June 20 - Truth=Love

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 20 – Truth = Love

Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”  So this is what the soldiers did.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:16-27)

The high priest and his court wanted to water down the truth.  The sign couldn’t read that Jesus was the King of the Jews, but that He claimed to be King of the Jews.

We still do this today.  We are afraid of offending people around us, so we are careful about stating that Jesus is the only way to the Father – even those words came straight from His mouth.

It isn’t just about churches and religious institutions becoming weak and useless in the world – it’s also each one of us.  The Jews were more than willing to call down judgment on anyone who crossed their path, but they had forgotten what their true purpose as children of God was.

We are glad to pass judgment.  We think that the truth of Jesus Christ is to call for purity and sinlessness in everyone around us. So, when I say we water down the truth – that’s the first thing you might think about – we have made it too easy for people to live in the world without calling them to a life of righteousness.  Right?  Wrong!

Jesus calls people to lives of righteousness.  Our purpose is to love them so they see Jesus. Remember the great commandment?  Jesus didn’t tell us to change the people around us and make them righteous – He commanded us to love God and love others.  This is the truth that we can not water down. 

The Jews were to bring God’s love to the world.  They forgot.  Pilate didn’t even realize what He was saying in that sign – but the words went out in many languages.  The King of the Jews was dying on the cross for everyone.  Love … pure and unadulterated love.  Israel’s King had finally brought love to the world.

The Jews wanted to water that message down.  We forget its importance and water it down in translation with our concern for everyone’s righteous souls.

Truth = Love.