The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 16 : The Gospel According to JOHN

[Chapter 19-1] (John 19:1-11) Recognize the Love That the Lord Has Shown Us and Believe in It

(John 19:1-11)
“So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him with their hands. Pilate then went out again, and said to them, ‘Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.’ Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the Man!’ Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.’ Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, ‘Where are You from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?’ Jesus answered, ‘You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.’”
 
 
How have you been? The weather has been very erratic lately, and it seems quite a few of us have come down with a cold. If you think you are coming down with a cold, see your doctor as soon as possible and get it treated before your health deteriorates. It’s not always the case that you can get rid of a cold just by hunkering down and waiting; if it persists, you may have serious complications down the road. So I ask you to take good care of your God-given body.
Today’s Scripture passage describes Jesus’ trial in the court of Pilate, and we can realize here just how much the Lord loved all of us. As described in the passage, Jesus was unjustly interrogated and tried in the court of Pilate, and through all these things we can experience the love of God in both body and spirit.
In those days when Jesus was facing His crucifixion, Israel was a colony of the Roman Empire, and therefore the Roman governor had jurisdiction over any criminal trials. That’s because the authority to judge and render punishment had been transferred to the Roman Empire from Israel. So when the chief priests and the Pharisees arrested Jesus, they took Him to Pilate the governor. They then asked the governor to punish Jesus, accusing that Jesus claimed Himself to be the King of the Jews and the Son of God. Although Governor Pilate had no jurisdiction over religious matters, the chief priests were accusing Jesus of inciting the mass, and so Pilate tried to look for any punishable offence from Him, but he could find none.
Pilate therefore sought to release Jesus. But the chief priests of Israel and the Pharisees objected to His release. In Israel it was customary to release a prisoner on the Passover Day to commemorate it, and Pilate had asked the people of Israel whom they wanted to be released between a brutal criminal named Barabbas and Jesus. Pilate had thought that since Barabbas was such a hideous criminal, the Israelites would naturally ask him to release Jesus instead of Barabbas. But contrary to his expectations, the chief priests instigated the crowd to demand loudly to crucify Jesus. Like this, they were pressuring Pilate to crucify Jesus to death.
The Jewish leaders accused Jesus of calling Himself the king of the Jews and inciting the people of Israel. They demanded the death of Jesus Christ so vocally and fiercely that Pilate was afraid of an uprising, and so he began to interrogate Him. Pilate asked Jesus, “Are You the king of the Jews?” Answering affirmatively, Jesus then said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). What Jesus said here was true, for He was indeed the Son of God. But because of what Jesus said here, Pilate decided to put Jesus to death, and it gave him the pretext to sentence Him to death.
It’s written in John 19:1, “So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.” It’s said that according to the Roman law, criminals were stripped of clothes and whipped forty stripes minus one before their execution. As sharp pieces of hook-shaped metal were attached to end of the whip, every time the whip landed on the body, these pieces of metal dug deep into the flesh and tore it apart. So, since Jesus received forty stripes minus one, His whole body was covered in blood.
The Roman soldiers did not stop there; they also mocked Jesus by clothing Him in a purple robe and putting a crown of thorns on His head. Kings wore purple robes in those days, and since Jesus was saying that He was the king of the Jews, they put the purple robe on Him to ridicule Him. It’s for the same reason that they made the crown of thorns and put it on His head to scorn Him.
The thornbushes growing in Israel were several times thicker and sharper than the common thornbushes that we are familiar with. So when Jesus’ head was pierced by the sharp thorns, there was so much blood that His whole face was covered in it. Like this, the Roman soldiers clothed Jesus with a purple robe and put a crown of thorns on His head to ridicule Him, saying mockingly, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They also slapped His face, struck His head with a reed, and even spat at His face. They mocked Jesus like this to heap every possible shame on Him. Once Pilate sentenced Jesus to death, the soldiers not only whipped Him but also ridiculed and mocked Him without restraint.
Before such a terrible pain of whipping and crucifixion, an ordinary man would have proclaimed his innocence at least once and tried everything possible to save himself. But Jesus did not open His mouth, like a lamb led to the slaughter and a sheep silent before its shearers, just as prophesied in Isaiah 53:7. He showed no resistance and endured all His suffering silently for our sake.
No matter how closely Pilate examined Jesus, in his eyes Jesus was not someone trying to proclaim himself a king or conspiring to rebel against the Roman Empire. So Pilate brought Jesus out to the crowd and tried to release Him again, saying, “I find no fault in Him.” The chief priests and their underlings then shouted out even more loudly, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate could not comprehend why the Jews were demanding Jesus’ death when He was completely innocent, and so he said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him” (John 19:6). But the Jews objected even more fiercely and justified themselves by saying, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God” (John 19:7).
Pilate became even more afraid of Jesus who called Himself the Son of God. Let’s look at John 19:8-10 again here: “Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, ‘Where are You from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?’” Pilate was afraid of what would happen to him if Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be, thinking, “What will happen to me if He is indeed the Son of God? Will I be spared even after I torture the Son of God?” This seems to explain why Pilate was increasingly agitated to release Jesus. Perhaps for this reason, it even appears that Pilate was desperately asking Jesus to assert His innocence so that he could release Him when he said, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
But Jesus remained calm. Far from being slavish, He said boldly, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” He told Pilate that those who delivered Him to Pilate had the greater sin, for it was God’s just plan to put Jesus to death as the propitiation for all humanity.
Like this, even though Pilate tried to release Jesus several times, because Jesus had already accepted all the sins of the world through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, He had to be crucified without fail, and therefore Jesus did not give the answer that Pilate was looking for. If He said, “I am innocent. Release me,” then He could not be crucified to be punished for the sins of this world that He had accepted by being baptized by John the Baptist, and that is why He did not say anything.
When we turn to the Apostles’ Creed which was made by the Catholic Church after the passing of the apostles, we see a phrase that says, “He suffered under Pontius Pilate.” Although the Apostles’ Creed says that it’s Pilate who tortured Jesus and put Him to death, Pilate actually tried to release Him. It was Jesus Himself who sought to be crucified voluntarily. Although Jesus was crucified by the Roman soldiers under Pilate’s command, Jesus had said to him in John 19:11, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” Pilate did not have the authority to put Jesus to death, nor did He have the power to crucify Him. God the Father had temporarily granted such authority to Pilate. It was to explain to Pilate that his authority to judge Jesus was actually given by God the Father that the Lord said to him, “Everything you now have in this world was given to you from above. You have no authority to harm Me, and the sin of those who have delivered Me to you is greater than your sin.”
 
