John 18:38-19:16: Wrongly Accused, Rightly Exchanged
John 18:38-19:16: Wrongly Accused, Rightly Exchanged
February 25, 2024 |
Sunday Morning
John 18:38-19:16: Wrongly Accused, Rightly Exchanged
John C. Majors |
John 18:38-19:16
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Well, good morning, Valley View. It’s great to start with an emphasis on the goodness of God. What a powerful thing to emphasize as a church, especially given these last few weeks and how we’ve seen him move. I know last week if you were here, we talked about how God had really shown up in a miraculous way to help direct us to Lynn Murray in the woods. And I just want to update you on him. He’s progressing every day, getting a little bit better. Come in a little bit back to where he was. Keep praying. Keep praying for him. One of the things we also have going on this week, we have the weekend, which is next week, when I hear some of the students shouting out, we used to call it when I was here as a kid, Disciple Now Weekend, that was one of my favorite things we did for students. I loved going to that. It was utter chaos. That was part of what I liked about it at that time. Not now, but then. That was something I just loved. What we did as students here. There was that there was camp. I think I lived for camp. That was my whole year was either pre or post camp. Everything was defined by camp students. Here’s one other thing we did that looking back in hindsight, I think, why did we do that the whole all night lock ins thing? Has anybody ever been a part of that? Once again, I lived for it, but I can’t imagine any of the leaders did who wanted to stay up all night with a bunch of seventh grade boys who were hyped up on sugar and pizza. And that’s just a crazy recipe. In fact, I do remember this one instance. We were at an all night lock in, and of course I was perfect and angelic and had no wrong behavior through that time. And all of a sudden, out of the blue, I’m standing over near the bleachers, down in the gym, and I’m there with two buddies. One of them Yanks open the girls bathroom door, and I don’t think he was identifying differently. He was just for a moment trying to be difficult and the other two guys run off. I’m standing there and the door is swinging shut as the leader of the whole thing looks up at me and he goes, Look, you’re out of here. I’ve had enough of you tonight. What? What are you talking about? I’m perfect. I haven’t done anything wrong. And of course, in that moment, I’m thinking you’re falsely accusing me of opening this door ready to run me off. But yet, of course, we know there probably were a hundred other things that came before that that led to that breaking point, even though I may have felt falsely accused. There was a lot going on. But I thought of that moment and I thought, I bet all of us can think of times where we felt falsely accused in the moment and times where we see a hand being raised right here. I think times where we felt like, look, even if there was other stuff in the background that that wasn’t me. I didn’t do that. And by the way, that leader said said, you know, I was mistaken. I got that wrong. And I’m like, well, you probably didn’t. There’s probably a whole lot else going on. But even if they won’t acknowledge that, it may have been a teacher, maybe a coworker who accused you of something that wasn’t true, maybe someone you thought was a dear friend comes at you with an accusation. Those things hurt, right? They hurt deeply. How do you move forward when that happens? What do you do? How do you handle that? How do you process that? Well, today we’re going to look at a passage in John 18:19, transitioning into John 19. We’re back in the book of John took a break last week or continuing to progress towards wrapping up the book of John this year. I promise probably within the next month or two we will work through the book of John and wrap it up. But John, 19, we see here the only perfect person to have ever walked on the earth. Even if you’re perfect being falsely accused, we’re going to see, in fact, four false accusers here, see four false accusers here. And as we look at that, we’re going to look at how Jesus was falsely accused, how he responded, and then see what we can draw from that in terms of how we deal with false accusations as we go. So, John, chapter 19, that’s on page might be on the screen here in a second. Seven something in the church Bible. If you don’t have a church Bible, we have those out in the connection corner. 851 We’d love to put those in your hands and you can turn there and follow along as we read. I want you reading from a copy of God’s Word. You can keep that Bible by reading it on your own, continuing to get to know God’s Word. But John, Chapter 1819. Look at verse chapter 18, verse 38, and this is where we’ll start repeating what we looked at last week, verse 38 Pilate said to him, What is truth? After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews? They cried out again. Not this man, but Barabbas. Now, Barabbas was a robber. So we’re going to see here one of the four false accusers. But notice first, as a reminder, last week, Pilate had been interrogating Jesus. You remember there was this whole back and forth exchange between them where they’re answering questions with a question, kind of this dialogue of