What Shall I Do With Jesus
“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” Matthew 27:15
This question occurs in the story of the appearance of Jesus before Roman Governor Pilate. If we should be guilty of reading this account superficially, we may be inclined to say that Jesus was arraigned before Pilate. Truly Jesus stood as a prisoner before the judgment bar of Pilate. But examining the facts closely we realize that Pilate was actually arraigned before Christ. Peter declared to the Jews on Pentecost Acts 2:23-24
“23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held by it.” In all the values then, which were spiritual, essential and ageless, Pilate was standing before the judgment bar of Christ.
The governor asked "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ”? As though the disposal of Jesus were in his hands. But by the answering of this question, Pilate was deciding what Jesus would finally and ultimately do with him. I do not mean to infer that just because of this action Pilate was lost, but it is perfectly certain, that if he never repented of his indecisive swaying back and forth, finally relenting justice to save his position, then his destiny is indeed sure.
Listen as I continue reading with verse 22 of Matthew 27
22Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 23And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ”? Is the final question in the gospel of Matthew who presents Jesus as the King. He is presented to us in the early chapters, first in His relation to our own world. While Jesus was our own human nature, but he did not enter upon that human life by the will or act of man, but by Divine intervention… in fulfillment of the prophecy Isaiah 7:14 and quoted for us by Matthew chapter 1:23
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”.
Next Matthew shows His relation to the Father, At His baptism these words; “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. Matthew 3:17
Next, briefly following the history of Jesus as given by Matthew’s gospel, our Lord passes to the wilderness, there He met and defeated the arch enemy of humanity on every hand, using the sword of the Spirit, "It is written".
Consider next the work of His ministry, and the sermon on the Mount. Christ is supreme in all that He did and taught, and men were astonished at His teachings Matt 7:28-29
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”.
His efforts among men are chronicled for us in the gospel accounts. He cast out devils restoring men to their right minds; He forgave men their sins, encouraging them to more noble lives, and saying to them, “go and sin no more.”
Luke in the opening words of the Acts of the Apostles, states:
“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”.
During His ministry is seen in conflict with the false rulers of the people. These false shepherds sought their own, instead of the flock. At Cæsarea Philippi, He challenged His disciples as to Who He was, and Peter made this confession…"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:16
And from this
moment He began to talk about the cross, and He steadfastly set His face toward
18 All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.
In this rapid survey of the gospel of Matthew, Jesus is presented as the Divine Son of God. In the midst of the tragedy of His death, the question was asked: "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?"
But I bring this question to you and ask you to make it your own, ask yourself and answer it before this service is completed. My business this hour then is to bring you face to face with Him who is the Christ, and appeal to you for a verdict.
And in order that we may be helped and aided as we seek to answer this question. I propose for you a series of questions, all of them leading up to and culminating in the question that Pilate has asked. “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ”?
The first question I would suggest is this.. “What can I do with Jesus who is called Christ”? I reply immediately, I can crown Him as Peter stated on Pentecost as “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36) or reject Him. there is no middle grounds. Every one must give a vote, either for His crowing, or His rejection. Reject Him means I must stand in judgment alone, no forgiveness, no Advocate, no Hope.
There are no middle grounds because His claims are supreme, they are superlative. He is either all He claims to be or He is the world’s greatest fraud. Have you ever really considered the words Jesus uttered as He stood in the midst of the promiscuous multitudes of men and women of all sorts, and conditions. Multitudes with hearts filled with sorrows, men whose were spirits dejected, and their hope vanished… In the midst of physical pain and despair He cries:
28Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
If that claim was a lie, it is the most cruel lie ever manufactured upon society. But if it be truth, it is the truth we ought to live and die for in order to proclaim to others. For this is what the world supremely needs. The One who can stand in the midst of human pain, agony, turmoil and temptation and despair say to me and to you: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Ought to be crucified if His claims is untrue, but if true, He ought to be crowned King of Kings, Lord of Lords. “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ”?
As you consider this question, think of the claim He is making all over the world today, He is able to take hold on the very worst of humanity, touch them in such a way to bring peace, calm and serenity.
You Remember the Account In Mark Chapter 5: There was a guy who had a legion of demons. The record says that he was a wild man. They would bind him and with supernatural strength he could snap those binds ...... He lived in the caves and among the dead, and he would take stones and cut himself .... and cry .... But you see, he wasn't in control of his life, he was controlled by the demons.
