Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses seventeen through thirty-seven of the nineteenth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will everything which the week of the passion of Jesus had been leading up to finally taking place. As you draw near and approach this passage you will find the events which took place in the garden—the betrayal of Jesus by one of His own in order that He might be handed over into the hands of His enemies—reaching the climactic end. This was of course how the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel saw it. The verses which are found in this portion of scripture bring us face to face with the betrayal of Jesus drawing to a close, as well as the trials which Jesus stood before Caiaphas, Herod and evening Pilate having drawn to a close. What’s more is that when you come to the words und within this passage of scripture you will find the interrogation of Pilate in private—those personal and private moments when Pilate spoke to Jesus to uncover just what exactly He had done wrong—coming to a close. If you begin reading with and from the seventeenth verse of the nineteenth chapter of the gospel which the apostle John wrote you will find that after Pilate had handed Jesus over to roman soldiers to torture and to mock—and even to plate a crown of thorns upon His head—he then handed Jesus over to be crucified. I must admit that the more I read and the more I think about the trial which Jesus stood before Pilate, the more I can’t help but be gripped and captivated with and by the fact that Jesus was handed over by the chief priests and elders of His own people to one who neither had no quarrel, nor one who had any offense with Jesus the Christ. As you read the words which are found within the four gospels you will quickly come face to face with the reality that nothing Jesus has ever said, nor anything Jesus had ever done had angered or upset the Roman Empire. The more you read the words found within the four gospels the more you will come face to face with the strong reality that there was absolutely nothing Jesus said, nor anything Jesus did that caused the Roman Empire to seek to lay hands on Him, and even to put Him to death. It is quite astonishing and remarkable to consider the fact that even when Jesus was finally standing before the representation of the Roman Empire and all its night and glory at that time, Pilate could not find any fault, nor could he find any wrong doing in Jesus’ words, nor even His actions. Even when Jesus remained silent when interrogated and even when Jesus responded to the questions asked by Pilate with words and language which might very well have seem far fetched in his natural mind, Pilate could find no fault in and within Jesus. Pause for a moment and consider that the only ones who found any fault and any wrong with Jesus the Christ during those days were the religious leaders—the scribes, the chief priests, the elders of Israel, the Pharisees—and the Jews.
I FIND NO FAULT WITH THIS MAN! I am convinced that there is something incredibly powerful and incredibly captivating about the statements which Pilate made concerning Jesus the Christ. If you transition into the New Testament writings you will find it written that the living and eternal Father made Him who had no sin to be sin for us in order that we might experience grace, in order that we might experience forgiveness, and even that we might experience and find the righteousness of Christ. I am standing here this morning and I can’t help but come face to face with the reality that there is something incredibly powerful about Jesus standing trial before what was then the most powerful empire and kingdom in the known world, and as He stood before that empire and all its power and might, they could find absolutely no wrong with Him. Despite Pilate speaking to Jesus, then speaking to the Jews, then returning and speaking to Jesus, he determined that there was absolutely no fault to be found in Jesus who was the Christ and the Son of the living God. I believe there is something of great significance and importance in this statement made by Pilate, for by declaring before the accusers of Jesus, and by declaring before those who did in fact find fault with Jesus, that which He was actually doing was helping to further declare and pronounce that this Lamb of God which John the Baptist proclaimed was to take away the sins of the world was both sinless and innocent. Even when Jesus stood trial before the most powerful nation of the world at that time they could find no fault or wrong with Him. This has even more intrigue and mystery when you consider that only a few decades later the Roman Empire would be guilty of perhaps one of the greatest persecutions against the church this world has ever seen. How incredibly my intriguing it is to think that Rome and Pontius Pilate found no wrong and found no fault with Jesus the Christ, and yet not even a half a century later they found fault with His followers and began to persecute and martyr them. It would be Rome who would crucify and put Jesus to death, and it would be Rome who less than a half century later would inflict one of the greatest persecution’s against the church this works has ever seen. It would be Rome that would put to death, imprison and torture Jesus the Christ there in Jerusalem, and it would be Rome which would later torture and put to death the followers and church of Jesus the Christ. How incredibly interesting it is to think about the fact that Rome would find no fault with Jesus the Christ when He stood trial before Pontius Pilate, and yet Rome would be the empire that would launch one of the greatest persecution’s against the church this world has ever seen.
