What Is Truth?

John 18:12-40

Series: From Grief to Glory

Good morning, Saylorville Church! How’re we doing? It’s Palm Sunday! Great to have you here! Welcome. It’s just a week before Easter.

My name is Jason [Jackson] and this morning I’ve got the privilege to be able to share with you. We are talking about our Easter Sunday morning preaching series called “From Grief to Glory.

This morning, we’re in John chapter 18 in the New Testament. We’re going to look at, what I believe, is one of the most important questions that’s ever been asked for all of our history. Now that may seem like a bold statement this morning, but stick with me. I think you’ll find that at least I’m close to being right about that.

But first, I’ve got a confession. Yeah, it’s good to confess to each other. I was at the dentist this last week. That’s not the confession. You should go to the dentist… OK? There’s nothing wrong with that. I was laying on dentist chair, and the hygienist starts pulling out her instruments. I’m sorry to all of my dentist friends in here, but those things look like tiny torture devices… OK? I mean, they are all pointy, they’ve got hooks on the end and they’ve got sharp edges. I just think they look like medieval weapons for miniature interrogators… and I’m petrified! Then the hygienist puts that spotlight on… Right? You can’t see anything. Then I could feel myself going up in the chair like, shh, shh [he makes the sound of the dentist’s chair rising.]  Then, the barrage of questions begins. This interrogation always starts with the same question. You know the question… Right? Do you floss every day? (audience laughs) Not just do you floss, but do you floss every day? At that moment, all moral standards just fly out of the window. I don’t care who you are or what you believe about absolute truth. Every human being that has ever lived has been tempted to lie in that situation. It’s a trap… Right? You know this. You know if you say, ‘No, I don’t floss every day’, then you sound like a caveman. But if you say, ‘Yeah, I floss every day,’ the dentist can tell when you’re lying. They’re like the best at it. And so you’re stuck there… Right? You’re lying on your back with a spotlight in your face and for a split second, even if you’re the godliest person in this room or listening online, I promise you, you’re asking yourself, “What actually is truth?” I mean, who’s to say what’s right and wrong anyway? And so what if I lie? I mean, it’s the dentist. They pretty much expect it…Right?

I don’t want to stretch this out too far, but I think we actually hear phrases like this all the time, and they may sound something like this. ‘I know  (fill in the blank ) is wrong, but it won’t really hurt anybody… Will it?’ Or how about this one? ‘There’s no such thing as absolute truth. Everyone has their own truth.’ Or how about, ‘No one can tell me how to live? I’ve got the right to make my own decisions.’ Have you heard any of those?

Here’s what we know. Truth has fallen under hard times lately… Hasn’t it? Not just in your local dentist office, but in our culture overall. The idea that there are absolute standards, that there are what you might call universal right and wrongs… this idea isn’t really very popular anymore. I don’t think that’s news to anybody here. But I do think it gives Christians, Christ followers, a great open door to have conversations, really important conversations, especially during this season, Easter. It’s a great opportunity!

And so here’s where I think the conversation begins. It’s a simple definition of truth. Truth is found in the pages of God’s Word and the person of God’s Son. Jesus Himself said,

in John 17:17,

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

The person of God’s Son, Jesus, would tell us about Himself.

John 14:6

“I am the way, and the Truth, and the life.”

[No one comes to the Father except through Me.”]

We’re not the first culture to try to figure this whole “truth” thing out… Right? Almost 2,000 years ago, a Roman governor asked a Jewish prisoner who stood before him that same question. Here’s how he put it. He said [in John 18:37]

“Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

What is truth? The Roman’s name was Pontius Pilate and the Jewish prisoner’s name was Jesus of Nazareth. And that’s the part of the story that we’re going to look at today as we continue in our Easter series From Grief to Glory.

If you’ve got your Bibles or a device, join me in John chapter 18. We’re going to jump into this narrative of the final few hours before the crucifixion. I want you to notice as we read this story, how different people we meet in this story actually react differently to Jesus. So watch this as we read, beginning in John 18:12-14,

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. (They tied Him up.) 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient (it would be better for everybody) that one man should die for the people.