But when Jesus saw him, and had compassion, and pulled those demons out of the man, sending them into some swine. Mark tells us that those hogs ran into the water and were drowned. And the record says the man sat, clothed and was in his right mind... Peace, serenity, and order had filled his life,
In my years of preaching, I have seen men and women who after Crowing Jesus as Lord, have been able to throw off the worst of habits, and peace and serenity and order once again fill their lives. “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ”? I can “Crown Him Lord, Or Reject His Claims” there is no middle choices.
The 2nd question I ask you to consider is. What does it matter what I do with Him?
In answer I tell you it makes all the difference in the world, first to your character second in your influence, and finally in your eternal destiny.
Understand this your character will depend and does depend upon your attitude toward the Christ. You cannot reject Him, without deterioration of character. And you cannot honestly crown Him without entering upon an ennobled life. I need not labor this…
There are men and women sitting here this morning, whose very life testifies to the fact that crowning Jesus Lord of their lives, has changed their outlook, their concept of life. This is seen in their lives filled with good works, and compassion for others. Reject Christ, and gradually, our standard of morality is lowered, gradually you will depart from the higher ideals and accept the lower, you will descent from respectability to things you hate even now.
One of the most beautiful illustrations upon the pages of the New Testament is that of Paul. Even before he met the Christ, he was sincere, laboring in what he thought to be the will of God. But — Mark the difference, before he knew Jesus he “made havoc of the church” …. Why?
Because he believed that Jesus was an impostor, that He never rose from the dead, that all the disciples claimed for Him were untrue, and out of pure honesty of heart, he was determined to stamp out the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
But there came a moment of illumination on
the road to
I can crown Him or reject Him this morning. Reject the Son of God and gradually the standard of morality lowered, gradually you descend from respectably to a lower character. Do not think that the man lying drunk in the gutter this morning ever meant to lie there. He has descended.
Do you suppose any man in the grip of some dirty, devilish habit meant to be so gripped? He at first felt the shame of it, but gradually the shame passed, until today there are men and women who can sin without a blush
Character deteriorated, ruined, is always the outcome of rejecting and refusing Christ. Not character alone but that which is the outcome of character “Influence” Influence is determined by our relationship to Christ.
Crown Him, and Obey Him and.... I quote His words from the great Sermon on the Mount—"13Ye are the salt of the earth " The influence that you exert upon the world is an influence that prevents the spread of sin and corruption. You give those struggling in sin a chance.
Crown Him and Obey Him and — "14Ye are the light of the world" We become a beacon to men walking in darkness…. your life shall be a light that helps men toward truth and eternal life with the Father.
Take one person here this morning, one who has not Crowned the Prince of Peace, and I ask you...What will you do with Jesus?
Crown Him and your character is ennobled, and I care not where you work, or where you live, you will help men to noble things. But refuse Him, and your character will degenerate and the very life you live will help to lead others away of Christ, the Bread of Life.
Character and Character Influence
Depend Upon What You Do With Jesus!
And finally, Man’s destiny depends upon what he does with Jesus. You see, this life is not all, life deeper and more profound lies beyond, and presently when I shall cross across the line of death, that crossing will not change my character. It will not change the essential points of who I am. There Is Destiny…..
What lies beyond….Let the gospel of Matthew tell us. In Matthew chapter 21 Jesus tells of those who rejected Him… and asks in verse 40 —
“When the lord therefore cometh, what will he do unto those”? And the answer comes quickly — 41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men,
What you do with Christ settles not character, and influence only, but destiny… Old Pilate asked the question washing his hands and saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood" asked: "What shall I do then with Jesus?" But in reality Pilate was really asking ultimately and finally “What Shall Christ Do With Me”?
Every man and woman stands in the presence of this question this morning…. “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" But presently we are asking "What shall Christ do with me"? There is an hour coming when the world shall see again the King of Kings. He shall sit in judgment of the nations, (Matthew 25:31-46). Then this question will be reversed. asking "What shall Christ do with me"?
By yesterday's sins we all helped to nail Him to the cross.. There is no tomorrow on the calendar…You must decide now… To simply leave this morning without crowning Him, you have given a vote for His rejection as Lord of your life.
Crown Him this morning and He can so touch your life that presently He can present you faultless before the throne of God. What Shall I Do With Jesus? What Shall He Do With Me? Read — Acts 2:22-38
Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