madness. You’re wondering where it’s all going in Pilate ends the conversation abruptly with that question What is truth? What is truth? And we talked about some different things that might mean. But notice as soon as he says that to Jesus, he turns around and he goes back out to talk to the Jews about the situation and talks to those who are and this is the first accuser we see in this list of accusers – the Jews. They’re the ones who are first and foremost accusing Jesus of wrongdoing. And we’ve talked about some of those accusations. We’ll see some of those as we go. But what’s interesting here is and as you any time you’re reading in the book of John, you also want to look across the other gospels in Matthew and Mark, it says that Pilate knew they had brought him out of envy. It’s interesting. He was savvy enough to see that what they were doing, it didn’t have a basis. There wasn’t justice involved really at the heart of what the Jews were doing was their own darkened, envious hearts that cared more about power. They were envious of the attention that Jesus was getting, that they should be getting, the influence that he was getting, that they felt they should be getting. That’s what was driving their accusations. And Pilate could see he could just see through that a hint. And so that’s why he comes out to them and what he says to them. I found no guilt in him. You really have no basis for accusing him. Let me make a side note, though. Just I’ve said it before, but I think it’s important to remind us at times when it says the Jews, that’s not just referring to all Jewish people in general. The Bible isn’t anti Jewish inherently, okay, Because what he means here and we talked about this, I showed you the context of where John primarily when he says the Jews is referring to the self-righteous religious legalistic leaders over the Jewish people. That’s who he’s talking about, the self-righteous, religious, legalistic Jewish leaders. They were the ones in their self-righteousness, in their legalism, in their envy. They are the ones who are accusing Jesus. And we can say that with confidence because we looked at last week the fact that Jesus is in complete control in the midst of this. It’s not like he’s hoping that maybe he can figure it out and get through it and and these people who are accusing him won’t put him to death. No, he knows exactly what’s going to happen. He is in complete control and in fact, when he’s hanging on the cross, what does he say to his accusers, Father? Forgive them. Forgive them. He gives forgiveness to those who are doing wretched things to him now, forgiveness is a whole nother topic, a whole nother sermon series. We talked a lot about it on Wednesday night. But the reality and the important thing for us to realize here is that Jesus is in absolute control, even in the midst of these accusations, of these false accusations from the self-righteous religious, legalistic leaders. Now, notice, though, how Pilate tries to engage with them around this verse 39, he says, You have a custom that I should release one man for you. So Pilate knows they’re envious, and so he tries to meet them where they are. Let me give you a way out. Part of that’s a wise thing to do. John F Kennedy talked about in the Cuban Missile Crisis that whenever you are negotiating, you shouldn’t back someone into a corner so tightly that they have no way out. You should give them a way out, a way to save face. And so he’s saying here, look, I know you’re envious. There’s no guilt for this man, but there’s this custom. Here’s a way out. And we don’t know exactly where that custom is rooted in. Some believe it’s probably connected to the exodus. Because of the exodus, the practice was LAMB would die on behalf of the first born. His blood would be spilled instead. And maybe this is a picture of that someone would take the place of someone else. But he said, Here’s this custom. Take this offering. Here’s a way out. Now look at how they respond. Look back at verse 40. They crowd cried out again, not this man, but Barabbas. Barabbas was a robber. Two responses here: They won’t even say his name. They won’t acknowledge that he called him King of the Jews is just simply this man. I mean, that shows hardness of their heart towards Jesus, the decay of their heart, this man. But also here’s who they call for. In the midst of this, they call for Barabbas. And notice if you have the ESV describes him as a robber, some might say an insurrectionist. The context around this word is it’s pretty intense. In fact, here’s what it says in Mark chapter five when he describes Barabbas, he says it this way A rebel who had committed murder and the insurrection. This isn’t just some pickpocket robber. This is a guy more like John Wilkes Booth, who says, I’m going to use murder to bring about a revolution. I’m going to take it into my hands and do it my way, not just some pickpocket. In fact, here’s the irony. They’re asking for the very guy that Rome should be most worried about –a guy who is actually committing murder, a guy who is actually trying to overturn the government. They’re asking for that guy to be released instead of Jesus, who they find no fault in. This just points to the hardness of their heart, the fact that they are committed to see this through no matter what. And I think for us, we need to hear