Have You Settled In Your Heart Who Jesus Truly Is?

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ which was written and recorded by John Mark. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses sixteen through forty-seven of the fifteenth chapter of this New Testament book. “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus to bear his cross” (Mark 15:16-21). “And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucified two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors” (Mark 15:22-28). “And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him” (Mark 15:29-32). “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he called the Elias. And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down” (Mark 15:33-36). “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and may other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem” (Mark 15:37-41). “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counseller, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marveled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought find linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid” (Mark 15:42-47). IN order to understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and understand that which was recorded from the beginning of it. If you take the time to begin reading with and from the first and opening verse of this fifteenth chapter you will find that in the morning after the night in which the Lord Jesus was betrayed by one of His own and delivered into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and elders of the people all the chief priests held a consultation with the scribes and the elders and the whole council. It would be in the morning after a night of false accusation and those who would punch, slap and spit in the face of the Lord Jesus that they would have Jesus bound and carried away being delivered unto Pilate. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the role Pontius Pilate played in the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ for it would be Pilate would ultimately give the green light for the Lord Jesus to be crucified. As you read the words which are found in the opening verses of the fifteenth chapter you will find that after Jesus was bound He was taken from the palace of the high priest and perhaps even a prison within the palace where He had been held and detained that He might be delivered unto Pilate. The Lord Jesus would be bound by soldiers once more as they would lead Jesus unto Pilate who at that time was governor of the city of Jerusalem. It would be in the presence of Pilate governor of Jerusalem Jesus was asked whether or not He was indeed the King of the Jews. This was of course a question which had been asked of Jesus by the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the people and even the high priest himself. The one question everyone desired to know was whether or not the Lord Jesus was indeed the Christ and the Messiah. As you read the words which are found in the beginning of the fifteenth chapter you will find Jesus now standing before a Gentile and among sinners after being delivered into their hands by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people of Israel. The sole reason and purpose for the Lord Jesus to be delivered into the hands of sinners and unto Pontius Pilate was because they had all consulted and agreed that He was worthy of death—and not only worthy of death but also of being crucified. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the powerful truth that the Lord Jesus was indeed delivered into the hands of sinners as He said He would for it would be those sinners who would not only scourge but also crucify Him. Even before the Lord Jesus was betrayed by Judas and was delivered into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people He would teach and show unto His disciples that He must needs be delivered into the hands of sinners who would scourge Him before ultimately crucifying Him. This is something we have a great need to pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus needing to be delivered into the hands of sinners for it would be sinners who would ultimately scourge, mock, ridicule and ultimately crucify Him. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ and how even before He would be delivered into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people of Israel He would teach and show His disciples that He would be betrayed into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people who would in turn deliver Him up into the hands of sinners. If you read the words which are found in the fifteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative you will find that after a night in which the Lord Jesus was falsely accused by many false witnesses He would be bound and delivered unto Pontius Pilate the following morning. Undoubtedly the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people knew and understood that they themselves could not kill and put the Lord Jesus to death and sought the assistance of Pilate. The sole reason and purpose the Lord Jesus was brought unto Pontius Pilate was because He was a Roman surrounded by Roman soldiers, guards and centurions who were able to carry out the act of crucifixion during those days. What we must needs recognize and understand is that it was only Rome itself who carried out the act of crucifying individuals as a means of torture—and not only as a means of fortune but also of death itself. That which we find here in this passage of Scripture is truly incredible when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus being delivered into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people who would in turn deliver Him into the hands of sinners. It would be the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people who after hearing the false witness of many and after consulting and taking council among themselves would take and deliver the Lord Jesus into the hands of the sinners. The religious leaders which were present during those days knew and understood that Rome itself used crucifixion as a means of torture and putting people to death and as a result of this they would