 
Jesus Endured His Suffering Because He So Loved Us
 
It’s because the Lord had been baptized by John the Baptist that He was crucified to bear the punishment of everyone’s sins while shouldering all the sins of this world. The Lord was punished for our sins because He had borne them by being baptized by John the Baptist. In other words, our Lord was crucified for us because He had taken upon all our sins. The Lord said that He was baptized by John the Baptist on this earth to accept all our sins and was crucified to death so that this world may know God’s love. The world here refers to none other than you and me. God had sent His Son to this earth to blot out all our sins. The Lord had come to this earth according to this will of the Father, and after being baptized by John the Baptist, He was crucified to death, so that we may know God’s love. God did all these things in order to save each and every one of us from all our sins.
Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man to save you and me from sin. And having accepted all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist, He was crucified to death. You must grasp here why Jesus Christ had to endure the suffering of the Cross even though He had done nothing wrong. That’s because if Jesus Christ had not been baptized and crucified because of our sins, then we could never solve the problem of our sins by ourselves.
Among the countless people living on this earth, only those who are poor in spirit truly remember that the Lord was baptized and crucified to save sinners from sin, only these people understand His will, and they alone accept Him as their Savior. The Lord endured His suffering like this in order to make the Truth of salvation known to the world. He was baptized by John the Baptist and crucified so that we may realize that God the Father loves us that much. As the Lord was baptized by John the Baptist and endured the suffering of crucifixion when He came to this earth, He could save us once and for all. We must realize this Truth without fail and believe in it with all our hearts. Jesus endured the pain of His flesh being torn apart by 39 lashes, He bore the shame of being stripped naked, and He was even slapped in the face surrounded by ridicule. God Himself endured all these things because He loved us so much that He wanted to blot out all our sins. Everyone must realize and believe that the Lord Himself bore all the suffering on this earth to make this love of God known to all. All of you must grasp here without fail that God loved the world like this, and that He loved you and me to death.
Because God loved you and me and the entire human race, He wanted to solve the problem of sin that we could not solve by ourselves. So God Himself came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, bore all the sins of the human race through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and endured indescribably cruel torture until He was at last crucified. Our Lord then poured out all the blood that was in His heart and died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and is now personally testifying that He has saved us from all our sins. You must realize this clearly.
God loved us so much like this that He delivered us from sin and judgment and saved us from everlasting destruction and hell by blotting out all our sins. God Himself went through such hardships to save you by accomplishing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, it would be a great mistake if you not only failed to recognize this but, even worse, showed no desire to know it nor believe in it. God loved all of us, and He still loves us. Therefore, all of us must not only realize with our heads but also believe with all our hearts that our Lord was baptized and crucified because He loved us, and that all these things were done out of His love for us. We must truly grasp the love of God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
Everyone Must Die Once
 