that and take pause. I mean, there are times in your life where, you know, you are right. That person is so wrong no matter what. And I’m going to see this through to persecute them no matter what. And those are the times you just need to pause and take a big, deep breath and talk to someone else and pray and get some perspective. Lord, am I right in this or am I just seeing this through because of my own envy, my own sin, my own accusation because I felt slighted. That’s an important thing to do. So first accusers, the Jews. But now let’s look at the next accuser that we see here looking verses one through three in chapter 19, Pilate took Jesus and flogged him and the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him saying Hail, king of the Jews, and they struck him with their hands. This is incredibly confusing. Pilate just said. I find no guilt in him. I find no fault in him. And yet he flogs him. There’s different ways to view that. It probably was incredibly violent. You don’t normally beat an innocent person. That’s not the response. Why does Pilate respond that way in this moment? In fact, I think we can confidently say Pilate is the accuser in this moment Pilate who says there is no guilt delivers punishment to Jesus. Why would he do that? What is going on? I’m going to take a little diversion here and give some background information on Pilate. This will help us understand why he would act that way. Why would Pilate do this? We tend to think of people in the past, Roman rulers in particular as just this person who’s autonomous. They can do whatever they want without any recourse. But it it wasn’t that way. Politics are always at work. Anybody who’s been a part of politics always know there’s many layers of things that you’re trying to accomplish and Pilate at this time was already seen as a weakened ruler. And so that’s in the background. Some of his leadership had been challenged. Some of the guys he reported to were questioning his leadership because of a few instances. And I’ve stacked these three books up here. They’re big books. They’re heavy books, but I want you to see them because these are books of history from that time. Josephus and Philo are the first two here. “They’ll ” flash up screens of the copies of those books on on the screen. Pictures Josephus and Philo were both Jewish historians that were contemporaries of Jesus, and they wrote gigantic books. I mean, these are tiny print in here, kind of like a Bible print would be page after page after page of Jewish history all from around that time. Josephus, Philo, Eusebius is this bottom one. And he was a Christian historian from a couple of hundred years later. But we have thousands of pages of historical context for- and the point of this point of view, seeing that for historical faith, it’s not like someone just made this up out of the air, wrote it all down. There is a gigantic amount of supporting history. And in these books, each of these writers talks about Pilate and gives some additional background stories around Pilate‚Äôs life. And one of these stories is so interesting. So Pilate was known, in fact, I think it was Philo said he was known as kind of this haughty, arrogant, self-focused leader, cared more about his power than anything else. So the first time he comes to Jerusalem, he comes with this agenda. His agenda is to abolish all the Jewish laws, the ceremonial laws, all the laws that they have. I’m going to come I’m going to get rid of those, put them completely under Roman rule. And the way he decides to do this is he comes into Jerusalem and he sets up these images of the Roman ruler. At the time they called them effigies, sets them in place. And Josephus says in particular, this was contrary to our law. It set people into an outrage and it’s hard to get our minds into that time and to understand why that would upset them so much. It goes back to do not make a graven image. Some of that was at play. Try to imagine if this morning when you came into the church, we had taken down the cross back here and instead put up a picture of the president. Now, whether you like the president or not, if the president were Billy Graham, that would still be inappropriate. You understand You don’t put the president up instead of the cross. Not not here. We don’t worship any political leader. We worship Christ. And so for them in that moment, amen. They were completely upset about this and Pilate knew this. So here’s what Pilate did he went and sat on the judgment seat. We’re going to see him do that in this in our story today as well. He went sat on the judgment seat waiting for the protesters to show up. He had Roman soldiers hiding on the perimeter ready to attack those protesters that show up. The protesters show up, The Roman soldiers come out and he said, you better disperse or there will be consequences. And listen to how Josephus said they responded. I just copied this page out of the book. These are the words that they said in that moment when he was threatening their lives. They threw themselves upon the ground, laid their necks bare, and said they would take their death very willingly rather than the wisdom of their law should be transgressed. They called Pilate‚Äôs bluff. He backed away. I’m not going to slaughter all these people. He removed those images from Jerusalem, and that was the