Messiah

Pilate granted the crowd’s wish and ordered Jesus’ crucifixion


Pilate looked out over the crowd. So, it had come to this. He thought. People who usually had no use for him were now coming to him, looking for him to pass judgment on one of their own. It was exhilarating to have such power. With one word he could bestow life or death.

At every Passover Festival, the Roman governor was in the habit of setting free any one prisoner the crowd asked for.  At that time, there was a well-known prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. So, when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, “Who do you want me to set free for you? Jesus Barabbas or Jesus called the Messiah?” He knew jolly well that the Jewish authorities had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous.

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While Pilate was sitting in the judgment hall, his wife sent him a message: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night I suffered much on account of him.”

The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask Pilate to set Barabbas free and have Jesus put to death. But Pilate asked the crowd, “Which one of these two do you want me to set free for you?”

“Barabbas!” they answered.

“What, then, shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?” Pilate asked them.

Crucify him!” they all answered.

But Pilate asked, “What crime has he committed?”

Then they started shouting at the top of their voices: “Crucify him!”

When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on but that a riot might break out, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am not responsible for the death of this man! This is your doing!”

The whole crowd answered, “Let the responsibility for his death fall on us and on our children!”

Pilate then set Barabbas free for them, and after he had Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be crucified (Matthew 27:15-26).

 

Should We Make The Gospel Easier To accept?


English: Illustration of the Parable of the Un...

English: Illustration of the Parable of the Unjust Judge from the New Testament Gospel of Luke (Luke 18:1-9) by John Everett Millais for The Parables of Our Lord (1863) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Certainly.

A majority of today’s preachers and teachers of the gospel is stuck in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and even earlier. Their style and presentation are bland, unattractive and out dated. Many of them consistently use terms and jargon most people do not understand. Some of them even fail to recognize that sinners do not need courses in theology and Christology. Sinners need alternatives; solid concrete reasons why they should turn from their way of living and stand up for Jesus. Let’s face it, the gospel is adaptable. Whether we use music, art or any other method; the gospel should be easy to accept. Jesus used parables to get His audience’s attention.

A parable is a short story that illustrates a universal truth, one of the simplest of narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences.

Parables appear in both the Old and New Testaments but are more easily recognizable in the ministry of Jesus. After many reject him as Messiah, Jesus turned to parables. When His disciples asked, “Why do you use parables when you speak to the crowds?”

Jesus replied, “Because they haven’t received the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but you have. For those who have will receive more and they will have more than enough. But as for those who don’t have, even the little they have will be taken away from them. This is why I speak to the crowds in parables: although they see, they don’t actually see; and although they hear, they don’t actually hear or understand. What Isaiah prophesied has become true for them:.

You will hear, but never understand; and you will certainly see but never recognize what you are seeing. And they’ve become hard of hearing.

And they’ve shut their eyes so that, they won’t see with their eyes or hear with their ears or understand with their minds, and change their hearts and lives that I may heal them. “Happy are your eyes because they see. Happy are your ears because they hear. I assure you that many prophets and righteous people wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear, but they didn’t.

The Messiah and the Samaritan woman


Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

The Samaritan woman found Jesus (the Messiah) in an unlikely place (at the side of a well). Her brief but historic meeting with Him would forever change her life. She was so overwhelmed that she left her water jar by the well and went back to the town to spread the good news. “Come; see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”

John chapter 4:7-26, tells us that Jesus was resting by the side of Jacob’s well one day; after a long journey from Judaea to Galilee, when a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

The woman was shocked that a Jew was asking a Samaritan for a drink. Back in those days Jews and Samaritans (Gentiles) did not mix. Gentiles were considered unclean and unrighteous.

The Samaritan woman who was more concerned about tradition than about helping Jesus with a drink of water, said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God (the gift of God is eternal life), and who it is (the Messiah) that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, He will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am He.”

The moral of the story is; the gospel of Jesus Christ knows no boundaries. It is for anybody who will accept it.