Friday, October 4, 2019

2019.10.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 18:12-19:16

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom do they take Jesus first (John 18:12-14)? Who were still following (John 18:15-16)? What does Peter do three times in John 18:17-18John 18:25-27? What testimony does Pilate give of Jesus in John 18:38John 19:4, and John 19:6? What does the crowd cry out in John 18:40? And in John 19:4-6? And in John 19:12-16)? What testimony does Jesus give about Himself in John 18:20-21, and John 18:23? What testimony does He give of Himself in John 18:36-37? What testimony does He give about Him and His death in John 19:11?  
Taking this entire section together allows us to see three different kinds of unfaithful responses to Christ.

Three times, Peter denies the Savior that he knows and loves. Three times, Pilate declares the truth about Jesus—that there is no fault in Him—but ultimately gives into the crowd. And as for the crowd (manipulated by the chief priests and pharisees), three times they express a murderous desire to see Christ executed.

By comparison, the Lord Jesus confesses the good testimony about Himself three times (cf. 1 Timothy 6:13). He has spoken what was good, doing so publicly and clearly (John 18:20-23). He is God from all eternity who entered this world in time to be the King of an eternal kingdom that is above this world, not from it (John 18:36-37). And, while He is dying at the hands of the wicked, who will be judged for their wickedness, this is happening under the authority of God above, who has planned this death for good.

Wonderfully, while we are not sure what comes of Pilate (though the early spiritual returns are encouraging), we do know that there are those who are saved from the other two groups.

We could easily forget that other than the disciple who has an “in” at the high priest’s household, Peter is the only one who follows Christ even this far. The others will also need strengthening, which Jesus has charged Peter with doing (cf. Luke 22:32). But look how these disciples who failed Christ were ultimately restored by Him and used by Him! He who confessed the good confession about Himself went to the cross for our failures and restores and strengthens us by His resurrection power!

Perhaps even more remarkably, it is precisely these who have so rabidly called for Christ’s death who are the objects of the first great sermon at Pentecost. And thousands of them are saved! Behold the power of the preaching of the Word. Behold the completeness of Christ’s atonement for sin, such that even this forgiveness is guaranteed to all who repent and believe.

So, yes, this passage does set before us three different kinds of wrong response to Christ as a warning. But the heart of the passage is Christ Himself. His perfect testimony about Himself. His commitment to dying for us, though He is the perfectly righteous King. And how there is salvation for all who turn from any kind of wrong response, repenting and believing in Jesus Christ for salvation.
How have you failed Christ? How has He succeeded in your place? How does He remind you of this and direct your attention to Himself and His perfections?
Suggested songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song” or TPH457 “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”

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