WHO, NOT WHAT

LifeLink Devotional

Friday, April 2, 2021

If you want to have some fun today, ask the next person you see to define truth. Okay, maybe that isn’t what you call fun, but it certainly would be eye-opening. I predict that you will find multiple people who believe that truth is determined and defined by one’s individual experiences. Truth has become relative to most people, which serves the purpose of validating one’s own choices.

Things haven’t changed all that much since the days when Pilate asked Jesus about truth. We read about it in John 18.

John 18:33-38  So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

Pilate had the same problem as people today: they ask the wrong question. Asking “What is truth?” may serve our immediate need to validate our current choices, but it does not reveal truth. The correct question we must ask is “WHO is Truth?”

It appears that Pilate only asked his question about truth to end his conversation with Jesus because he immediately goes outside to talk to the Jewish contingent.  Pilate had no real interest in knowing the truth. He seems satisfied to define truth only within the context of his own experiences and for his own benefit. If he genuinely wanted to know the truth, he would have waited for Jesus to answer, and Jesus would have revealed Himself to Pilate because Jesus is the Truth.

In John 14:6 Jesus told His disciples that He is the Truth. He went even further in his conversation with Pilate by revealing that the only way to define the truth is by being in the truth. Jesus said,  “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” The only way to answer the what is truth question is to first be in the truth, and Pilate was not. Neither were the Jews. Neither are most people today who are trying to define truth. The determination of truth can only be made once we are in the truth, and that means being in Jesus.

It is futile to engage in debate about truth with those who have rejected the truth that truth is a Person not a position.  Praise God that we know the truth because we are in the Truth. Go and proclaim Jesus to others who want to know the truth. He is the only answer to their search.

Pastor John

THE PASSOVER LAMB

https://anchor.fm/pastor-john-van-gorkom/episodes/THE-PASSOVER-LAMB-eu0u1j

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lifelink-devotions/id1559931973

LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Personally, I do not believe there is anything more heartbreakingly sad than to watch someone performing spiritual duties which they think will improve their standing with God, but in fact are destroying it. I grieve for the masses of people who believe that adherence to the law will save them.

That is how I feel when I read the next section of John’s Gospel describing the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. My heart breaks for religious people who are deceived by what they believe will save them.

John 18:28-32   “Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.”

Those who rejected Jesus had a two-fold agenda. They wanted to eliminate Jesus as a threat to their way of life. But while doing so, they also wanted to keep the appearance of religious piety.  They did not recognize that their focus on keeping religious laws blinded them to the spiritual truth that was right in front of them. They believed that obedience to religious duty would produce the validation of God. The darkness in them was great. They wanted to kill the Passover LAMB but not be defiled so they could kill the Passover lamb.

For fifteen-hundred years the people had celebrated the Passover to commemorate the LORD’s deliverance from bondage. The Old Testament prophets, which the people read and studied, declared that the Messiah would be like a lamb led to slaughter. The people were described by Isaiah as sheep which had strayed into the bondage of sin. They had every opportunity to understand that the Lamb of God would die for the sheep and save them from their sin. No more sacrifices of lambs would be necessary.

Yet the people were determined to uphold the laws and traditions as their means of earning the approval of God. They were so blinded by their desire to validate themselves that they planned to kill the very One who could save them. They refused to even enter the home of a Roman official because it would disqualify them from eating the Passover and thereby earning their status before God.

My heart breaks for the multitudes of people in the world today who are blinded by the same deception. Every day they carry out their religious duties, hoping that it will earn them the favor of God. Every day their darkness gets darker. The deception of religious duty binds them more tightly.

But Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness. His death satisfies all the demands of the law. His resurrection guarantees eternal life. We who know the truth must share the truth. Jesus has once-and-for-all paid the price of sin by dying on the cross. Jesus has once-and-for-all gained access to the Father on behalf of all who believe on Him for salvation. Not by works which we have done, but by His mercy and grace He has saved us.

Go and bring the deliverance of Jesus to people who are walking in darkness.

Pastor John