“Pilate asked them, ‘What should I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ?’” Matthew 27:22a (CSB)
Recently, I saw a social media poll: “Who was the greatest human who ever lived?”
The top 10 responses varied from the physicist Albert Einstein to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln to English playwright William Shakespeare. But one of the responses was Jesus Christ … coming in at second place.
As a Christian, I was a little aggravated. Not because Jesus was awarded the runner-up trophy but because He was even in the poll results! After all, the question was, “Who was the greatest human who ever lived?” While Jesus was fully human, He was also fully God.
People often think of Jesus as only a great human being or a superior moral teacher, ranking Him alongside founders of other prominent world religions. Still others label Him a lunatic for asserting to be the Son of God. And yet another segment of society dubs Him the greatest conman who ever lived, as though He amassed a following by false declarations of divinity.
Our thoughts about Jesus and His claims spill over into our actions because what we think about Jesus determines what we do with Him. And what we do with Him here on earth affects our eternal destiny.
In today’s key verse, Pilate, the governor of Judea, addresses a gathering crowd. He poses an important question that explores not only what the crowd thinks about Jesus but what they want done with Him: “Pilate asked them, ‘What should I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ?’” (Matthew 27:22a).
The crowd cried out for Jesus to be crucified.To them, He was an offender of the Law who must be done away with immediately. Others were also present as Jesus was betrayed, arrested, crucified and then resurrected three days later. What did they, in essence, “do” with Jesus?
The leading religious leaders had Him captured and killed. (Matthew 26:3-4) Judas Iscariot betrayed Him. (Matthew 26:14-16) The soldiers in attendance mocked Him. (Matthew 27:27-31) Bystanders misunderstood Him when He tried to speak from the cross. (Matthew 27:47)
However, not all reacted to Him adversely. Some women brought spices and perfume to the grave and were the first to announce the news that Christ had risen from the dead! (Luke 23:55-56; Luke 24:1-12) And the centurion who witnessed the death of Jesus — which included the curtain of the sanctuary tearing in two from top to bottom, the earth quaking, rocks splitting and the tombs of many saints opening, bringing them back to life — had perhaps the most accurate view of Jesus. This centurion cried out, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:50-54, CSB).
Isn’t it amazing that people can come to such different conclusions in their thinking about one single soul? But as interesting as it is to ponder their varied responses, the most important question this Easter season is: “What will we do with Jesus?”
Will we be content to keep Him nonchalantly grouped with other “good teachers” who urge love, good deeds and peace on earth? Might we possibly misunderstand Christ, never having taken the time to study who He really is? Or do we ignore Him altogether, leaving Him tucked away inside the pages of the Bible but sadly absent from our day-to-day lives?
Here is what we can do with Jesus: Believe who He says He is. Trust Him and allow Him to change our hearts. Continually seek to discover more about Him through studying the Bible, talking to Him in prayer and connecting with other believers. Proclaim Him to everyone. Never back down when following Him becomes difficult and costly.
Just what will you do with Jesus this Easter? Your answer is perhaps the most important one you will ever give.
(If you have never responded to the gospel and trusted Christ, we invite you to visit the “Do You Know Jesus Christ?” section of our website by clicking here. There you can also discover resources to help you grow spiritually.)
Father, please help me to act in a way that accurately depicts who You are. You are not merely a moral, historical person. You most certainly are not a fictional character. May my words and actions say to others, “Truly this man is the Son of God!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Luke 9:20, “‘But you,’ he asked them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered, ‘God’s Messiah.’” (CSB)
If you want an in-depth study that reveals the importance of the gospel of Jesus and gives practical ways for living out your faith, check out Karen Ehman’s
What Matters Most: A Study of Philippians.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
Have you ever pondered what your behavior says about who Jesus is? What is one way you can show others just who you believe Him to be?
Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments.
© 2021 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
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