As I sit here this morning I can’t help but be confronted with and by the incredible fact that when Jesus stood accused by His own people, and when Jesus stood accused by the chief priests, the scribes and elders of Israel in the company and presence of Pilate, he would find absolutely no fault nor any wrong with Jesus the Christ. When Jesus stood before Him accused by religion and accused by His own people, He stood before one who had the power to release Him or to put Him to death, and yet even though He was accused before the representation of Rome within Jerusalem and Judaea, he could find no fault with Jesus the Christ. I would dare say there is some tremendous significance in this thought and truth, for it almost seems that Pilate had to declare and proclaim no fault with Jesus in order to further confirm the reality that He was the sinless and guiltless Lamb of God which was to take away the sins of the world. By Pilate emphatically declaring and proclaiming that He could find no fault with Jesus, that which He was doing was declaring and proclaiming the supreme innocence of Jesus during that time. I almost feel that it was absolutely necessary for Pilate to declare and proclaim the innocence of Jesus—and to do so before His accusers and those who vehemently hated Him—for by doing so He was actually further confirming the prophetic and messianic words which were spoken concerning Him. By declaring that he could find no fault with Jesus the Christ, and by essentially proclaiming the innocence of Jesus before all those who would accuse Him, that which Pilate was ultimately fount was further confirming the words which were spoken by the Law and the prophets concerning Jesus and how He who knew no sin was made sin in our behalf. Oh I can’t help but find the words which Pilate spoke unto the hearing of those who would accuse Jesus to be absolutely wonderful and powerful, for by declaring that He could find no fault with Him, that which He was doing was proclaiming that Jesus was in fact fulfilling the scriptures which spoke of His being innocent in the earth, and guilty of no wrong. Regardless of how many times Pilate spoke with and questioned Jesus, He could find no fault with anything He had said, nor anything He had done. Oh how absolutely and incredibly intriguing it is to think that when Jesus stood before Pilate accused of blasphemy by His own people, Pilate Luke fine not wrong done and committed by Jesus. This actually lends even more weight to the reality that when Jesus was handed over by Pilate to be crucified, He wasn’t handed over as one who was guilty, but as one who was innocent, and one who had done no wrong. Even though Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified, he did so having not only found no fault in Jesus, but also publicly proclaiming and declaring that He had found no fault with Him. Oh please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss and lose sight of what is so incredibly amazing about the trial of Jesus, and even the public proclamations issued by Pilate in the hearing of those who not only accused Jesus, but also those who would cry out for Him to be crucified.
It is truly astonishing to think about and consider the fact that when Jesus stood trial before Pilate, and when Jesus stood trial before the most powerful kingdom and empire of the world at that time, that representative of Rome could find no fault with Jesus. Regardless of and despite the questions which were asked of Jesus, as well as the responses which Jesus gave, Pilate could find no fault, nor could he find any wrong doing in the person of Jesus the Christ. Despite the fact that He was being accused of blasphemy and despite the fact that He was asked to be crucified, Pilate would and could find no fault with Him. While on the surface it might not seem like the words which Pontius Pilate spoke in the hearing of the Jews and those who stood accusing Jesus and crying out for His blood, I would dare say that there is something truly remarkable, and something truly critical and even liberating about the words which Pilate spoke concerning Jesus the Christ. What’s more, is that it would have been one thing for Pilate to emphatically declare in the hearing and company of Jesus that he had found no fault with Him, however, as you read the Scriptures you will find that that simply wasn’t the case. When Jesus stood before Pilate the first time accused by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of His own people, Pilate could find absolutely no wrong or no fault with Him. When Jesus was delivered into his hands in order that he might swiftly and in all reality immediately be put to death, Pilate could find no fault with Jesus—either in the words which He had spoken, nor even the works which He had done. It was true the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of Israel delivered Jesus up unto Pilate having accused Him of blasphemy, and even speaking of and declaring Himself to be a king, Pilate could find no fault, nor could Pilate find any wrong with Him. What’s more, is that even when you turn ahead to the inscription which was nailed above the head of Jesus—the place where the crime(s) of those condemned to die were listed—the only thing that was written and inscribed there was: “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS!” Even after Pilate had sentenced Jesus to be put to death, and even when Pilate had handed Jesus over to be crucified, he did so having not found any guilt or wrong with Jesus, and having publicly voiced and proclaimed that reality in the hearing of all those who stood to accuse Jesus of wrongdoing and in the hearing of all those who stood to condemn Jesus and cry out for His blood. Oh, I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the prophet Isaiah spoke during his generation, and the words which are written and recorded in the prophetic book which bears his name. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the fifty-third chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you will come face to face with what was perhaps one of the greatest Messianic prophecies concerning the suffering of Jesus the Christ recorded in all of Scripture. This same Old Testament prophet who spoke of and foretold the birth of Jesus the Christ as being born of a virgin and being the Son of David who would sit upon his throne would be the same prophet who would also speak and write concerning His death. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in this particular chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book beginning with the first verse:
“Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was there any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant just many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I dive Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).