first hint, challenge to his leadership. There’s a couple of more stories of decisions he made that did not go well. What’s the point of all this? If you’re in Pilate’s shoes, you got to wonder if your leaders aren’t going, what is the deal with Pilate? Why can’t he get control of these people? Why is he letting them tell him what to do and run over him? His political power was threatened. And so when I say Pilate was accusing him, it’s an indirect accusation. But Pilate was more worried about his power, about how he appeared to others, about his reputation. He was more worried about that than justice. And Jesus is the one who took the brunt. Jesus is the one who got the beating because of his own sin. Once again, we need to take pause. If I find myself more worried about my reputation than than doing what’s right, pause, pray, Ask others, Am I seeing this right? Is my heart in the right place? I don’t want to be more worried about my reputation than Christ, but I think it’s a temptation we’ve all faced at times. Now we also see in this interaction with Pilate a third accuser, it’s a little less obvious. It’s a little more hidden. But let’s look at this next group of verses. Look at verse four. Pilate went out against again and said to them, See, I’m bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in him. So Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns. The purple robe Pilate said to them behold, the man, when the chief priest and the officer saw him, they cried out, Crucify him, crucified him. Pilate said to them take him yourselves, crucify him. I find no guilt in him. The Jews answered him. We have a law and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God. And when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. So here we have a Pilate bringing Jesus out to them, and he says twice, I find no guilt in him. And he even again, is trying to meet them where they are. He doesn’t call them king. Now, he says, this man, behold the man. He takes away the title of KING. Look at him. Look, he’s bloodied. He’s got a fake crown on. He’s got no power or authority. What are you afraid of, Jews? What are you afraid of? He’s just a man. He’s trying to meet them where they are, trying to give them a way out as best as we can know. And their reaction is. No, no, no, no, no. This man has gone against our law as well, claiming to be the son of God. Now, Pilate‚Äôs reaction in this moment is going to show us who this third accuser is, because it says in this moment he was even this is verse eight, even more afraid. The word more implying he was already afraid may have been because he had fear for his own power, but more afraid, why would he now suddenly be more afraid when they say this man is claiming to be the son of God? Well, we need a little more background information to do that, turn to Matthew, Chapter 27. Matthew’s the first book in the New Testament. The page number should be up on the screen for a church Bible. And again, this story, the story of Jesus’s crucifixion, shows up in all the Gospels and you can read them together and kind of piece together the broader story. Each writer is highlighting specific things that they thought were more interesting or more important to pull out. But in Matthew chapter 27, starting at verse 17, we get just a glimpse of another side of the story here of what was going on and why Pilate might have been more afraid in the moment. Let’s look at verse 17 to begin with. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, Who do you want me to release to you, Barabbas or Jesus, who is called Christ? For He knew that it was out of envy. Here’s that envy I was talking about earlier. It was out of envy that they had delivered him up. Now look at verse 19. This is where we get some of this background. Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream. The Romans in general were very superstitious people. They had a God to follow for everything and had sacrifices to make, to make sure that the divine was satisfied. And many believe in this moment, Pilate was more afraid because he’s wondering, is this guy really divine? I’ve heard the stories. Could this be that I’ve stepped into something that I really should be worried about? I don’t want to be the guy that puts someone who is divine to death. That would strike fear. And some have said, you know, probably what is going on here with this dream that his wife is having being tormented in the background. And some have said that third accuser, probably what’s at play is likely the accuser in the background, Satan himself. The devil is at work through others himself, accusing Christ. He is– one of his names, his accuser. It’s what he loves to do. And I want to be careful not to see the devil behind everything that happens. If you’re TV glitches while you’re watching a rerun of The Cosby Show, that may not be the devil trying to persecute you specifically in that moment. Right? Don’t look for him behind everything but he is real. He is at work. He does accuse, he does deceive. He’s the father of lies. We need to be aware of that, not be naive to that. And he’s at play here at a lot of different levels, bringing these accusations against the one wholly pure one there is. That’s the third false accuser. Back to John, Chapter 19. There’s a couple of other things we need to look at