deliver the Lord Jesus unto Pilate demanding that He crucify and put Him to death. What I find truly astonishing and powerful about the words we see in this passage of Scripture is how the same question which the high priest asked the Lord Jesus in the palace would once more be asked here in the presence of Pontius Pilate. As we read the words found in this passage of Scripture we find that when the Lord Jesus was indeed in the presence of Pontius Pilate He would once more asked if He was the King of the Jews. The King of the Jews would indeed be the Christ and the Messiah yet it was never something the Lord Jesus ever laid or made claim to during those three and a half years of public ministry. Nowhere in any of the four gospel narratives will you find the Lord Jesus ever making the statement and declaration that He was the King of the Jews. What’s more is that even when the demons and unclean spirits spoke of and declared Him to be the Christ, the Son of God and the like He would silence them. Not only this but there were times when you would find the Lord Jesus instructing and commanding His disciples not to make the declaration that He Himself was the Christ nor even the Messiah. This is something we must needs recognize and pay attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible reality of the Lord Jesus truly being the Christ and the Messiah yet never making the claim that He was such. Nowhere in any of the four gospel narratives will you find the Lord Jesus Christ making the declaration that He was the Christ nor even the Messiah. What you will find, however, is that the Lord Jesus would indeed speak of Himself as the Son of the Father which was in heaven—and not only the Son of the Father but even the Son of David. This is something we must needs recognize and understand—particularly and especially when you consider the words which are found in the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew as well as the words which are found in the opening verses of the first chapter of the gospel written by John Mark and the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. Consider if you will the following words found in each of these passages of Scripture beginning with the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew: “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiahs, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:13-20). “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it was written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latches of whose wholes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (Mark 1:1-8). “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve” (John 6:66-71). There is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to the words we see in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible reality that during the public ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ there were private times when it would be declared that He was the Christ—and not only the Christ but also the eternal Son of God. It would be in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi when Jesus would ask His disciples whom they said that He the Son of man was and it would be the apostle Peter who would make the confession and profession that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God. What makes this all the more intriguing when you think about it is when you consider the fact that Jesus would not only call Simon blessed for these words but He would also declare unto Him how flesh and blood had not revealed this unto him but rather His Father which was in heaven. Moreover the Lord Jesus Christ would declare unto Simon called Peter and the other disciples that upon this rock He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. The underlying question we must needs ask ourselves is what Jesus was referencing and speaking of when He spoke these words for what would He indeed build His church upon? What would be the foundation upon which the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be established and build? The truth and underlying reality behind and within this is the profession and confession Jesus is the Christ—and not only the Christ but also the Son of the living God. That which the Lord Jesus Christ would build His church upon would indeed be the profession and confession that He is indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God. That which the church would be built upon was the revelation and declaration that He was indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God—a reality which the apostle Paul wrote of in his epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Rome. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the tenth chapter of the epistle written unto the Roman saints beginning with the first and opening verse: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them records that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describe the the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (That is, to bring Christ down from above) OR, Who shall descend into the deep? (That is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no different between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on I’m in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heart? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Romans 10:1-21). It is within this passage of Scripture we find the apostle Paul emphatically declaring unto the saints which were at Rome that if one confesses with their mouth the Lord Jesus and would believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead they would be saved. Not only this but the apostle Paul would also go on to declare that with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Not only this but the apostle Paul would also appeal to that which the scripture declared for he would present unto the Romans how it was written in the scripture that “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” What’s more is that in addition to this the apostle Paul would also appeal to Scripture when he would go on to declare that whosoever would call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this for it sets the stage for that which we find in the