Stop there for a second. As we heard last week, Jesus allows Himself to be arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He’s tied up and being led away by these religious rulers and officers to the first, of what would ultimately be six, illegal trials. The first, three were by the religious authorities and, then, three by the Roman authorities. The first of these trials was with the high priest named Annas. As the high priest, he was pretty much at the top of the Jewish religious ladder. So the high priest held all the influence, all the power in those days. Since Jesus was Jewish, that’s where He was taken first. I want you to catch something here. John, in his version of the story, begins to cut quickly between pictures like shots in a movie. He gives us one scene, and then he moves quickly to another scene happening at the exact same time and then back again to that first scene. We get this idea that all these things are happening simultaneously. It makes it easy for us to see that there are two scenes, two characters, two conversations happening side by side, and we get to compare how the characters respond differently. What John is doing here, I believe, is trying to highlight the glory of Christ in contrast to the sinfulness of human hearts. I think we’ll see that as we continue. Look at  John 18:15-16:

15 “Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest,

16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in.”

Now, remember, Peter had just cut off a guy’s ear in the garden of Gethsemane… Right? That’s the story we just heard last week. And then there’s another disciple, probably John, who wrote this gospel. So Peter and John, follow Jesus to the high priest’s house. When they get to the gate that goes into the courtyard, Peter waits outside until John, who somehow has connections, says, “He’s with me and the servant girl at the gate allows both of them, then, into the courtyard of the high priest’s residence. So picture this now.

John 18:17-18,

17 “The servant girl at the door (the one that just let them in) said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.”

So look at the scene with me. Peter walks through the gate into the courtyard, and the servant girl is at the gate. Now this girl had zero authority… Right? She was the lowest of the low. Basically, nobody would have taken anything that she said as the truth. The servant girl looks at Peter and then she points to Jesus on the other side of the courtyard being led inside the high priest’s house. She looks back at Peter and points to Jesus and says, “Hey, you’re not one of this guy’s followers, are you?” For the first of three times in this story, Peter is confronted with that same question that you and I are asked every single day. ‘What… is… truth?’ It’s as if the servant girl is saying, ‘Hey Peter, are you going to align yourself with the truth, Jesus, God’s Son, or are you going to deny Him? That’s the question that’s posed to Peter. Now we begin to see what happens to the formerly bold Peter…Right? The most outspoken of Jesus’ disciples crumbles before a lowly servant girl. Her passing question must have caught him off guard. But that’s how temptation works…Isn’t it? It surprises us. When we’re not paying attention, when we least expect it, it catches us unprepared. Before we have an opportunity to muster up our courage and come up with a defensive strategy, we get caught up in the devil’s trap.

Peter’s first denial is simple. It’s just three words in our English language. He says, “I… am… not.” I wonder if it surprised Peter to hear those words coming out of his own mouth. I wonder if he remembered the words of Jesus just a few moments before in the Garden of Gethsemane where the soldiers had come to arrest Jesus. They said, “We’re looking for Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus stepped forward and replied twice in the face of his enemies, “I Am He,” in the face of those who would have Him killed. Knowing full well the torture that He was about to endure, Jesus stands on the truth. “I Am He,” Christ says. On the other hand, when Peter was confronted by a simple servant girl, Peter turns his back on the truth, and he says, “I am not.”

When you turn away from truth, you always turn toward the world. That’s exactly what Peter does. Look at this. He denies Jesus, and then he turns to warm himself by the fire. Here’s Peter, standing shoulder to shoulder with the very same evil men who just arrested Jesus.

That’s where the scene ends. It abruptly cuts to Jesus who is still tied up and is now standing in front of Annas, the high priest. So watch this contrast. Look at John 18:19.

19 “The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus (slapped Him with an open hand) with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong (Tell me what I’ve done), but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”

On the surface, this whole interaction looks formal enough, but it wasn’t a fair trial at all! In fact, this was not the first time that Jesus had tangled with the religious establishment. The Jewish leaders had been trying to get rid of Jesus for almost three years at this point of the story. The tension had been mounting. It had come to a head just days before when Jesus had gone into the temple. The religious leaders had set up, basically, a giant flea market where they extorted the Jewish people, especially around festival times like Passover. Jesus had come into the temple and turned the whole place upside down. The Gospels tell us the Jewish authorities were plotting to kill Jesus because of the temple incident, and also because they were jealous of how the people responded to Christ’s life and to His teaching. They couldn’t stand him because he taught the truth and the people believed in him. It’s safe to say that they hated him. Annas, Caiaphas and the rest of the religious elite, despised Jesus. They wanted nothing more than to kill him and get things back the way they used to be where they were at the top of the food chain and nobody else questioned their authority.

When we see Jesus in front of the high priest in our story, it’s not really a trial at all. It’s part of a murder plot. Jesus, the very person of God, the embodiment of truth, stands in humility and in meekness before His accusers. They’re frustrated, and they don’t have any evidence to convict Jesus, so Annas sends him to Caiaphas, his father-in-law, hoping he would have better luck breaking Jesus down.

The scene cuts back outside to the courtyard where we find Peter again. In a sense, Peter is in the middle of his own trial… Isn’t he? Look at John 18:25-26,

25 “Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself.” (That’s where we left him.) So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, (for the second time) “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said,” (‘Dude, didn’t I just see you cut off my cousin’s ear? You were right there in the garden with Jesus!)  Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.”

I don’t know about you, but I think this has to be one of the saddest scenes in all of the Bible. Peter denies Jesus two more times over the course of just a couple hours. He’s asked, “Aren’t you with Jesus?” and twice more Peter denies the truth.

Let’s not miss where all of this is happening and when it’s happening. Peter, who just a few pages earlier had told Jesus in Matthew 26:33,

“Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”

[Basically,] ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you.’ Strong statement. Now, instead of being next to Jesus, Peter is right in the middle of the guards who would soon nail Jesus to the cross. Not just standing by the fire anymore, but [the book of] Luke tells us that he’s sitting down. Watch this in Luke chapter 22:58-62, when he’s asked for the third time…

58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

Can you feel the tension in this moment? Before the words are even out of Peter’s mouth, as he’s denying Jesus…(‘I don’t know Him! I’m not with Him!’) As he says those words, the rooster crows just as Jesus had predicted. Peter didn’t believe it would happen, but, yet, here he is. In that moment, as the rooster crowed, Jesus is being led out of the high priest’s house. He walks past Peter who is huddled in by the warm fire, surrounded by people that hated Jesus. As Peter heard the rooster crow, he looks up as Jesus is being led away. Luke tells us that Jesus turns and looks at Peter… Their eyes lock! It’s as if time stands still for Peter. Jesus is looking right into his soul. Suddenly the truth hits Peter. He’s failed Jesus, denied even knowing his best friend! Now, he’s overcome with sorrow and Peter rushes out of the courtyard weeping uncontrollably… shaking! He just cannot stop. He couldn’t keep it together, and he was undone with remorse!

You know, I can relate to Peter. I can’t count how many times I’ve [passed up] opportunities to talk to people about Jesus. My fear of man has overshadowed my faith in God. And my guess is Peter never got over that awful night. In fact, I’m fairly certain that he was remembering this night when he wrote these words later on in the New Testament in 1 Peter 3:15,

“…but in your hearts, honor Christ the Lord as holy.” Watch this. “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that that is in you.”

You know the opposite of denying Christ? It’s honoring him. And here Peter tells us, ‘Hey guys, take it from me, I’ve failed at this. And so I know how important it is. Put Jesus in a place of honor in your life! And when someone asks you about Him, because they will, don’t you dare deny him!… Like I did. Don’t let the questions catch you off guard. Be ready to tell them the truth about the hope that is in you.’ That’s the same Peter that we see in our story in John 18.

Let’s go back to John 18. The scene cuts over to Jesus again as he’s being led to Pilate’s headquarters. He’s gone from Annas to Caiaphas, and now he’s being led to Pilate. Pontius Pilate was a Roman official, basically put in place over the Jewish people in that Roman occupied region to make sure that they didn’t cause too much trouble. The religious leaders realized at this point that they were going to need Rome’s help to get rid of Jesus finally. So they paraded Him over to the Praetorium where Pilate was stationed.

Now look at John 18: 28;

28 “Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. (Now watch this. It’s interesting.) They themselves (the religious officers of the Jews) did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover.”

John makes this little note here that Jewish leaders, they didn’t go into Pilate’s headquarters because they didn’t want to be defiled! They couldn’t go into a Gentiles house during the Passover celebration, or else by Jewish law, they wouldn’t be able to celebrate the festival. Now catch this. Don’t miss it! Here’s what’s going on. These are the religious leaders, the ones that knew the Bible, the ones who should’ve known that Jesus was the Messiah that they’ve been waiting for. If you think anybody would be ready to follow Jesus as the truth, it would have been the people that knew Scripture, some of them from their very childhood… But they despised the truth. Here they are delivering Jesus up to Rome to be crucified, And they’re concerned about defiling themselves during Passover! They’re more worried about looking spiritual on the outside while their hearts on the inside were full of evil. This has to be the very definition of hypocrisy!

