They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” John 19:15
Do we feel better about ourselves when a king is flawed or when a king is holy?
Are there faultfinding flaws in all of us? Temporary gain, divided feelings, mixed emotions, and questionable passions in each of us?
Judas. Peter. Pilate. The chief priests. Me. You.
This text, if nothing else is jam-packed with outbursts of emotion, outrage at the highest peak of our imperfection, sin. And it’s nothing like a blemish or two on our face that an acne cream or a facial scrub could remove temporarily but sin, in the heart, only the blood can remove…permanently.
We can read here, just a few chapters earlier in the book of John, Jesus, well aware of the time and the condition of the human heart, sin, says, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him.” (13:31) Not to judge but to save. And says just moments later (v. 35), “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” And I paraphrase here, ‘and will prove that I am your King.’
Not faultfinding. Not mistake-seeking. Not hostility. Not plotting. But love for one another will prove…you are my disciples. That in this love you will be my testimony. Not in any other love and in no other way.
God’s Plan is Greater No Matter What
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? (Psalm 2:1).
God’s plans are greater than our plans no matter how thoroughly we think them through. The priests, rulers, and peoples of the time were openly determined in finding fault in Jesus but none of their questions or actions laid claim over his life-giving, self-sacrificing, sin-destroying authority (John 10:18).
Jesus, the Word, became walking, talking grace for those of us who would reach for him out of our own sin, not his. “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (I Peter 2:22)
Does Righteousness Outrage Us or Humble Us?
We are told in scripture (John 10:33) that it wasn’t Jesus’ good works that caused an uproar but his singular acts of professing that he was the Son of God they considered blasphemous. They saw not his heart but his mouth. Although both were in shared service to the will and work of God the Father.
The Appearance of Flawlessness
We today, are more attracted to the appearance of flawlessness rather than grace extended to our transgressions (through the cross of Christ). Jesus would tell us and show us that he didn’t come for our flaws or mistakes (by human standards) but sin (God’s standards).
Concerning himself, giving himself wouldn’t be a testament of clearing up our blemishes but transforming our hearts towards things eternal by his death.
A Heart Towards God
And because flaws, mistakes and even blatant sin for those forgiven and repentant in Christ are now used as instruments in the service of glorifying Christ, his character (Spirit) remains in us, and not our transgressions.
“All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.” (John 17:10)
So let’s go Christians, we have been given the King known to the hearts of us who once rejected him but who are now under the grace of God through him.