second and third chapters of the New Testament book of Acts. It is in the second and third chapters of the New Testament book of Acts we encounter and are brought face to face with the gospel which the apostle Peter would preach—not only on the day of Pentecost but also after the day of Pentecost after the lame man who sat by the gate Beautiful was healed in the name of the Lord Jesus. When writing unto the Roman saints the apostle Paul would declare that those who confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus and believe with their heart that God raised Him from the dead that they would be saved. The apostle Paul would also go on to declare that it is with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and it is with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Furthermore the apostle Paul would go on to declare that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved—a reality we must needs recognize when reading the second and third chapters of the New Testament book of Acts. Oh I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in these two chapters for they not only confirm the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Rome but they also help demonstrate the words the Lord Jesus spoke concerning His building the church—and not only building His church but building it upon the foundation of the confession and profession that He is both the Christ and the Son of the living God. Having said and written this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found in the second and third chapters of the New Testament book of Acts beginning with the second chapter after the person and presence of the Holy Spirit was sent and manifested unto the one-hundred and twenty which were in the upper room: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be Holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:22-36). “Ye men of Israel, why marvel yet at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we have made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the pRince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that though ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the LORD your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:12-26). There is a great need to recognize the words which are found in these two passages of Scripture—particularly and especially the final verse found in the portion of the second chapter. If you consider the words and language found in the thirty-sixth verse of the second chapter you will find the apostle Peter emphatically declaring unto the Jews who were gathered together in the city of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost how God had made that same Jesus whom they had crucified both Lord and Christ. This is something we have a great need to recognize and acknowledge within our hearts for within it we encounter and are brought face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding that which the Lord Jesus emphatically declared unto the apostles in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi. It would be there in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi Simon called Peter would emphatically confess and profess Jesus to be the Christ and the Son of the living God and Jesus would respond unto Him by declaring that it would be upon that foundation—the foundation of confession and profession that He is both Christ and the Son of the living God—that He would build His church. The Lord Jesus would indeed build His church and would even declare that the gates of hell would not prevail against it and we must needs recognize that the way He would build His church would be upon the revelation—the confession and profession that He is both the Christ and the Son of the living God—that this Church would be built. On the day of Pentecost we find the apostle Peter standing up before all those Jews who lived and dwelt in Judaea, Galilee and Jerusalem—as well as those Jews who lived among the nations and lands round about the holy land—and preaching Christ. What’s more is the apostle Peter would not only preach Christ unto all those who were gathered but He would also preach Christ crucified and having been raised from death to life. Oh there is something incredibly captivating about this particular day and the message which the apostle Peter preached for on the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter would emphatically declare unto all those who were present that the same Jesus whom they had curried was made both Christ and Lord. It would be in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi the apostle Peter would confess and profess Jesus to be the Christ and the Son of the living God and now we find Him with all boldness and confidence declaring that this same Jesus who was crucified was made both Christ and Lord. There in the presence of all those who were present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the apostle Peter would emphatically declare that Jesus who was crucified and raised from death to life was indeed made both Lord and Christ by the eternal and living God. It would be the apostle Peter who would confess, profess, and proclaim Jesus as being the Christ and the Lord knowing that He had suffered in the flesh, knowing that He had been crucified, knowing that He had been buried in the tomb before being raised up from death to life on the third day and ultimately having ascended unto the right hand of the Father. The apostle Peter would powerfully declare that this Jesus whom was crucified was made both Christ and Lord—something which Jesus Himself instructed them not to declare even after pronouncing Peter blessed, declaring He would build His church as well as declaring the gates of hell would not prevail against it. There is something truly incredible about the words the apostle Peter preached and proclaimed on the day of Pentecost for it would be on this day the apostle Peter would boldly and without hesitation and reservation declare Jesus to be both Christ and Lord. I have to admit I absolutely love the words and language which is found in these two passages of Scripture for not only did the apostle Peter emphatically and boldly proclaim Jesus as being both Christ and Lord but He also laid the responsibility for the death of the Lord Jesus at the feet and upon the hands of the Jewish people themselves. It might have been Pilate who had Jesus scourged and ultimately delivered up to be crucified and put to death, however, it would be the Jews themselves who would cry out for the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pilate sought over and over again to release the Lord Jesus having found absolutely no fault or wrongdoing in Him and yet he experienced resistance from the Jews themselves who cried out all the more for His being crucified. Pilate looked for a way to release the Lord Jesus and would appeal to the release of one prisoner unto them at the feast of the Passover determining to release Jesus unto them, however, the Jews were persuaded to cry out for the release of a murderer and insurrectionist by the name of Barabbas. It would be in the second chapter of this New Testament book we find the apostle Peter boldly and unashamedly declaring unto the Jews which marveled at the healing of the lame man who sat by the gate Beautiful that they were responsible for the death and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. It would be the Jews and their religious leaders who would reject and despise the Holy One and the Just and would not only persecute Him but would also demand that He be crucified. The apostle Peter would indeed declare and proclaim unto the Jews after Jesus had suffered in the flesh, after He had been crucified, after He had been buried in the grave and raised from death to life on the third day, and even after He had ascended unto the right hand of the Father that they themselves were responsible for the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. I sit here today thinking about and considering the tremendous power of the words which are found in the third chapter of the New Testament book of Acts and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth that although Pilate was the one who delivered Jesus to be scourged and to ultimately be crucified it was the Jews themselves who had rejected and despised the Lord Jesus Christ. The sole reason the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and put to death was because the Jews themselves had cried out for His blood to be shed and for His being put to death. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when we read the words which are found in the fifteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John Mark we find the account of Jesus standing before Pontius Pilate. There is something we must lay hold of when reading and considering the words found in this passage of Scripture for this would be the second time the account of the Lord Jesus Christ standing before Pilate would be presented within the Scripture. It would be in this particular passage we encounter the second of four distinct and different accounts of the Lord Jesus standing trial before Pontius Pilate in the company and presence of sinners being accused—not only by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people but also by the Jews themselves. It would be the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people of Israel who would deliver the Lord Jesus up to Pilate and would accuse Him of blasphemy and wrongdoing and it would be the Jews themselves who would call out for His being killed and crucified. It would be the Jews themselves who in the presence and hearing of Pontius Pilate would indeed cry out for the Lord Jesus Christ to be killed and crucified. Oh it is with this being said I would like to call your attention to the four distinct narratives concerning the trial of the Lord Jesus they were written and recorded by the various gospel authors: “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor…And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marveled greatly. Now at the feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could not prevail nothing but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified” (Matthew 27:1-2, 11-26). “And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and Carrie him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so Pilate marveled. Now at the feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified” (Mark 15:1-15). “And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirrers up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers of the people, said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverted the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him. (For of necessity he must release on unto them at the feast.) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: (who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will” (Luke 23:1-25). “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then. Went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: that the the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he would die. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: What hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king theme? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber” (John 18:28-40). “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; and went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate saith unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth ,and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified” (John 19:1-16). I find it absolutely necessary to consider all of the words and language that is found within these passages of Scripture for they bring us face to face with Jesus’ encounter with Pontius Pilat—an encounter that would begin after He was bound and led from the palace of the high priest. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the reality of Jesus standing before Pilate and the underlying question that was asked of Him. As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture in the gospel narrative written by John Mark you will find Pilate asking Jesus whether or not He was King of the Jews. Pause for a moment and consider the incredible importance and significance of this question for it was a question which was in direct alignment with something that was asked as early as the days of John the Baptist. If you read the four gospel narratives you will find that when John the Baptist emerged on to the scene there were those who mused within their hearts and wondered at Him whether or not He was the Messiah and the Christ who was to come. In fact there are multiple accounts within the gospels of the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees sending certain individuals among the Jews unto John the Baptist inquiring of him whether or not he was the Messiah and the Christ. You cannot read the gospel narratives without encountering those who desired of John the Baptist whether or not he was the Christ and the Messiah. There were those who witnessed John the Baptist baptizing men and women in the waters of the Jordan and even heard him preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins and asking whether or not he was the Messiah which was to come. The more you read the four gospels the more you will encounter the incredible truth surrounding the question asked concerning Jesus of Nazareth. Time and time again there were those who would ask Jesus point blank whether or not He was the Messiah and the Christ. We know from Scriptures that Jesus did indeed make Himself to be the Son of God. In fact if you read the trial of Jesus before Caiaphas the high priest as well as in the presence of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders you will find them accusing Him of blasphemy for making Himself to be the Son of God. The chief priests, the scribes and elders of the people could not handle the Lord Jesus making Himself to be the Christ and the Son of the living God and they continually opposed and vehemently persecuted Him because of it. What’s more is that there were countless times when the chief priests, the scribes, the Pharisees and the religious leaders during those days would come unto Jesus asking Him to not only show them a sign but also ask them whether or not He was indeed the Messiah and the Christ. When John the Baptist was asked whether or not he was the Christ he would emphatically declare “No” and would make them aware that he was the friend of the bridegroom and was the voice of one crying out in the wilderness. When Jesus emerged on to the scene—particularly in Nazareth when He stood in the synagogue—he would not only read from the words of the prophet Isaiah but He would also make the declaration that on that particular day the words of the ancient prophet was indeed fulfilled. This is something we have great need of recognizing and paying attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ and how He came as the Word which was in the beginning with God, how He came as the Word who was in the beginning and how the Word was God. When Jesus Christ stepped on to the scene He would indeed come making Himself to be the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God and even at His baptism in the waters of the Jordan River we find the heavens opening up, the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in the bodily form of a dove and the voice of the Father emphatically declaring that this was His beloved Son in whom he was well pleased. I sit here today thinking about the tremendous truth surrounding the question which Pontius Pilate asked the Lord Jesus for it was Pilate who would ask Jesus if He was King of the Jews. What makes this truly unique and interesting when you take the time to think about it is when Jesus was standing in the house of religion before the religious leaders He was asked whether or not He was the Christ, the Son of the Blessed. This is something we must needs pay close attention to as it calls our attention to the truth surrounding that which religion asked concerning the Lord Jesus—and not only that which they asked of Jesus but also that which they could not handle and vehemently opposed throughout those three and a half years of public ministry. When standing before the religious leaders the Lord Jesus would be asked whether or not He was the Christ and the Son of the Blessed or living and eternal God. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words found in the fourteenth chapter and consider how religion was concerned with whether or not Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God and when Jesus would stand before sinners the question that would be asked of Him was whether or not he was King of the Jews. It would be when Jesus stood before Pilate the question was not whether or not He was the Christ nor whether or not He was the Son of the living God but rather whether or not He was King of the Jews. This is actually quite remarkable when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the way religion thought and the way sinners thought. Religion wanted to know whether or not Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God while sinners and the Gentiles wanted to know whether or not He was King of the Jews. We must pay close attention to it for when Jesus responded to religion by boldly declaring “I am” to whether or not He was the Christ and the Son of the Blessed the high priest rent his clothes and declared Jesus had spoken blasphemy. What we must needs understand concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is that from the time He returned in the power of the Holy Spirit after being tempted of the Devil in the wilderness He would call on men to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Not only this but when you consider the Sermon on the Mount which was His first major address to the crowds and masses you will find Jesus speaking of the kingdom of God which was manifested in the earth. It would be the Lord Jesus who would declare unto all those who heard and listened to His words that unless their righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees they would in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Oh what an absolutely captivating truth this truly is as it calls us to consider the fact that while it was indeed true Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God it was also true that He came to establish and set up a kingdom in the midst of the earth. Jesus came teaching and preaching the gospel unto the poor, however, He also came to establish a kingdom. It’s important to