Oh it is absolutely critical and crucial that we do not miss the words which are found written within this particular passage found within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, for not only does it provide us with one of the most descriptive Messianic prophecies concerning the suffering Servant, but it also provides us with tremendous language concerning Jesus who would bear the iniquity of us all. Through this particular portion of Scripture found within the larger context of the prophetic book of Isaiah we come face to face with the suffering Servant, and the servant who would not only bear our iniquity, but would also justify many as a result. There is a tremendous amount of language found within this particular passage of Scripture that helps point to the awesome and wonderful reality of Jesus not only suffering and dying, but in and through that suffering and death would He bear the iniquity and the transgression of us all. Even beginning with the fourth verse we begin to catch a glimpse of this reality when we find and read concerning Jesus that He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, and yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. In the fourth verse we find the prophet Isaiah speaking of Jesus as bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows, and in the fifth verse we find the prophet going on to declare that He was wounded for our transgressions, and that He was bruised for our iniquities. It is when you come to the fifth verse of this particular prophetic passage and chapter that you begin to encounter the language of Jesus’ suffering, and Jesus’ death being intrinsically linked and connected to our iniquity and our transgression. It is when you come to the fifth verse of this chapter where you begin to notice the words which the prophet spoke concerning this suffering servant as being about more than simply suffering and death, but also about transgression and iniquity. What’s more, is that in the sixth verse we catch a glimpse of just what that iniquity and transgression looked like, for the prophet would go on to write and declare how all we like sheep have gone astray, and how we have turned every one to their own way. As a direct result of our going astray and our going our own way, the Lord did lay upon this suffering Servant the iniquity of us all. There it is again—the language of iniquity found in the context of suffering and death. Did you catch that? Did you happen to notice the powerful link between the suffering of Jesus the Christ and the iniquity and transgression of all as we like sheep have gone astray and have each gone our own way? Are you able to see the strong and powerful link and connection between the suffering and death of Jesus the Christ and our iniquity and transgression? I have to admit that it is right there in plain sight before you very eyes for you to think about and carefully consider and cannot, must not and should not be missed. Oh, I would implore you to carefully consider the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and allow yourself to be immersed in the tremendous reality of one who suffered and even died for our iniquity and transgression.
As you transition to the seventh verse of this chapter you will notice that despite the fact that this suffering Servant was oppressed and afflicted, He opened not His mouth, and just as a lamb is brought to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so also this suffering Servant opened not His mouth. In the very next verse the prophet Isaiah would begin speaking of what we see and witness in the four gospels when Jesus was taken into custody by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel after Judas betrayed Him into their hands. The prophet Isaiah spoke and declared that this Servant would be taken from prison and from judgment, for He was cut off out of the land of the living, and for the transgression of the Lord’s people was He stricken. There it is yet again—the strong and undeniable connection between our transgression and the suffering of Jesus the Christin His generation. Make absolutely no mistake about it when reading the words written and recorded within the prophetic book of Isaiah, for the prophet emphatically declared and wrote about Jesus who would not only be taken from prison and judgment after being cut off out of the land of the living, but also that He was stricken for the transgression of the people of God. What’s more, is that when you come to the very next verse you find what is perhaps the single greatest declaration of the innocence of Jesus the Christ in this Old Testament prophetic passage, for within this verse the prophet declare that even though He made His grave with the wicked, and even though He was among the rich in His death, He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit found in His mouth. The words which we find in the ninth verse of this particular chapter of of utmost and supreme importance, for they bring us face to face with the innocence of this Lamb of God which was sent into the world to take away the sins of the world. It was true the prophet saw and beheld the suffering and death of the Servant of the most High God, and yet directly linked to that vision was the awesome and wonderful reality that Jesus had done no violence, nor was their any deceit in His mouth. Even when you consider Jesus hanging on the cruel Roman tree outside Jerusalem on Golgotha you will find Him hanging on a cross between two malefactors and two whom the gospel writers wrote and spoke of as being guilty. The very fact that Jesus hung between two thieves and to robbers fulfills the words which were spoken concerning Him being numbered among the transgressors, and how despite the fact He had done no violence, nor was any deceit found in His mouth, He was numbered among the transgressors. What’s more, is that not only was Jesus numbered among the transgressors, but Jesus also suffered and ultimately died for the transgressions of us all, and even for the transgressors who hung on either side of Him. Oh I would dare say that it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we come face to face with these realities, and truly understand and recognize that which the prophet Isaiah spoke of and saw concerning Jesus, for it has a tremendous impact on that which we find and read in the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ.