In one of Jesus’ tangles with the Pharisees, He’d referred to them as “whitewashed tombs”

[Matthew 23:27-28,

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”]

In other words, they had a cheap coat of paint on the outside, but they were dead inside. It’s not a compliment. Here again, in this little snapshot, we see Jesus, the pure and spotless Lamb of God, held up against the hypocrisy and the evil of those who should have known better.

Then we’re introduced to Pilate, who, remember, has to go outside to meet Jesus and his self-righteous accusers. That’s where we find him in

John 18:29-32

29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” (Duh!)  31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful (…remember?) for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

Pilate’s no dummy…Right? He understands. He’s got a sense that something’s not adding up here, so he takes Jesus aside and he has this private conversation [with Him.] It may be the last one-on-one conversation Jesus would have before His crucifixion. John records it in this way:

John 18:33-37

33 “So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” (Jesus says in an amazing statement,) …36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to Him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.”

So Pilate asked several specific questions in this exchange, and they all reveal his doubt. His first question, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Really, that’s the you there is emphatic. And so the sense is you… YOU’re the king of the Jews?! Now, Pilate with all of his Roman perspective on leadership and authority and nobility, he couldn’t fathom that this ragged man tied up like a common criminal standing in front of him could be worth anything to anybody. And Jesus responds basically, ‘Hey, Pilate, have you personally investigated my claims? Are you really wondering whether I am the Jewish Messiah? Or are you just relying on the second hand charges of the Jewish leaders?’ And so Pilate then asks Jesus, ‘Well then, who are you?’ And then again, ‘What have you done?’ Pilate is asking for evidence here. He’s not willing to step out in faith. He wants to know what Jesus has done so he can decide whether or not he should trust Him. You catch that? It’s as if Pilate’s saying, ‘If you can prove to me that what you’re saying about Yourself is true, than I may just believe in You. But for right now, I doubt it.’

Instead of providing a list of all the things that he had done in order to convince Pilate to believe in him, Jesus simply gives him His personal purpose statement. He says in the end of

John 18:37-38,

For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world (Why? … to bear witness to the truth.) Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Jesus says, “I came into this world to point people to the truth, (not to ‘a’ truth or to a version of the truth, or to your truth compared to his truth, but to the Truth. And Pilate asks him the question in verse 38, and here it is…) 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

That is the question of the day, isn’t it? Pilate asks it here, but we’ve seen its implications all morning. Peter denied this truth, and the religious leaders despised the truth. And here we find Pilate doubting the truth. I wonder what your response is to the truth this morning?… Because it demands a response.

Listen, Peter, for all of his failures, the same Peter would meet the resurrected Jesus just a few days later on the shores of Galilee. This time Jesus would be the one warming himself by the fire and inviting Peter to join with him. Three times Jesus asked, ‘Peter, “Do you love me?’ Three times Peter would say, ‘Of course I do, Lord.’ Jesus restored Peter. He reminded him of His mission, and Jesus placed Peter right in the middle of the expansion of truth, of the Gospel, through the early church.

Maybe you’re here today and you can relate to Peter. Maybe you’ve made so many mistakes. Maybe you’ve missed a whole bunch of opportunities and you feel like you’ve denied Jesus by your words and by your actions over and over and you think you can’t possibly see how God could ever use you. Maybe you’re here this morning or you’re watching online and you feel like a failure. If that’s you today, you need to hear this this morning. Jesus is forgiveness for the failure.

1 John 1:9 says,

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Jesus is forgiveness for the failure. You need to know this. Even when you fail the Lord, you can trust in the faithful Savior who never fails!

Maybe you see yourself more in the attitudes and the actions of the religious leaders in this passage. Maybe, like me, you’ve grown up in the church. Maybe you even made some kind of profession of faith. You prayed a prayer when you were younger. In fact, you might even do all the things you’re supposed to do around here. You give financially, you serve, you open up the door for some people once every other month, so you check the box. You even go to a community group. To anybody that’s looking at you on the outside, you look about as religious as you could be, but on the inside… your heart stinks! Isaiah 64 has a word for you.

[Isaiah 64:6a

“We have all become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.”]

That righteousness, the right things that you do to make yourself look spiritual on the outside to everybody else… those things are like filthy rags… rotten, polluted, worthless before God. But the Gospel means you don’t have to count on your own righteousness. The Gospel means you can exchange those filthy rags for the robe of righteousness that comes with Jesus Christ. You can put on Christ’s perfection and stop trying to fool everyone, stop trying to pretend that you’re so spiritual. Stop trying to act like you’re good enough to get into heaven, because, friend, you are NOT! None of us is. But if that’s you today, then you need to hear this truth. Jesus is hope for the hypocrite. You don’t have to stay there.

Then there’s Pilate, the Roman governor, who doubted the truth, even though Jesus was standing, literally, right there in front of him. He couldn’t believe Him. Perhaps that’s your story this morning. You’ve heard the truth, or you’ve watched it lived out in people around you, maybe your family, maybe your friends, maybe even people here at Saylorville Church. Maybe you’ve even been going to church for a while or even reading your own Bible here and there, but you just can’t get yourself over your doubt. If that’s you, if you’re someone who’s been confronted by the Gospel and is still doubtful, still skeptical, still wondering, know this, God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Here’s the message of Good Friday and Easter wrapped up in these few next words from

1 Timothy 2:5-6,

5 “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (Watch this!) 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all.” … in His death, burial and resurrection.

And even if you’ve never heard the words of the Gospel before, you’ve heard them here this morning. You’ll hear them again in a few days at Good Friday. You’ll hear them in the baptisms, and the message, and the songs, and the conversation on Easter Sunday morning. Be here for that. We can’t wait to see you here just one week from today! But don’t just take it from us. Do your own investigation. Read the Bible deeply. Ask the hard questions, and hold the claims of Christ up against your own doubts, and see who wins out. And if that’s you, if you’re like Pilate and you doubt the truth, then here’s what you need to know this morning. Jesus is salvation for the skeptic.

There’s one more character I want you to meet this morning. He’s one of those guys that shows up in just a few verses in the Gospels at the very end of John 18:40. His name is Barabbas. All we know about him is that he was a hardened criminal. He was a thief and an insurrectionist. He led a Jewish revolt against the Roman governor, so he was on death row. During Passover every year, the Roman governor had a tradition of pardoning one prisoner. Right there in front of the Jewish mob on the steps of the Praetorium, Pilate asks, ‘Who should I release, Jesus who you say is the king of the Jews, or Barabbas, this hardened criminal who’s been convicted to death?’ We know the rest of the story, because this Friday we remember the crucifixion where Jesus took the place of Barabbas on the cross. Jesus willingly sacrificing Himself as a substitute for the sins of the one who deserved death. And this is the truth of Easter and of every day. I am Barabbas! Like Barabbas, I’ve been delivered by Jesus, and I did not deserve it. See? There’s a substitute for sinners like Barabbas and like me and for sinners like you. Are you a sinner? The Scripture says you are.

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

YOU are Barabbas! But God has judged Jesus Christ in your place. This Easter, why not receive this gracious offer of the truth, of eternal life, of the gospel? Repent of your sin. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. If you’ve never placed your faith in Jesus, the way and the Truth and the life [John 14:6], you need to hear this today. Jesus is the substitute for the sinner… and sinner, He took YOUR place!

Truth is found in the pages of God’s Word and the person of God’s Son. So I ask you today. What have you done with the truth?

There are four responses here in our story this morning, sinful human hearts compared to the glory of Christ. We’ve seen these:

  1. Peter denied the truth, but in Christ there is forgiveness for the failure.
  2. The religious leaders despised the truth, but in Jesus there’s hope for the hypocrite
  3. Pilate doubted the truth, but Jesus is salvation for the skeptic, and then
  4. Barabbas was delivered by the truth. Why? Because Jesus is the substitute for                                 sinners.

The truth of the Gospel demands a response. What will your response be?

God, we are struck by the truth this morning. We can’t get away from it. We may deny it. We may despise it. We may even doubt the truth. That doesn’t mean that truth does not exist. And in the pages of your Word and the person of your Son, Jesus Christ, we uncover truth, and the truth is this. We are all sinners, [Romans 3:23] and like Barabbas, we desperately need a Substitute. Thank you for sending Jesus to pay the price, to take our place, to be our substitute, to go to the cross willingly, to shed His blood, to die a real death, to be buried in a real tomb and then, the story of Easter, to be raised again. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for Jesus. It’s in His name we pray. Amen.


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