February 12
Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 45
     Job 11
     Mark 15
     Romans 15
''Pilate answered and said to them again, ''What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?''
            The Biblical account of the trial and death of Jesus Christ is, without doubt, the most fascinating and moving story ever penned by the hands of men. Not only was the death of Jesus an inhumane tragedy, but also His trial was a kangaroo court and a farce.
            When mean mortal men maliciously murdered their magnificent Maker, it was the greatest travesty of justice and the cruelest execution of a totally innocent man reported in the annals of history, sacred or secular. As Jesus Christ was tossed around from Annas and Caiaphas, to Herod, and to Pilate, He was indeed a dilemma for all of them. The prophet Isaiah had predicted that this innocent Lamb would ''stand before His shearers as dumb''.  He was the perfect God-man standing before sinful judges; but remember Jesus was not a victim, He was a volunteer.  The great Judge of the universe could have denounced these human judges and overcome them at any moment, but He was committed to go the distance so He endured their treatment.
            Perhaps Pontius Pilate had the biggest dilemma. Pilate recognized that Jesus was indeed innocent. He begged the crowd to take Barabbas and crucify him, but they cried out to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Again, Pilate indicated he could find no fault in this Man and asked the crowd, ''what shall I do then with this Jesus?''  Their answer was to ''crucify Him.''
            Consider some elements of Pilate's question that are indeed the same elements that people today are confronted with in this issue.
            It was a personal question. Pilate said, ''what shall I do with the one you call the King of the Jews? Pilate knew that no one else could make this decision for him. He had to make the decision himself. What a person does with Jesus Christ is always a personal matter. No religious leader or family member can make this decision for you. The question is what will you do with Jesus?
            It was a question that required action. Pilate said, ''What shall I do with Jesus?'' Pilate realized he could no longer remain neutral. He had to take some action concerning Jesus Christ. This life changing decision requires that we do something with Jesus. The question is not what you think or feel about Him, but what will you do with Him. There are many people today who know about Jesus in their head, but have not volitionally received Him. Commitment of the will to receive Christ involves believing that He is who He said He was, God in the flesh. It also involves believing He would do what He said He would do, enter your heart and forgive you of your sin. Based upon that belief, there must be a commitment to Him as Lord of your life.
            This question was about Jesus and no one else. Pilate was not concerned with what he would do with any other religious leader; he knew he must do something about Jesus. Many today are interested in opinions and response to pastors, denominations, churches or religious movements. The question is not what will you do with a religious leader  or denomination; the question is what will you do with Jesus?  This is the sole issue at stake.
            When Jesus Christ hung on that cross His concern was for you. When George Nixon Briggs was Governor of Massachusetts, three of his friends visited the Holy Land. While visiting at Golgotha they found a small limb on the ground. They brought it back to the U.S. and had it made into a walking cane. They presented this to the Governor and said, ''Governor, we just wanted you to know when we stood at Calvary we thought of you." The Governor responded; ''gentlemen, thank you so much, but I am even more thankful that another One thought of me there." What you do with Jesus now determines what He will do with you later.
            More than 10 million people live in the Kingdom of Belgium in Europe. As with all western European countries, it is a very difficult place to share the Gospel. There are a number of challenges to our prayers for Belgium. It is a deeply divided nation politically, and even philosophically.
            Pray for one specific thing - that God's people, and especially leadership, will realize that this nation can be reached for Christ and that it will be done one by one with Spirit-filled Christian witnesses.
''The Gospel is not an old, old story freshly told. It is a fire in the spirit fed by the flame of immortal love, and woe unto us if, through our negligence to stir up the gift of God within us, that fire bums low.''
Dr. Moffat Gautrey