“It Is Finished”

Day 38

John 18 & 19

What is truth?

This was Pilate’s cynical question of Jesus. I know it was cynical because Pilate didn’t wait for an answer. Instead, Pilate turned around, walked out of the Praetorium and told the chief priests, “I find no fault in him at all.”

But Pilate knew there was truth. The truth is just what Pilate told the chief priests: There is no fault in Jesus.

Pilate assumed there was truth whether he admitted it or not. He was a judge and he was adjudicating the case of Jesus of Nazareth; Pilate acknowledged there are such things as fault and innocence, which presumes the reality of truth. Three times Pilate told Jesus’ accusers, “I find no fault in Him.” And at the end of the trial Pilate protested his own innocence by washing his hands and saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just man.”

Do you see it? When it suited him Pilate could pretend that truth was elusive and maybe non-existent, but he also used words like “fault” and “innocent” and “just” — all of which presume the reality of truth. People do this all the time. They shrug their shoulders and quip, “What is truth?” But then they protest their own innocence and assign fault when it suits them. They are not being honest with themselves.

That was Pilate’s biggest problem — he wasn’t honest with himself. Jesus had told Pilate, “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” For those who are honest with themselves, the words of Jesus always ring true. As we examine the life of Jesus we find no fault in Him. We know that Jesus is a just and true man. But if we are not honest with ourselves, we play a dangerous game of self-deception. “What is truth?” And walk away from Jesus.

Pilate died of suicide.

Self-deception can create such inner incongruence that we can’t stand to live with ourselves.

Salvation begins first with honesty. We must admit that, not only is Jesus without fault, but that we are not innocent. We must be honest with ourselves; we must face the truth and admit that we are not innocent no matter how much we wash our hands and protest that we are. I imagine Pilate in hell forever washing his hands, forever protesting his innocence and forever lying to himself. An eternal suicide from which there is no escape.


Jesus dead on the cross.

In John chapter 19 Jesus dies at verse 30. Jesus is taken down from the cross at verse 40. In verses 31-39 Jesus is dead on the cross. The events of these nine verses involve two requests of Pilate and two trips between Calvary and the Antonia Fortress. These events would have taken at the very least an hour, and maybe more.

For at least an hour the body of the Son of God was dead upon the cross. Force yourself to look upon this sight. It is holy and profane, beautiful and ugly, all at the same time. This is a great and sacred mystery to meditate upon. Jesus dead on the cross. What had happened? Jesus had absorbed this sin of the world into His own body on the tree — and it killed Him. Jesus took the bullet.

Oswald Chamber calls this the collision of God and sin.

The Collision of God and Sin

“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.” (1 Peter 2:24).

The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgment on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross — He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a right-standing relationship with God. He made redemption the foundation of human life; that is, He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God.

The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus — He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating “God was manifested in the flesh” from “He made Him to be sin for us” (1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the problems of both.

The Cross is not the cross of a man, but the Cross of God, and it can never be fully comprehended through human experience. The Cross is God exhibiting His nature. It is the gate through which any and every individual can enter into oneness with God. But it is not a gate we pass right through; it is one where we abide in the life that is found there.

The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.

–Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest


I’m spending the day getting ready for tonight’s message…

The Devout and Supernatural Life

This is an important word in preparation for the coming Holy Week.

I hope you can be with me in church tonight.