Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

“Fearless”

Categories: Congregational Bible Reading

BIBLE READING: Matthew 27

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27.11-14)

At this point, Jesus' life was in the hands of this man, Pilate. He had the power to save or to condemn Jesus. As governor, likely Pilate had faced a similar scenario many times before. I'm sure on more than one occasion the defendant had thrown himself down and begged for mercy from Pilate.

But that is not the case with Jesus. Although beaten and bloody, he stands there calm and collected as the crowds call for him to be put to death. When asked to defend himself he doesn’t say a word (Matthew 27.14). A shocking role reversal unfolds as Jesus – the man condemned to die – stood there fearless; and the man who controlled his fate wavers, feeling powerless to stop these horrific events (Matthew 27.15-24).

So, Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” (John 19.10-11)

In this moment, the true authority and love of Jesus was demonstrated. Instead of wielding his power in what could have been a magnificent display of his deity (Matthew 26.53), Jesus chose rather to endure the suffering because he had confidence in what came next (Matthew 25.31-32). We must understand that his death was not simply some noble act of self-sacrifice; it was the ultimate demonstration of trust in the power of God. There was no doubt in his mind that God could and would raise him from the dead. That's why Jesus was able to stand there – a man condemned to die – and be fearless.

Many people view death as the end game, and so, they are afraid because they don’t know what happens next. As believers, we must learn to trust the perfect plan of God and look forward to what comes next. When Jesus died, it wasn't just the end of a life. It was the fulfillment of God’s plan to give us hope beyond the temporal. We too can be fearless like Jesus, but it requires we look beyond this life and trust in something outside our control.

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15.53-56)

This is the crux of our faith. Life will end. When faced with the reality of an eternal future of which we have no control, do we trust that God is faithful? 

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