"Intersections – Part IV"

"Intersections – Part IV""Heaven and Earth"David Goble, Pastor

Posted by Church of God of Carmichael on Sunday, September 13, 2020

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We have first brought the message on Intersections I, ” Human Morality.”  Second we dealt with Intersections II, “The Self.”  And thirdly, we brought Intersections III, “Intersection with Holy Ground.”,  This morning our message, Intersections/Crossroads Part IV “Heaven and Earth”  is the last of a four part series.  One element we will deal with of this message, is “the assurance (the certainty) of security, versus the fear of loss.”  We find that, holiness confronts, what the world presents to us.  The second element, is “the sense of being valued, and the sense of being devalued.”   The third element is if we think about that encounter, what does that imply?  We believe the Lord wants us to think about “our service.”  We will look at what happens at “this” crossroads/intersection.  For sometimes a planted seed of doubt will cause a fear, for you to consider what could happen to you, ..that it’s going to cost you “something.”  That maybe someone will be able to “steal” something from you, and you won’t be able to stop it.  This lack of security, a threat that never existed until that seed of doubt.  You arrive at this intersection, with a desire to please God, you’re yet seeking that place with God, ..where there’s a confrontation that the world presents to you.

TEXT:JOHN 18:33-40

33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

34  Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

35  Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

36  Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

37  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

38  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

39  But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

40  Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

The fear of loss, and the sense of security.  We live in a time, that if ever there was a fear of loss, it is now.  This is something that has not been fully addressed, that in a society that tells us that we will have a better life if we leave behind us the superstition of religion, and instead focus on the “reality” of our temporal ” human senses.”   That’s the philosophy that has brought us into “this place.”  But with that, it doesn’t address the reality of the fear of loss, and to seek for an assurance of safety.  Just because you might switch your world view, doesn’t mean you can minimize the fear of loss, and maximize the sense of security.  The world views are just ways that people try to make sense of things …that don’t make sense.  The things we confront in life, don’t just go away.  And this “moment” at a intersection, they are magnified by our circumstances.  Here in our community we are surrounded by the smoke of statewide, and west coast fires.  We still have this “pandemic” which is regulating our everyday behaviors and freedoms because of civil authority.  In this intersection you find these “encounters” with civil authorities, and social problems.  The question is, how does following this holy way, deal with these things we encounter?  So this place is one we encounter fear and loss.  An example is those that might fear of losing their job, “how am I going to pay the rent, etc?  So many repercussions of this brings fear.  There’s the crossroads today of being devalued by society, and systems of society.   It goes on and on.  It doesn’t mean that necessarily that you’re a sinner, although it could be that you are, while found in this place.  Anybody can face these challenges at these crossroads.  Being passed over for instance, for a promotion that you thought you were eligible for.  How does that address your assurance and need for security?  Your health concerns.  Not certain of your future because of those concerns.  Not sure of housing, or having a roof over your head.  Not sure of the quality of life, and the future of that.  All these things are present at these crossroads.  Being alone and nobody to help you.  Very real concerns at these intersections.  But the gospel has help!  That’s why once again we are an apologist, a defender of the gospel as the way of life for humanity.  These crossroads affect everybody, no matter what your philosophy or worldview.

In this text passage, Jesus is on trial for His life.  Maybe the only thing that was certain for Him, ‘right’ here, is that He’s going to die.  To die a violent death, tortured, and He knows that.   Not to minimize your situation, but let’s consider comparing our own crossroads at this point. Just to amplify, that Jesus can most definitely relate to whatever you might be facing or are going through.  Verse 33 is not only about (for the sake of this message) an encounter between Christ and Pilate, but also illustrating a crossroads in life that we all come to when our most fundamental fears are present.  When Pilate asks what is truth…perhaps Jesus wondered, “I wonder what it’s going to be like to be tortured?”  Because He knows what’s going to happen!  You wouldn’t have to be God Himself to know what’s going to happen!   I’m headed for death on a cross!  He knows what happens to the accused of the state.  Violent physical persecution and torture.   As I travel up the road, I wonder what it’s going to be like to carry my cross to the place of my execution?   Is there anybody here, that although not at the same level, that might also have a great concern like this?  I wonder if anybody knows if I’m suffering, or cares if I’m alive?   Does anybody care about my kids?  These questions are to help us confront what happens at these crossroads.  Because modern religion often tells us to give all our cares to Jesus, and kind of “float on cloud nine,”  every time we confront this intersection.  Because Jesus’s burden is light, and His yoke is easy.  “Because I give it all to Him, so I don’t have these concerns anymore.”  That’s a different message.  I’m not so sure that that’s exactly the way it “works.”  We say that, but as a pastor, I get good people that say, “I am really struggling, really concerned, concerned about my health,  I’m alone, lonely, or really afraid!”   This from those that really do go to prayer and give their cares to Christ.  Feeling like there’s a hole inside, even tho they are doing their best to serve God.  Worried about my child, family, the direction they are headed.  These worries come from good people doing their best to serve God.   So of course there’s another message beyond giving your cares to Jesus, and everything will be fine.  The Son of God, like any of us, was facing these concerns and fears, while having this conversation with this unbeliever (Pilate) on this level.   The consideration of feeling what it feels like to be tortured is not in Pilate’s mind.  He’s philosophically dismissing it by washing his hands, when asking “what is truth?”   Yet with all these real fears, He’s telling Pilate what will save his soul!  It’s why Jesus came here!  To demonstrate to the world, that truth is yet among men and women!   Something you can grab on to at this intersection of doubt and fear!   Jesus did not set aside all his fears, and then have this kind of “heady conversation” with Pilate.  They ‘both’ happen at the same time!    He’s having this profound conversation with a human, while still present with His fears and human doubts.  But God the Father holds up The Son while The Son is present with these fears and doubts!   We can’t escape the fears and doubts, so the question is, are we able to be present with them also with the grace of God?

Intersection: Heaven and Earth…..