In the tenth verse of this New Testament passage of Scripture you will find the prophet Isaiah emphatically declaring and proclaiming that it actually pleased the Lord to bruise this Servant, and to put Him to grief. Furthermore, the prophet would go on to declare that when this Servant had made an offering for sin, He would see His seed, He would prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord would prosper in His hand. Additionally, the prophet would go on to write and declare that this Servant would see the travail of His soul, and would be satisfied, and by His knowledge would the righteous servant justify many for He would bear their iniquities. In the twelfth and final verse of this Old Testament prophetic passage you will find the prophet declaring how this suffering Servant would pour out His soul unto death—and not only would He pour out His soul unto death, but He would also be numbered with the transgressors, would bear the sin of many, and would make intercession for the transgressors. Please notice and pay close attention to the words which are written and found within this Old Testament prophetic passage of Scripture, for it is within this Old Testament passage of Scripture we come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that through the suffering and death of this Servant the sins, the transgression and iniquity of us all would be carried and borne by Him. What’s more, is that within this passage you will find three distinct words which were used to describe that which this Servant would bear and take up in His suffering and death—iniquity, transgression and sin. When speaking of this Servant the prophet would emphatically write and declare that He would take up and bear our iniquity, our sin and our transgression, thus indicating the awesome and wonderful reality that the One whom John the Baptist saw and beheld and proclaimed as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world would in fact take up and bear our iniquity, our sin and our transgression. I have to admit that I absolutely love the words which are found written within this prophetic passage of Scripture, for what we find within this passage of Scripture brings us face to face with the awesome and incredible reality of just how great our iniquity, our transgression and sin truly was. The fact that the prophet used three distinct words to speak about that which we had committed—the offenses and wrongs we had committed—strongly suggests and speaks to the undeniable reality that we have all gone astray and have all gone our own way. What’s more, is this lends even more credence to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle which was written unto the Romans, for the apostle Paul would declare that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Oh, please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this reality, for this one whom Pilate found no wrong and no fault in would take up and bear the iniquity, the sin and transgression of us al.
Beginning with the fourth verse of this particular Old Testament passage we are directly confronted with the fact that directly linked and directly connected with the suffering and death of Jesus the Christ would be our iniquity, our transgression and our sin. It is absolutely impossible to separate and segregate our iniquity, our transgression and our sin from the suffering and death of Jesus the Christ. When we speak about and when we have a conversation about the suffering an death of Jesus the Christ we must also have included in that transgression your iniquity and my iniquity, your transgression and my transgression, your sin and my sin. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all we like sheep have gone astray, and all of us have gone our own way. As you read the words which the prophet Isaiah wrote concerning this suffering Servant you will be directly confronted with the strong reality that upon Jesus was laid the iniquity and transgression of us all. In fact, as I sit here and think about the declaration which Pilate made concerning Jesus, I can’t help but find it absolutely necessary for Jesus to have been pronounced innocent, and for Pilate to find no fault nor wrong with Him. Consider if you will the tremendous weight and the tremendous burden sin places on you and upon your heart and soul when you know you are and have been guilty of sin and transgression in the sight of the Lord. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which David wrote in the Old Testament book of the Psalms, and how he wrote concerning himself that sin took a tremendous toll upon him—not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If we are truly willing to be honest with ourselves and with each other we must admit that when we have committed some offense and wrong in the sight and presence of the Lord, it does something to us within the very depths of our heart and soul. When we know we have committed an offense in the sight of God, and when we have committed some iniquity and transgression, it has the ability to place a tremendous strain and burden upon our hearts and our souls. Unless you are somehow able to live free and absent the conviction of the Holy Spirit—each time you commit an offense and wrongdoing against the living God, it places a tremendous burden and weight upon your shoulders. Perhaps this is the main and underlying reason why the author of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews wrote concerning laying aside the sin which does so easily beset us, and laying aside every weight. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus needed to be absolutely and completely innocent and faultless before in the sight and presence of the living God, for imagine not only having to carry to sin, the transgression and iniquity of the entire world, but also having to deal with your own iniquity, your own transgression and your own sin. Oh, consider if you will the words which are written and found within the Old Testament book of the Psalms concerning the struggle which David had with the sin which was committed by him in the sight and presence of the living God:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shaken in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken my rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in my a clear heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sin aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:1-17).
“Blessed is He whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:1-8).
