life!
Now my family attends church regularly and it has been incredibly sweet to see how Jesus saved my parent's marriage. I can't imagine going a day without God's love enveloping me and protecting me!
Lately, it has been more apparent to me how broken our world is. However, in the midst of all the chaos, I have received encouragement by the overwhelming passion of believers in our community and around the world. There is an outpouring of the Spirit that equips us to battle. It has been so difficult to just follow God regardless of how the world sees my decisions!
During a recent sermon, my pastor shared this quote by Francis Chan: "Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers". God has been conditioning my heart to serve Him instead of the world. I would rather further the Kingdom of God by sharing Christ and building believers than stay comfortable and silently withhold the Good News from others."
Today is the first day of Easter week. How are you doing? I want to encourage you to press into time with Jesus. It always seems that it’s during these holy weeks that the enemy is at work distracting God’s people best. Jesus has overcome the enemy so don’t let him steal your time and focus. I’m praying for you this week.
Yesterday we left Peter in denial after Jesus was arrested. Today we’re going to look at what Jesus has been doing since His arrest.
Read John 18:28-19:16.
Now write down as many facts about this passage you can. What observations can you make? You should be able to write down between 20-30 facts in these verses.
What truths can you learn from these facts? Anything that can apply to your life?
This passage begins Jesus’ trial. The Jews bring Jesus to Pontius Pilate, who governed the area of Judea. The Jews wanted Pilate to give Jesus an execution order. The Jewish rulers had their own set of rules and law but could not take legal actions unless a Roman official gave the order. Much of the time, they convinced the Roman authorities to carry out their laws, but here we see Pilate having a difficult time condemning Jesus. His biggest problem is fearing what the people think of him and how Caesar views him. Pilate declares no basis for charging Jesus with a crime and tries to release Him. The Jews are desperate at this point and would even prefer a thief and leader of a rebellion to having Jesus (who is blameless) free. So Pilate has Jesus flogged and mockingly puts a robe and crown of thorns on Him, dressing him up as a king. The Jews then convince Pilate by claiming that he is not a friend of Caesar’s, which makes Pilate afraid. It seems that his job is not very secure. And so Jesus is delivered to be crucified.
I think it is significant to look at Jesus’s interaction with Pilate. Check out the times that Jesus talks to him: verses 18:33-38 and 19:9-11.
Every time I read about Jesus being crucified I get angry that Pilate didn’t stand up to the Jews or that they didn’t choose Barabbas, or that the ending didn’t turn out different. I always seem to root for a different ending. But look at what Jesus says in these few sentences: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from this world.” And “You (Pilate) would have no authority over me unless it had been given you from above.”
What does this mean? It means that this was God’s plan. And that’s hard because I want Jesus to win in my worldly way. But His kingdom is not of this world. It’s different, other, better. It was God’s plan for Jesus to die for our sins and salvation. God gave Pilate the authority, and while people sinned in betraying God, God could have chosen a different way. But in choosing a different way, He wouldn’t have been choosing us. You are his first choice, and He knew the bigger plan was for your sake.
What ways does God’s plan of salvation surprise you?
What are some other areas of the Christian life that are “not of this world”?
Thank goodness that God’s redemption plan was not left up to you and me, right? His ways are perfect. Even though it stinks that we’re reading about Jesus getting arrested, wrongfully accused, flogged and mocked, we can rest in the promise that redemption was the plan for each of us.