note, however, that this kingdom was not a kingdom nor was it an empire such as the Jews knew during the days of David and his son Solomon not even likened unto the Roman Empire which the dominant world power during those days. The kingdom which the Lord Jesus came to set up and establish was one that was entirely and altogether different and one that demanded a life and lifestyle that was entirely different from that which they were used to. The more you read the four gospel narratives the more you will come face to face with the incredible reality of the kingdom which the Lord Jesus Christ came to establish and set up in the midst of the earth. With this being said it is absolutely necessary and imperative that nowhere in the Scripture will you ever find Rome responding to the Lord Jesus and His talk concerning the kingdom of heaven from a place of feeling threatened or insecure. There is not a single time and place within any of the gospels where you will find the Roman centurions, Pontius Pilate, nor any envoys from Rome herself coming unto Judaea and Galilee questioning the Lord Jesus concerning the kingdom He spoke of nor even his being a king within and over this kingdom. It’s interesting to note that when you read the four gospels you will come face to face with the only time when anyone from the Roman Empire sought to question Jesus about the kingdom He came to establish and even His being a king was when we come to the trial in which he stood before Pontius Pilate. There is absolutely no place within any of the four gospel narratives where you will find Rome itself being threatened by the Lord Jesus nor even with His claims concerning the kingdom which would be manifested in the midst of the earth. You can read all four gospel narratives and you will find the only time anyone from Rome asked and questioned Jesus as to whether or not He was King was when He was delivered unto Pontius Pilate. It would be as the Lord Jesus stood trial before Pontius Pilate that He would ask Him whether or not He was King of the Jews. That which we must needs recognize is that the claim and accusation of Jesus as the Christ and the Son of the living God was what would make Him guilty in the eyes of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel while the claim and accusation that He was the King of the Jews would potentially cause Him to be guilty and stand condemned in the court of the Gentiles and sinners. It was the Jews themselves together with their religious leaders who had an incredibly difficult time with the claim the Lord Jesus would make that He was the Son of the living God—something which the apostle Peter would emphatically profess and declare on two separate occasions. What we must needs understand is that Jesus would never make the declaration that He was the Christ nor that He was the Messiah and that He would instruct his disciples that they ought not to tell anyone that He was the Christ and the Son of the living God. The Lord Jesus would instruct His disciples not to declare unto anyone that He was the Christ and the Son of the living God and yet that would be the major stumbling block religion had when they heard Him teach and watched the miracles He would perform. The more you read the four gospel narratives the more you will come face to face with the truth that the underlying stumbling block the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees had with the Lord Jesus was regarding His being the Christ and the Son of the living God. The reason why we must needs pay attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is when you consider the fact that the accusation that Jesus made Himself to be King of the Jews would potentially serve as a threat to Rome and her interests both at large and abroad as well as within Judaea and Galilee. You will remember that when the Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem the wise men from the east came and asked where they might find the One who was born King of the Jews. From the time of Jesus’ birth we find men and women struggling with the idea that there would be one who was King of the Jews. It would be Herod himself who would be threatened at the thought that there would be One who was born King of the Jews and when we come to the trial of the Lord Jesus as He stood before Pontius Pilate we find the question arising again whether or not he was King of the Jews. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and not be absolutely gripped and captivated with the words which are presented by the gospel author. In the final verses of the fourteenth chapter we find religion asking Jesus whether or not He was the Christ and the Son of the living God—claims which would not only make Him equal to the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob but which would also make Him the long awaited Messiah whom the Law and the prophets spoke of and foretold. It is important for us to recognize that the single greatest stumbling block the religious leaders had with the Lord Jesus was the claim that He was the Christ as well as the claim that He was the Son of the living God. The religious leaders could not accept the claim and the reality that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Messiah and Christ as well as the Son of the living God. Oh the publicans, the sinners, the prostitutes and the like had absolutely no problem accepting the Lord Jesus as the Christ and the Son of the living God and even the unclean spirits recognized and understood that He was indeed the Christ. It’s incredibly interesting when you think about and consider the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for within them we are brought face to face with religion’s greatest struggle and conflict with the Lord Jesus—namely, that He made Himself equal with the living God and was considered by many to be the Christ and the Messiah. As we read the words found in the fifteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John Mark we find Pontius Pilate asking Jesus whether or not He was indeed the King of the Jews. This is something we must needs understand and recognize for this question would strike at the very heart of the purpose, assignment and mission for which the