here before we get to the false accuser. Look at verses nine through 11, because we’re going to see how Pilate responds to this fear. Pilate was more afraid. Here’s what he does. In his fear, he entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, where are you from? But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, You will not speak to me. Do you not know that I have the authority to release you, authority to crucify you? Jesus answered him. You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin. So Pilate’s immediate response in the midst of fear is to come to Jesus and ask, Okay, where are you really from? Are you divine or not? And notice that Jesus doesn’t even respond. Now, there’s two things in this passage I want to address that are important, that I think have been misunderstood at times. This is kind of a side note, a side conversation from what’s happening in this passage. But I’ve seen people use this fact that Jesus remains silent in this moment. I’ve seen pastors, I’ve seen counselors do this to tell someone being abused, that you just need to take it. Jesus took it. He remained silent when he was being abused and accused. And you need to as well. That is a misunderstanding of this passage, a grave gross misunderstanding. By the way, I’m pro counselors. I’m pro pastors too. Some people get it wrong. That is a misunderstanding. And I want you to hear today, if you’re being abused, do what it takes to get safe. Jesus didn’t stay quiet the entire time. We’re going to see him responding in just a second. He’s quiet in this moment because he’s already addressed what Pilate is asking and Pilate didn’t want to hear it earlier. There’s a time to speak up and there’s a time to be quiet. And if you’re being abused, do what it takes to get safe. Do what it takes to get safe. And let me also speak to the other side of the coin. If you are abusing someone, first of all, I’m glad you’re here. What better place to get healthy, But do whatever it takes to stop, confess to someone, find someone to share that with. Don’t continue. You’ve abandoned the gospel and your pattern of behavior. You’re walking down a dangerous road. Be the one to take the initiative to get that other person safe. And let me also say to you, I know that behind that and this isn’t to excuse what you’ve done, but I know that hurt people hurt people. And more than likely something was done to you as a child, and that’s what you learned, not excusing it, but you got to deal with that you‚Äôve go to press in to that, to change that life, to change that behavior. But it starts with the cross. It starts with coming to Christ, coming to him and say, help me get free. I know that’s heavy, but I think it’s important to address. The second thing here that brings some confusion. If you look back in the passage he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin is that phrase he uses in verse 11 greater sin? That can be confusing. What do you mean, greater sin? There are greater sins and lesser sins. At one level, all sin separates us from God. Every single sin, no matter how small or great however you scale them, separates us from God. And yet I’ve heard my wife Julie say this in parenting classes, and actually I heard Darryl Strawberry say it recently. The baseball player. The guy was one of the most talented baseball players to ever live. He got derailed on drugs, but now he’s an evangelist. And I heard him say this. You can choose your sin– can anybody complete it? You can’t choose your consequences. You can choose your sin, but you don’t get to choose your consequences. Meaning, sure, at one level, all sin separates us from God. But yeah, some sins have much greater consequences for ourselves. Our lives can be radically changed because of a decision. We’ve made a sinful decision to run from God, but also for others. The decisions we make affect the faith of others. And look, I know probably every one of us in this room could say, Yeah, I think I’ve hurt the faith of someone else. I know there are people that because of decisions I’ve made, may have caused their faith to struggle. That’s a weight to carry. That’s an important thing to be aware of. But look, either way, here’s the reality. Either way, great or small. The call is the same. Come to Christ, confess your sin, bring it to him. Seek forgiveness, Seek repentance. There may be a lot of consequences as a result, but either way you come to him. Two challenging issues in this passage that I want to make sure we talk about and address that are important for the church to know about. But all this is leading to our fourth accuser. Pilate dealt with the accuser -Pilate himself was accusing out of his own sin. The Jews were accusing. Look, in this next section, who we see accusing verse 12 through 16. From then on, Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar. So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Stone Pavement Aramaic gabbetha. And it was the day of preparation of the Passover. It was the sixth hour, he said to the Jews, Behold your king. And they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your king? The chief priest answered, We have no king but Caesar. He delivered him over to be crucified. You see how things are ramping up here. In fact, over the course of this whole passage, we’ve seen Pilate in one