It is quite clear and quite obvious from both of these passages that when David stood guilty of sin, of transgression and of iniquity in the sight and presence of the Lord, he found himself carrying a tremendous burden within his heart and within soul. It wasn’t’ until David had confessed his sin, his transgression and iniquity in the sight and presence of the living God that he finally found peace and solace for his tired and weary heart and soul. This is truly astonishing when you think about that which was proclaimed concerning Jesus the Christ by Pontius Pilate, for when Jesus stood before those who accused Him, and when He stood before those who cried out for His blood and death, Pilate emphatically declared and proclaimed that he had found no fault in and with Jesus the Christ. I am absolutely and completely convinced that it was necessary for Pilate to emphatically make such a declaration, for by doing so he would profess and proclaim that although Jesus would ultimately be sentenced to death He would be sentenced—not as one who was guilty, but as one who was innocent. This leads me to an astonishing and astounding reality concerning the innocence of Jesus, and the fact that there was no violence performed by Jesus, not any deceit found within His mouth, for could you imagine if Jesus was asked to bear the iniquity and transgression of us all, and yet in the midst of that He had to contend with His own iniquity, His own sin and His own transgression. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus had to be innocent, and Jesus had to be found innocent of any wrong doing and any evil, for it made it possible for Him to carry and bear the sin and iniquity of us all. He whose hands and life was completely free from any form of iniquity and transgression would be able to hold up under the tremendous weight and tremendous burden of the iniquity of us all, for Scripture makes it absolutely clear that upon His shoulders and upon was laid the iniquity of us all. Scripture holds no punches, and when it speaks of Jesus carrying and bearing the iniquity of us all, it means that He did in fact carry and bear our iniquity and our sin. How absolutely and utterly fascinating it is to think about and consider the awesome and incredible reality that Pilate declared an Old Testament reality concerning Jesus being completely innocent of any sin and any transgression, and front hat place of innocence Jesus was able to carry and bear our iniquity and our transgression. Pilate emphatically declared and proclaimed that he found no fault with Jesus, and John the Baptist emphatically declared that Jesus was indeed the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. If you combine the declaration of Pilate with the declaration of John the Baptist you will quickly come face to face with the Lamb of God who not only took away the sins of the world, but also the Lamb of God in whom there was no fault and no iniquity.
Oh that we would recognize and understand this tremendous and incredible reality, for to do so would be to have a greater appreciation for the work which Jesus the Christ did. Pilate declared and professed concerning Jesus the Christ that He could find no fault in Him, and it was this freedom of guilt that would not only be sentenced to death, but would also be completely and utterly free to carry, to bear up, and to shoulder the weight and burden of the iniquity and transgression of us all. Oh that we would come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality of the declaration which Pilate made concerning Jesus the Christ, and how this Jesus was found innocent of any guilt and wrongdoing in the sight of Pilate, thus it allowed Him to be made an offering and atonement for our sin as He who knew no sin was made sin for us. Oh that we would read and consider the words which were spoken by Pilate and actually find great solace and comfort in them, for it would be Pilate who would help express an Old Testament reality concerning the innocence of Jesus the Christ who had done absolutely no wrong, and was night guilty of offense, nor iniquity. Even though Pilate ultimately sentenced Jesus to death and handed Him over to be crucified, it would be Pilate who would help profess and proclaim in the hearing of accusation and condemnation that he found no wrong and found no fault in Jesus the Christ. DECLARED INNOCENT IN THE FACE OF ACCUSATION! DECLARED INNOCENT IN THE FACE OF CONDEMNATION! Oh I can’t help but find it absolutely wonderful that Jesus was pronounced clean and innocent by Pilate in the very company and presence of those who would accuse and those who would condemn Him. I FIND NO FAULT WITH HIM! I FIND NO FAULT WITH YOU! In all reality, I believe that the words and declaration which Pilate spoke about Jesus prior to handing Him over to be crucified are words which can and have the ability to be spoken over and concerning our lives because even though Jesus was innocent and no evil was found in Him He was sentenced to death. Pilate would profess Jesus as being innocent and not being guilty of any evil, offense, iniquity and transgression, and because He was innocent and sentenced to death, we can be guilty and not only find and experience life, but also forgiveness and righteousness. There is perhaps no greater passage and picture of this in all of Scripture than what we find in the Old Testament prophetic book of Zechariah concerning Joshua the high priest who stood accused and condemned in the sight and presence of the living God by Satan. I leave you with the picture that is presented within this passage as a wonderful and powerful illustration concerning our standing accused, our standing condemned in the sight and presence of the Lord, and our finding forgiveness, cleansing and justification:
“And He shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And He answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fir mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by” (Zechariah 3:1-5).