Lord Jesus Christ was born and would come. The Lord Jesus would indeed come to be born of a virgin and to be born King of the Jews and this was prophesied of Isaiah the prophet in the days of the Old Testament and old covenant. It would be the prophet Isaiah who would prophesy of the Messiah as being born as a king upon whose shoulders the government would rest of that of the increase of His government there would be no end. Oh I am absolutely convinced we must needs understand and consider the words of the prophet Isaiah for what we find within his prophecies are a powerful picture of the coming of the Messiah whom we know was to be born King and rule the nations with a rod of iron. What’s more is that we must also consider the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus as well as even the words which the prophet Zechariah prophesied during his days and generation. There are countless prophetic words which were spoken concerning Jesus of Nazareth and that the Messiah and Christ would indeed be King of the Jews. What’s more is that not only would Jesus be King of the Jews but he would rule the nations with a rod of iron. Oh this is something that warrants a strong and powerful consideration when reading the words found in the fifteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John Mark as we recognize and understand the authority and government that is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. With this being said I would also like to call and draw your attention to the words which the psalmist David spoke concerning the Messiah and Christ which are recorded for us in the second chapter of the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these passages of Scripture beginning with the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: The LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:1-12). “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into PowerShares, and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:2-4). “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7). “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Revelation 12:1-6). As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for these passages are but some of the Messianic prophecies that bring us face to face with Jesus the Christ being born that He might rule the nations of the earth. It was when standing trial before religion men needed to settle within their hearts whether or not they believed Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God while it was when Jesus was standing trial before Pilate the question that was asked was whether or not He was King of the Jews. This is something we must needs acknowledge and recognize within ourselves for we must needs determine whether or not we believe the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God. There must needs be a firm and concrete acknowledgment and belief within our hearts that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God and that He was who He said He was. What’s more is that we must needs settle and affirm within our hearts and spirits that Jesus is indeed the King of the Jews—and not only the King of the Jews but the One who will rule all the nations with a rod of iron. There is a powerful need within our hearts and spirits to be those who settle within our hearts that Jesus is indeed the King who will not only be given the throne of His father David but who will also sit upon that throne. Eventually there is coming a day when the Lord Jesus will not only destroy all the nations of the earth but will indeed rule and reign as the King of the nations. There is coming a day when the Lord Jesus will sit enthroned in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and there in the midst of the city will rule and reign for a period of one thousand years. Having destroyed both the beast and the false prophet and cast them alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur and brimstone and with the devil having been bound and cast into the bottomless pit there will be peace upon the earth as the Lord Jesus can and will rule and reign for one thousand years sitting upon the throne of His father David. It is with all of this in mind I invite you to consider and leave you with the following words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ for it is within this prophetic book we encounter and are brought face to face with the tremendous victory Jesus has over the beast and the false prophet and how He will set up and establish His kingdom and the kingdom of His Father upon the face of the earth. As Jesus was suffering and as He was preparing to be killed and crucified men were brought face to face with what they believed concerning Him. It would be while the Lord Jesus was suffering and as He was preparing to be crucified religion would have to determine if it believed Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God and sinners would have to believe that He was the King of the Jews and the Son of the living God. Remember it was the thief on the cross who asked Jesus to remember Him when He entered into His Father’s kingdom and it was the Roman centurion standing at Golgotha who acknowledge the Lord Jesus as being the Son of the living God. It was through the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus men were brought face to face with what they believed concerning Jesus—namely whether or not He is the Christ and the Son of the living God. Oh that we would recognize how incredible burden and responsibility that we have as the saints of the most high God to deliberately and intentionally determine within our hearts whether or not we truly do in fact believe that the Lord Jesus is not only Christ and the Son of the living God but also whether or not He is Lord. We must needs be those who purpose within our hearts that we not only believe that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the Christ but also the Son of God and the Lord and was given a name whereby every tongue in heaven and on the earth and under the earth confess that He is Lord and every knee shall bow—regardless of whether they are in heaven, or on the earth or under the earth.

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