Wednesday: Judgment Day
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Read Matthew 26:57-68; 27:11-14; Luke 23:1-12; John 18:19-23, 31-40; 19:8-12. What can we learn from Jesus’ witness to these powerful men?

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Within these final scenes of Jesus’ earthly sojourn, Christ’s followers glimpse the painful price of unflinching faithfulness. From arrest until crucifixion, Christ bears witness before the most powerful in the land: monarchs, governors, priests. Person by person He studies those intoxicated with worldly authority. Apparently, they control Him. Soldiers shuffle Jesus between their courtrooms, their councils, their palaces, and their judgment halls, unaware that ultimately this is His world. Whatever judgment they pronounce against Christ is ultimately the judgment they pronounce against themselves. While Christ witnessed to make disciples, sometimes the outcome was vastly different than He Himself would have wished. How Jesus would have rejoiced had Pilate, Caiaphas, Herod, and others surrendered their hearts and repented. Stubbornly they refused His entreaties, callously bypassing their final invitation to salvation. Likewise, Christ’s twenty-first-century followers should recognize that while they witness to make disciples, the outcome often appears vastly different from what they would wish and pray for. Measurable success may not always attend their efforts. This should neither discourage them nor inhibit further witnessing. The genuine disciple is, like Christ Himself, faithful until death, not faithful until disappointed. Calling listeners to decision separates wheat from chaff. The wheat is celebrated, the chaff is mourned, the harvest continues. Notwithstanding Christ’s apparently unsuccessful witness before these powerful men, something marvelous happened, for, according to Acts 6:7, not only did the number of disciples multiply, but a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith (NKJV). God alone knows how many of those priests were there, listening and watching Jesus in those final hours.

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Wednesday: Judgment Day — 14 Comments

  1. Many were converted during Christ's death. Personalities such as Nicodemus from last week's lesson who were teachers of the laws and the scriptures. They heard of Jesus and were convinced of whom He represented but lack courage to stand up and be bold. Christ's death brought absolute assurance of His lordship according to what was written in the Scriptures that they taught. A new light and understanding was shining through their beliefs and were convinced that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice long foretold as the lamb that cleanses all unrighteousness. Imagine their disbelief when they learn that He rose again after three days in the grave.

    I am reminded of the Reformers.... As each faces prosecution for keeping the faith - songs of praises remained on their lips. Pain was not felt as the flesh was being tormented because their souls have found rest in He that said ...cast all your cares upon me, and I will give you rest.'

    Like(21)
  2. Today's lesson is a wonderful confirmation for those of us in the North American Division. The ground for soul reaping seems to be more difficult to garner souls because of the opulence that surrounds us. Even well organized outreach fail to garner in souls comparable to what our churches outside of the North America and most of Europe are reaping. But we must continue to effectively pursue the Master's business and let nothing deter us. If we have organized and diligently executed these efforts, then it is a successful venture regardless if 1000 or 10 souls respond to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

    Like(10)
    • The work of God might look fruitless but it is the Holy Spirit who brings conviction to the hearts of men. I witnessed to some people approx. 7yrs ago and the can remember being in contact with me. One man saw me after 3 yrs and told me I sent him to pray and find a church. He took my advice and started going to a church. Keep doing the Masters' work at home, school, work and everywhere you go.

      Like(5)
  3. Why is the death of an individual or individuals (ie- Jesus, the Reformers, etc) often instrumental in rapidly growing discipleship?

    Like(1)
    • Because the work of God spreads by others when the leader is persecuted. One pastor said, "If you want to see progress in the church, throw all the pastors in jail". That is the time all the members attend prayer meetings, do prayer and fasting and tell other about God.

      Like(2)
  4. Silence is golden. Jesus has left a perfect example for us to follow in our association with those who would want to falsely accuse or slander us. It is a pity that so many rhetorical questions were asked of Jesus, when especially Herod who was in Jerusalem should have known about Jesus from the prophecies of the Old Testament. So many rulers, kings, queens, head of states who ignore the pleadings of the Holy Spirit and condemn the followers of Jesus will face the same judgment that they have put Jesus thr

    Like(8)
  5. Question: I've always wondered if Pilate was guilty of Jesus' crucifixion, as in Jn. 19: 12 he was trying to be on Jesus' side & the Jews shouted crucify Him, so in verse 16 he handed Him over to the Jews to be crucified. But really in his heart he knew who Jesus was and would not of crucified Him if the Jews hadn't been pressing him. What do the rest of you out here in cyber space think?

    Like(4)
    • I believe Pilate was just as guilty. He should have stood by his conviction instead ion being a crowd pleaser. Question is: will I stand by my conviction in the final analysis?

      Like(2)
      • My bible says, Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself. We have to be praying now and asking Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to stand tomorrow.

        Like(1)
  6. Jesus did not allow the circumstances of His time to prevent Him from witnessing to those powerful men who tortured him and eventually crucified Him. That reminds me of the missionary pioneers to Nigeria. As we celebrate 100 years of adventism in Nigeria, I cast my mind back to 1914 when Elder D C Babcock came to Nigeria despite poor roads, poor accommodation, poor health facilities and so many other things that could have made him to say no I cant minister in this land, yet he endured in order to bring this message of salvation to us. It is indeed a great lesson for each and everyone of us in this last days. As we reflect on Christ ministry let us do likewise and go extra mile to reach out to many souls in need of the Saviour.

    Like(12)
  7. Even though many of the leaders that saw Christ rejected Him and eventually crucified Him they still had many more chances to repent; Christ was not done witnessing to them. I think even though it is true that Israel as a nation was no longer the main tool for God’s witness that didn’t mean that there was no further witness. Perhaps the greatest witness of all was the resurrection which the leaders had a very hard time accounting for. Then there were the disciples like Stephen and Paul, Peter and John along with many others that followed after.

    To me witnessing is not a onetime activity but an ongoing process that comes from many different directions. We often think that we “are the people, And wisdom will die with” us (Job 12:2 NKJV) and forget that the Holy Spirit has a thousand other ways to reach someone. As Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Cor 3:6-7 NKJV). Our job is to be one avenue of witness among many others. A person’s salvation, therefore, doesn’t depend on any one person even though we can influence to a very large degree. So, I think we need to view ourselves as part of a team rather than an indispensible superman.

    Like(13)
    • I like your last sentence that says- A person's salvation doesn't depend on any one person. The bible says in John 3:7-8. We do not know which sermon or who witnessed to us will make the strongest impression on our spirit, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit who brings the conviction to everyone at His own time not our time.

      Like(1)
  8. My LORD knew what his purpose was . To seek and save those who are lost I'm happy that he found me . I thank Him daily .

    Like(1)

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