Text: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in the heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
“For every man/woman shall bear his/her own burden.”
Good morning, responsible Christian! Having been quickened by God the Holy Spirit to be convinced of your sins; Christ’s righteousness; and the condemnation of all sin that our Holy Lord God will bring at the final judgement - you and I have taken personal responsibility for our sin; repented; and by faith trusted Christ’s Atonement Sacrifice for sin and been saved. Praise God for His matchless grace to us! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Therefore, we fully realise that, Eternal Salvation is a very personal thing; and as such, those being Eternally saved must necessarily exercise a deep personal responsibility for our sins. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.” (John 16:13)
“And when He (the Spirit of truth) is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.” (John 16:8)
There can be no Eternal Salvation of the soul, without the exercise of that soul’s personal responsibility for sin. Let’s face it, who will ever seek to be ‘found’, if they refuse to first acknowledge the fact that they are personally ‘lost’? The Lord Jesus only came to save lost sinners!
“For the Son of man (Christ Jesus) is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Today’s Bible reading reveals a number of moral and religious people who went to Hell for not facing up to their own personal responsibilities.
Pilate: Pilate, the Roman Governor, was probably quite a moral man, in fact, he comes out of this Satanic conspiracy to kill Christ as the lest dastardly in the vile action. He at least acknowledged that he found, ‘…no fault in Him.’ (V.4) Yet did so AFTER having the Lord Jesus brutally scourged and beaten. His irresponsible actions condemned him to Hell.
The Chief Priests: The religious rulers of the Jewish nation had first envied Jesus and His Divine miracles; plotted to bring Him down; then demanded no lesser penalty for Him but a slow and cruel death upon a Cross. Yet, they wanted to take no personal responsibility for their sinful actions! In fact, they would not even enter into the judgement hall in case the plot to kill Jesus in some manner ritually ’…defiled…’ them during the Passover period! They loved their religion, but they hated the Christ. (John 18:28)
There is no sin more condemned in Scripture than the sin of hypocrisy! Beware!
“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer (allow) ye them that are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13)
The denial of personal responsibilities by both the Roman Governor and the chief priests eventually came to a head as Pilate began to realise his folly and sought to shift responsibility for Christ’s death to the chief priests and the Jewish crowd. This cunning move only caused the hypocritical chief priests to expose their true motivation for bringing Jesus before Pilate. They openly cried out, ’Crucify Him, crucify Him!’ (V.12) Their irresponsible actions condemned the high priests of Jerusalem to a Hell that is hot indeed.
“For every man/woman shall bear his/her own burden.” (Galatians 6:5)
Now let us personally apply our Scripture lesson and what we have gleaned from God’s Word to our own current circumstances, Christian friend:
Are you and I taking personal responsibility for our failings; faults; and sins daily? Or are we, like Pilate, seeking to shift the blame for our sins onto another party? Are we seeking to hide our sins, from God and our fellow man, with a covering of religious ‘fig leaves’ - as Adam/Eve did in Eden?
Sin must be admitted to, repented from, and washed clean - before we can seek to actually serve the risen and Holy Christ Jesus. Let us do so right now? Amen.
Thought: If our conscience is now pricked by this Bible Lesson, let us take it as a convicting Word from God - and start to put away our sins. God is gracious to forgive and to cleanse all Christians who seek to personally repent of sin. We have God’ Word on it! (1 John 1:6-10)