March 20th, 2018 — IGNITE

Can I just tell you, I know what I would have done. Probably could tell you what you would have done too – you would have defended yourself! That’s exactly what I would have done and still do – defend myself. Maybe it’s a natural defense mechanism built into us or maybe it’s out of pride we do it. But the truth is when someone accuses us of something, rightfully so or totally wrong, we defend ourselves.

While I’m reading the whole account of Jesus betrayal and trial, I noticed something – everybody has a voice, but Jesus. He doesn’t say a word. That’s exactly what the Bible tells us…

“… while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer.” Matthew 27:12
“And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.” Matthew 27:14

That governor was a man by the name of Pilate. Pilate didn’t like to deal with trouble, though it was part of his job. So when Jesus was brought to him, he found himself in a precarious position. On the one hand he couldn’t find any of the accusations about Jesus to be true. As a matter of fact, if you were to read this same account in the Gospel of Luke, you’d hear Pilate say three times, “I can’t find any crime committed by Him.”

But on the other hand, the chief priest persuaded the crowd to demand the release of a true criminal named Barabbas, and have Jesus crucified. Talk about extreme demands.

Pilate wasn’t stupid though. He knew these religious leaders brought Jesus to him because they were envious of how people were attracted to Him. But he also knew there was the strong possibility of a riot breaking out in his city, and he didn’t want that and couldn’t afford that to happen. All the while, Jesus stood there, listening to the hate… the lies… the injustice… never saying word to defend Himself.

Today, we live in a time where truth is twisted and confused. Truth is often based on whoever has the loudest voice… the biggest crowd… the meanest look. Whoever objects the most vehemently has the truth.

Today we are mostly influenced by whatever is trendy and since we don’t want to be singled out, we’re afraid to walk the path of truth.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: You never have to defend yourself when it comes to speaking the truth – God always will – when you speak up for Him… when you live your life for Him… when you let your light so shine for people to see. Though people maybe harass you, or accuse you, just listen and realize Jesus has stood in your shoes and is still standing in your shoes with you. He will defend you!

Give us a brave heart so that we can be a living witness to Your truth. Shine Your love and light on us so that all may know we are Yours. Defend us! In Jesus name we ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen