Let us pray: Dear Savior, how we long for leaders who are honest, trustworthy, compassionate, and who aren’t afraid to tell us the truth! Today we have joined together to thank You for being such a Leader! Today we have come to hear You speak the truth to us in love. Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, THE KING OF TRUTH!
TEXT: John 18: 33-37
Fellow Redeemed Sinners:
Some things never change. When you read the newspaper or listen to the news on T.V. do accept everything said at face value, or do you question whether it is really true? Two year olds may accept almost anything said to them as truth, but beyond that age, you soon learn that truth is an elusive commodity. Today we don’t call news reporters or politicians liars—at least not most of the time. But we know all about “spin doctors” who try to get their particular version of propaganda out there for us to absorb. Liars, spin doctors—it’s really all the same. Genuine truth remains elusive, doesn’t it?
Pontius Pilate was a political animal. That’s how he got his posting as governor of Judea. He knew all about spin doctors, liars who shaded the truth to suit their own needs because that’s what he was. Is it then any surprise that he sarcastically asked Christ: “What is truth?”
One of the true strengths of Christianity is that it is founded on and proclaims the truth.—Truth about us, truth about God, truth about life and death. And today we have come to God’s house not only to hear the truth but to honor Him for telling it to us. Yes,
WE WORSHIP THE KING OF TRUTH!
As Christians we all know that Christ is the King of Truth. After all, He invented truth, didn’t He? That’s because He’s God. But, on this final Sunday of the church year for 2006 it is well for us to review various aspects of the truth that sets us free. And the first aspect of His Kingship is that He came to tell the truth about humans.
Satan is by nature a liar. His lies are an attempt to subvert Godly truth thereby stealing God’s honor. Already in Eden he told the first lie ever recorded when he tempted Eve to eat fruit of the forbidden tree. God said: “If you eat of it you will surely die.” But, Satan told her: “You will not surely die.” There’s the first lie. Well, you know the rest of the story. Eve listened to that lie and acted upon it. Adam listened to her lies and also acted upon them. And as a result all humans are born liars, too.
The chief lie, or obfuscation of the truth, that is roundly accepted by most humans is that “people are basically good.” Of course, that lie fails to answer the follow-up question: “Then why do people do bad things?” And “don’t those bad things negate the whole idea of goodness?” Meanwhile, God says throughout the Old Testament that human beings are sinners, liars, cheats, and inveterate gossips. It says that we’re born that way. That we’ve inherited such “badness” from our parents. That it is in the genes, as it were. Listen to what Jeremiah writes: “The heart is deceitful above all else and is desperately wicked, who can know it?” Well, God knows it. And He tells us the truth about ourselves throughout the Bible, whether we like it or not.
Some think this kind of tough “truth-telling” seems a bit hard-edged. Couldn’t God soften it a little? If you subscribe to that theory, let me ask you a question. If you’ve got treatable cancer that if left unchecked would lead to certain death, would you like your doctor to pat you on the head and say: “Don’t worry.” Or, would you want Him to tell you the unvarnished truth so that you could be cured? Well, Christ is the Great Physician of our bodies and souls and also the King of Truth. Thank God He isn’t afraid to tell it like it is!
The King of Truth came to tell us the truth about God. If your medical doctor withholds from you the true nature of his degrees and expertise when it is lacking, that’s unethical, dangerous, and downright mean. Well, God being God, He lacks nothing. He’s perfect, holy, always makes the right judgments, and always has answers for the problems we face. And as God’s Son, Christ came into this world to tell us the truth about Himself.
What is that truth? “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live forever.” “I lay down my life for the sheep.” “My kingdom is not of this world…But now my kingdom is from another place.” And then, in answer to Pilate: “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
There you have it! God’s Son willingly came to earth to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for human liars. Telling someone a lie is akin to spitting in their face with a smile. Living a lie about our supposed “goodness” is spitting in God’s face. But Christ came to take our spit and our lies upon Himself. He came to make peace between God and humans. He came to win forgiveness for us on the cross. He came to suffer for our lying lifestyles and then to rise from the grave for us—to give us a new “Lie free” life before God. Why did the King of the Universe do this for us? You know the answer. It is the glorious truth: “God is love.”
So it is because of His unselfish love for us that Christ the King came to actually live God’s truth for us, as well. Think about it. Early in John’s gospel he tells us that: “God is light and in Him dwells no darkness at all.” Truth is light. Lies are darkness. As the Light of the world, Christ lived in the light. He healed countless people in both body and soul—because we cannot and do not. He never turned anyone away. O, some did walk away because they didn’t like what they heard. They didn’t like hearing the truth about themselves. But, that’s not Christ’s fault. It is their own. So, why was Christ always so willing to put Himself out for sinners like us? The answer is this truth: “I have come to seek and to save the lost.” Yes, and in so doing He kept the truth of 2nd table of the Law that we cannot keep perfectly which is: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In every aspect of His life, our King lived the truth of God’s loving forgiveness for us. And through His gift of faith He has placed, imparted, given, and put His holiness into our hearts and lives. He tells us: “If you continue in My Word then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Well, we’re free today, freed from our lying, deceitful nature because the King’s perfection in His life has been put upon us! We’re free to be honest and open about our lives because all judgment against us has been poured out by the Father upon the Son in our place.
Pilate the spin-doctor was also Pilate the liar and Pilate the fool. He didn’t honor or worship the King of truth, instead he condemned Him to death. And today Pilate is in hell for his prideful deceit and flaunting of the Truth. But, you and I are here. We have come to worship the King of truth. And based on our King’s own words, such faith-filled allegiance sets our hearts, souls, and consciences free! What a comfort! Amen