Matthew 27:14 “But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge — to the great amazement of the governor.” (Pilate’s thought after questioning Jesus.)
Jesus amazed the man who was about to condemn Him to death. This single verse may best reflect a life totally sold out to God - A life that does not rely on self or the world, but rather on God alone. Jesus faced the ultimate price a human can pay for living out His beliefs - death. In the comfort of your life, possessions, and relationships it is easy to proclaim allegiance to God, but at what cost would you abandon Christ and His call on your life? What would it take to turn your back on God when you are squeezed? Would committing 15 minutes each morning to prayer and Bible reading be too much? Would giving up an evening each week to serve or minister be too much? Or giving up your last free evening to disciple another? Would you be willing to give up some of your possessions in life to help another in need? How about giving up your favorite activity to care for a friend or family member in need. Would you be willing to make a long-term commitment to disciple a new Christian for two hours each week? None of these are overly sacrificing, yet when you look around the church you would think they were catastrophic for most Christians. This comparison becomes inconsequential when compared to what was at stake for Jesus. Jesus meant what He said in Luke 9:23 when He said, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
Jesus in all His humanity was faced with the ultimate question of whether His faith was real enough to face death. The things mentioned in my earlier examples of sacrifices for us today would be minor inconveniences compared to the impending death of 15-year-old Leah Sharibu who in Nigeria is facing death for not renouncing her faith in Jesus. Leah was kidnapped along with over 110 other girls in Nigeria. All have been returned except Leah. After suffering multiple rapes and torture she has refused to renounce her Christian faith and proclaim allegiance to Muhammed. Pilate understood the power of death in motivating people to do what he wanted, yet Jesus was unchangeable. What did Jesus know that Pilate didn’t? Jesus lived in God’s kingdom through faith, while Pilate lived for the temporal things of this earth. Pilate believed that when he died he would cease to exist - that is until he encountered the person of Jesus. As Pilate questioned Jesus, it was as if Jesus did not inhabit this earth. Pilate was amazed at this man whose compass was directed by something different than Pilate had ever encountered.
Jesus desires every Christian’s life to be directed and controlled by the same compass that directed His life - the Holy Spirit. When you find yourself as a Christian fighting for the things of this world you know that your compass is off course. It is when your life is lived out of an increasing desire to please and know Jesus that you live an exchanged life that not only reflects Jesus, but also amazes others. Instead of struggling with what Christ calls you to, live by faith in His kingdom. It is only by living in God’s kingdom by faith that you can touch others by being the hands of Jesus.
Matthew 27:12-13 “When He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He gave no answer. Then Pilate asked Him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" (Let your testimony be the empowerment of God living in you.)
Do you know someone who needs this message on living and not just talking about an amazing life in Christ? Click below to forward or post this devotion.
Book: “Through the Eye of the Needle” will help you live an amazing life in Jesus – a life that amazes those who look on.