By anguillian April 18, 2017 09:34



“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household,” (Acts 16:30).

It is that time of the year again, when we commemorate the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was at that time when Jesus had to make that ultimate decision of whether to pay the price for our sins by dying on the cross. Jesus had a choice. Faced with suffering and pain he could choose to run away, or to meet it head on. We know the choice that he made, and we believe he made it for our sake.

We too, at some point in our lives, will have a choice to make concerning what to do with him. Everyone on earth will have to answer that question that Pilate asked the Jewish mob – “What shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?” You see, try as we may, procrastinate as we may, there is no way we can get away from that question – What will you do with Jesus the Christ? You see, life is all about choices. We are called upon to make choices every minute of the day – from the moment we awake to our last nod as we drift off into sleep. Some choices affect our relationships or careers, while some affect all our choices from that time on, e.g. the choice to get married. Some choices are easy and some are extremely difficult. Sometimes we procrastinate or ignore them or try to get others to make them, for us so as to avoid being held accountable for the outcome.

Pilate too had to make a choice about what to do with Jesus the Christ. It certainly was not an easy one for him. There stood Jesus of Nazareth, before him. Undoubtedly, Pilate had heard of Jesus, an extraordinary person whose teachings and actions had stirred an angry reaction from the Jewish leaders. The politics of the whole situation was obvious to him. Because Pilate had been unpopular, and because there had been official complaints, he felt those Jews were trying to corner him. He had to do something so he decided to examine the man and come to his own conclusions.
He examined Jesus but found no fault in him. What was he to do? He had to make a choice. To avoid making a choice, he came up with a brilliant idea. He said to himself, “The accusation has come from his own people. He doesn’t pose the slightest threat to Roman sovereignty. He doesn’t even speak up in self-defense! I am quite sure that he is innocent of any crime. So… those Jews think they have me cornered this time? Well, two can play at the same game. I’ll force their hand. I’ll give them a choice that will force them to make the choice. It will be their choice and they will then have to live with it.”

Pilate’s plan seemed a brilliant one, doesn’t it? You see, at every Passover Festival the Roman governor was in the habit of setting free any one prisoner the crowd asked for. At that time there was a well-known prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release unto you – “Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?”

Pilate knew that the Jewish authorities were jealous of Jesus. He was hoping the crowd would decide to ask for Jesus the Messiah to be set free. Then the Jewish authorities would have to accept the decision and not blame him for it. Just then a message came from his wife. She had had a traumatic dream about “that innocent man” – she begged him – please just let him go!

But Pilate was committed to his course of action. No turning back now! The people’s choice would resolve the matter. Pilate asked the angry crowd, “Whom should I release to you?” The crowd shouted: “Barabbas, Barabbas!” He shouted in return – “Well, what am I to do with this Jesus, the one who is called the Messiah?” “Crucify him! Crucify him!” they exclaimed. Pilate thought the matter was settled. He washed his hands in front of them and thought it was the end of the matter. They had made the choice. But it wasn’t that simple. It wasn’t so easy. It might have been their choice and their doing, yet it was Pilate’s doing as well.

That question still stands today, this very minute, for each and everyone of us to answer. You have to make a choice. It is a personal question that demands a personal answer: “What will you do with the man called Jesus the Christ?” Will you accept Him or will you reject Him? The decision is all yours. No one can make it for you. What will the answer be? No one can make that choice for you. Pilate made his choice, even though he was rather “dodgy” about it. The crowd made their choice. That is all a matter of historical record, but what about you, today? Will you say away with him too?

There stands a choice – to choose the broken or the One who mends, to choose the sin or sin’s Redeemer! Won’t you say, “Not Barabbas but Jesus”? Will you accept Him today, this very minute? Will you now centre your life no longer on yourself, your achievements and your brokenness but on Jesus Christ who died in your place on the cross?

Think about it seriously. The price was paid in full when Jesus died on the cross. It is God’s gift to humanity. The Bible states, in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Isn’t that an awesome gift? How will you show your gratitude to Him? There is no way around it my friends. What will you do with Jesus the Christ? You have to make a choice – what will it be?
Albert B. Simpson also asked that very question when he penned the words to the Hymn – WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS?

Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall,
Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all;
Hearken! what meaneth the sudden call?
What will you do with Jesus?

What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Some day your heart will be asking,
“What will He do with me?”
Jesus is standing on trial still,
You can be false to Him if you will,
You can be faithful through good or ill:
What will you do with Jesus?
Will you evade him as Pilate tried?
Or will you choose Him, whate’er betide?
Vainly you struggle from Him to hide:
What will you do with Jesus?
Will you, like Peter, your Lord deny?
Or will you scorn from His foes to fly,
Daring for Jesus to live or die?
What will you do with Jesus?
What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be. Someday your heart will be asking – what will he do with me?

Will you join with the hymn writer and proclaim this very date as we observe His death, burial and resurrection:-

“Jesus, I give Thee my heart today!
Jesus, I’ll follow Thee all the way,
Gladly obeying Thee!” will you say:
“This I will do with Jesus!”
The choice is all yours my friends. We have to come face to face with the realization that if we are not for Jesus, we are against Him. You cannot be neutral. What will you do with Jesus the Christ? What will your answer be? The ball is in your court.

Remember, if you forsake him, He will forsake you also. Why not make the choice today – tomorrow may be just too late.

About the Author: Mrs. Marilyn Hodge owns and operates the Wellness Centre in the Farrington, Anguilla. The Centre offers Counselling Services by Appointment Only and has now published Positive Living Volume 2. Contact information: 476-3517 or email:marilynb@anguillanet.com. www.facebook.com/axawellnesscentre

By anguillian April 18, 2017 09:34


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