Pastor Curtis A. May
Sermon for Maundy Thursday April 6, 2023
Luke 23:2-3 2And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” 3And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”
Someone must be punished! That is the way of life, punish others so we can take the people’s eyes off from the real guilty. The true guilty will establish what life will be for those we favor and if you try to change it we will make an example of you. The true guilty will double talk, spin lies, and talk out of both sides of our mouths. Yes, someone must be punished and made an example of for the sake of the real guilty.
Who’s on trial? Whom are we talking about? Are we talking about the one accused or the accuser? Most people will say they are normally good, yet they are all too willing to go down the wrong path if it saves face.
What is saving face? It is the mask that everyone wears to hide their real self. Ones face is the mask to hide one’s fear. Ones face is the path lined with normally good people that leads to the bottomless pit.
Jesus asked His disciples once, “Who do you say I am?” The answers many might give would amount to what one thought the questionaries might want to hear. Seldom do the normally good people answer with the truth, but always with a tell. Their tell, is what is truly in their heart, and that is seldom strength of faith.
Luke 23:4-6 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.” 6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.
Guilty? We don’t care about whether one is guilty or not! We just want a victim to fill our desire to make someone pay. Pay for what? Pay for anything we can make-up. The Pharisees and Scribes must protect their agenda, their way of life that gives them the power they desire. After all are we not the Pharisees, and the Scribes who rule the Jews? Their importance is what matters and if you follow them, they might smile at you.
How dare this man speak for those who think they are the children of God! How dare this man teach what is right and true! Who does this man think He is talking about the freedom that comes with and in the word of God! (In the thoughts of the Pharisees and Scribes.) “If we let this man teach the truth the people might raise up against us and take away our power and prestigious privileges. How then shall we make our living?”
Most people worry more about the desires of the flesh than the desire of our God for us. We are so afraid that we might miss out on something that we are willing to sell our soul for a bit of heaven now! Not that they really receive a bit of heaven. Patience is not anyone’s virtue, but being hateful to get what we so desire seems to be our strongest asset.
Luke 23:9-11 9So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him.
Why give an answer to those who have already made up their minds? Jesus was pronounced guilty, and they were not about to change their mind. The Pharisees and Scribes needed Jesus to be taken out before He ruins everything.
Hate is best served frozen in a cold place where those who are cold will keep the mentality to pierce a sting to serve a frigid stabbing pain to those who oppose them. Jesus was feeling the pain through the hate of those who were to teach His word but instead contradicted God’s laws.
Let us get into the game and have fun alongside the soldiers and Herod himself. The frenzy of hate fires the souls of the wicked and the normally good people who love to hate to make themselves feel normally good.
Luke 23:14a-16 14a“You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16I will therefore punish and release him.”
There is no guilt in this man! Pilot knows that Jesus is not guilty, and knows Jesus is more than he sees. This Jesus preaches good news, then why shut Him up? In truth, because some people just want all the power over those whom they call their subjects.
The Pharisees and Scribes might have thought in their venomous hate towards Jesus, “Pilot shut-up and crucify this man before He ruins everything for us!” Who knows what goes on in the minds of those who hate but the one who hates, and God.
Luke 23:18-21 18But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”
Why hang a guilty man when you can hang an innocent man? But Jesus says why not save the guilty and my righteousness will make them innocent. The one who is innocent will die a criminals death, but death cannot hold the innocent one. Though Jesus suffered greatly just on the way to the cross, He did so for us the guilty. Though Jesus was brutely nailed to the cross, He did so for all of us. Though Jesus died on that criminals cross, he did so for our salvation. Though Jesus died, He lives, He did so out of love for God’s creation. Death cannot hold the innocent one, Jesus Christ is that innocent one. And now because of Jesus Christ, those who believe will also not be held to death, but live to God and eternity. Amen.
Written by Pastor Curtis A. May