Luke 23:4 - Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, "I find no guilt in this Man."
This past year, a mother of three small boys told me how she had found proof that one of her lads had broken one of the rules of the house.
She put them in line and asked, "I want to know, which of you guys has been doing something you weren't supposed to do?" That line of interrogation didn't bring forth a confession.
What she got was "Not me, mom." "I didn't do anything wrong." Other brilliant psychological approaches didn't work any better. Eventually evening came, and she put her brood to bed. With her hand poised on the switch to turn out the lights, she thought she would try one more time.
She announced, "I'm going to bed soon. When I do, in my prayers I'm going to ask God who broke the rules. Don't you think one of you boys would like to confess before I ask the Lord?"
Her question was greeted by a very pregnant pause. After more than a few seconds' hesitation, mom received the reply, "I think we'd like to wait and see what God says."
The truth is all of us have done something wrong. The U.S. Congress realized that when in 1988 they passed a law which said employers could not give their people a lie detector test without a good reason. The Senate knew, perhaps better than anyone, that everybody has done something wrong.
You too have done something wrong.
I'm not going to get specific. Don't need to. But you know, don't you? Now we may hide what we've done from our parents, our spouse, our children, our boss, our minister, our closest friends, but we know. We know no matter what anybody else thinks that we have, most certainly, broken God's laws and, most probably, man's laws as well.
Two-thousand years ago, Pontius Pilate felt secure in asking Jesus the question, "What is it You've done wrong?" He was throwing out a big net, and he expected to pull in a confession. Now remember, if Jesus had done something wrong, He would not have been God's Son. If Jesus wasn't God's Son, He can't be our Savior. If Jesus had done something wrong, if He had violated the smallest of Commandments, then He is just like us and He was a sinner -- and sinners don't rise from the grave. Sinners don't save others. If Jesus had done something wrong, our faith in Him is misplaced.
Now understand if Pilate had asked a similar question of us, we would have to hang our heads and say, "Yes, I've sinned." If I asked your friends, people who normally overlook your shortcomings, what you've done wrong, they probably could give me a few things. If I asked your enemies, they would produce a longer list. That's because we all have violated the Laws of God with our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Scripture is quite correct: there is no man on the earth that does only good and never sins (see Ecclesiastes 7:20) Except ...
... except for Jesus.
Look through Jesus' trials. No matter who looked, the conclusion was always the same. Jesus had committed no crime, no sin, no anything, and because of that we have a Savior, a Substitute, a Redeemer who gives us forgiveness and salvation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess my many sins done in thought, word, and deed. Their vast number makes me appreciate the Savior who carried my sins. For the salvation He has won for me, I praise Him and offer up this prayer in His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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