way or another four times say he’s not guilty. It’s time for him to go Four times. He calls him king of the Jews. And we see four accusers. In fact, the accuser we see here again, it’s kind of hidden. But notice in verse 15, they cried out away with him, away with him, crucify him. Matthew, Mark, in fact, is in Mark 15:11, where it says the leader stirred up the crowd to call this out as well. And so number four the fourth accuser we see. Here is the crowd. The whole crowd is at play accusing Jesus. And I bet there have been times in your life where you feel like the whole crowd is against you. In fact, there are times where the crowd gets stirred up. They don’t even know why. I bet most of this crowd doesn’t even know why they want him crucified. They might not even know who Jesus is at this point. And it’s easy to go along with the crowd. It’s easy to feel like the whole world is against you. In the midst of that, what do you do? We’ve seen these four accusers. What do you do? How do you respond to these accusers? I want to talk about six action points for us. Six ways to respond to our accusers. What do you do in the midst of accusations? How do you move forward? Let’s look at these six ways. Number one, fear God not man. Start there, Jesus. We don’t see him shivering in his boots, afraid of Pilate, afraid of the Jews, afraid of Pilate ‚Äòs wife in a crazy dream, not even afraid of the accuser or the crowd. He is in complete control and he knows that his father is in control. The apostles in chapter five, which that passage was just on the screen, once again, the leaders, the rulers, the self-righteous religious rulers are saying, you got to stop preaching. And they say, we‚Äôve got to obey God, not man. number one, fear God not man. Number two, know that if you take a stand for anything, you take a stand for anything at all, you’ll have people who become your accusers, people who go against you, become your opposers, maybe even your abusers. And so what do you do? But just never take a stand for anything, never say anything that would be difficult. Just go along with everyone else, make–be as agreeable as possible your whole life. And I’m not talking about being the loud- I say it like it is– jerk. You know what I’m talking about. There are things in life worth taking a stand for. There are. Even if it means your lives are at stake. There are things we’re taking a stand for, and that’s okay. And if you do that, there will be plenty of people who don’t like that. That’s part of the call. Number three, when you’re falsely accused, don’t trust the crowd. Don’t depend on the crowd to be there for you. Don’t trust the crowd. And I would say when you’re trying to figure out who Jesus is in your life, don’t trust the crowd because the crowd is going to paint a false picture of who he is. They’re going to put a false crown on him. They’re going to stand him up and say here’s the man, here’s the one that you follow. Here’s what he’s really like. No, get to know him. Get to know him in his word. Get around people that you can help you understand who he is instead of just some false picture of him that’s been painted. You know, I don’t know what perspective of church and Christianity you’re coming from, but get in his word and get to know him there. Number four, when accused– and this one’s real important– understand the difference between accusation and godly conviction. There’s a big difference. Satan accuses, the Holy Spirit brings godly conviction. Satan brings accusation which creates confusion and shame and guilt and despair and leave you feeling like I can never be good enough. I can’t do anything right. I got to figure it all out on my own. That’s accusation. Godly conviction brings hope, brings peace, brings a desire for change, brings freedom from sin, brings release, brings joy. That’s what comes with conviction. And there’s a big difference between the two. Know the difference between the two. Number five, when falsely accused remember, there will be a day when the roles are reversed because Pilate sat on the judgment seat, judging Jesus and there’s a day there will be a day where Jesus is on the judgment seat. He is the one judging. And here’s what’s going to happen in that moment. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, every single one, and that day will come. It may seem distant, it may seem far off. There will be a day. And then lastly, number six, don’t settle for a substitute savior. To understand this one, we need to go back to Barabbas because his name sums up so much of what’s going on here. Barabbas, you hear in here ‚ÄòBar Abba‚Äô, Abba father, son of a father. And here’s the irony at play. The Jews are saying, release the son of the father so we can persecute the true son of the father. Give us a substitute. Give us someone who can’t save us. But here’s the beauty. They’re actually doing the very thing that Jesus came to do. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. Jesus takes the place of the guy who had actually done the crime. In this picture, we get an illustration of who Jesus is and why he came. And I think each of us at times are tempted to pursue a substitute savior. What is this thing that will relieve my guilt , my shame, my sin? Come to Christ instead. Come to him. He is the LAMB of God that takes away the sin of the world.