As it is written, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), everyone has to die once after being born in this world without exception, and everyone will be resurrected for sure. Some people will be resurrected into eternal life, while others will be resurrected into judgment. Because judgment awaits everyone after death, your physical death does not mean that everything is over. Although we were all destined to be condemned and cast into hell for our sins, the Lord has made it possible for us to go to Heaven. Our Lord loved us so much that He saved us from all sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Out of His love for mankind, Jesus Christ came to this earth, willingly received His baptism to bear all the sins of the world on His own body, and died on the Cross to personally pay off the wages of all these sins for us. And rising from the dead again, He has saved us perfectly. The Lord has thereby enabled all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit not to be destroyed in the next world but instead enter Heaven and live with God happily forever. In this way, God “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32). That is how much the Lord loved us.
Although we often act as though we would live for a thousand years, all of us must die in fact. It’s written in Psalm 90:10, “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years.” Do you think you will live forever? If not forever, then do you think you will at least live for a long time? But some may die in ten days, others in a month, and still others in a few years. The only difference is how long one lives; once born, everyone must die eventually. And once you are dead, you will stand before the presence of God to face the judgment awaiting you. True happiness is not all that we have in our everyday lives. Once the hours allotted to us are gone, sooner or later the day will come for us to stand before God’s throne of judgment. That’s why everyone must believe in Jesus Christ who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Dragged to the court of Pilate, Jesus Christ received forty stripes minus one, and His entire body was covered in blood. He was then revealed to the people with a crown of thorns on His head and a purple robe on His body. Even though Pilate tried to release Him several times, he was outmaneuvered by the political skills of the Jewish leaders and ended up delivering Him to the Roman soldiers. But Jesus endured all His suffering quietly, like a sheep silent before its shearers. And He carried the Cross to Golgotha, a hill whose name meant the skull. He was crucified there, and although He poured out all His blood on the Cross and suffered the most painful death, His last words were, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
Jesus had come to this earth to bear all our sins through His baptism and save us by being condemned in our place. He was born on this earth to carry out His work of salvation, but for us, it was to bring the infinitely joyful news of salvation, just as we sing, “Joy to the world, The Lord is come!” In other words, Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist and crucified to death. His purpose on this earth was to make us God’s own children by giving up His own life for us and blotting out all our sins. He did all these things because He loved us. It was to manifest His love to us that Jesus was baptized and crucified, thereby fulfilling our salvation.
Did Jesus Christ have any sins at all? No, He was completely sinless. Yet onto His sinless body, He accepted all your sins and mine through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. Jesus Christ was crucified for our transgressions, and He was bruised for our iniquities. It’s because He had been baptized by John the Baptist that He was crucified to pay off the wages of our sins and rose from the dead again. It’s entirely because of our sins that Jesus endured such terrible sufferings. It’s because He loved us so much like this that we could be saved from all the sins of the world. It’s not because of our own merits that we were saved by Him.
Have we ever asked the Lord for our salvation? But even before we asked Him, the Lord already knew us so well that He saved us by washing away all our sins with the baptism He received in the Jordan River and the blood He shed on the Cross. Just how selfish and flawed were we before God? Although we have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, both the believers and the unbelievers are completely selfish. After all, do we not blindly accept anything that serves our own interests and reject anything that does not? In contrast to such selfish people like us, God Himself came to this earth in the flesh of man to be baptized and crucified, thus saving our souls once and for all without demanding anything from us. This means that God had come to free us from sin and the punishment of death, to give us the happiness of the next world, and to also make us prosper in this present world as His own children. In this way and through such salvation, the Lord has manifested His love for you and me.
 
 
Therefore Everyone Must Believe in God’s Love
 
Because God loved you and me, to manifest His love, He forsook the glory of Heaven and was born on this earth incarnated in the flesh of man. And because He loved us, He bore all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist at the age of 30, and He was crucified to be condemned for all these sins that He had already accepted. God did all these things because He loved us. He endured all His suffering silently like a lamb led to the slaughter because of the infinite love of salvation He had for us. All us must therefore realize this love and be born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is how we can repay our Lord for His love.
However, although this fact can be realized through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, countless people are living without realizing God’s love because they do not know this gospel Truth, and because there aren’t enough people preaching this gospel. That God loves you and me is demonstrated by the fact that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to wash away all our sins and paid off all the wages of our sins by being crucified. Yet too many people do not realize that the Lord is their Savior. Having come to this earth by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, Jesus has completely revealed His love for us by saving us from all the sins of the world once and for all. God truly loves us and wants to make us His people. Then, does He just say to us with empty words, “You have no sin”? No, of course not! Jesus came to this earth to make us God’s true children, to turn us into His people, and that is why He was personally baptized, crucified to death, and resurrected from death. In other words, the Lord had come to this earth so that our souls, our bodies, and our future would all prosper, and we would be freed from the condemnation of sin in particular. Having come to this earth, Jesus accepted all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist, and He endured extreme torture until He was crucified to death. Like this, Jesus Himself has revealed everything about salvation, and therefore we can now know and believe in His work of salvation. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has saved His believers from all their sins most justly and most fairly. That is why it is completely just and legitimate for all of us to be saved from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only then could we be fully qualified and lack nothing to live happily forever with God. Like this, Jesus has revealed His love to the whole world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We may not know much, but all of us must at least know that God loves us. And to manifest this love, God Himself came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, and accepted all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist. And because of this, He had to be crucified to shed His blood to death. But we also know that He did not end His work of salvation with His death, but He rose from the dead again to give us eternal life.
We must remember this without fail and believe it with all our hearts. Even if we know nothing else, we must at least know the love of God shown to us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This must be grasped by all of you, even if you were illiterate, that God sent Jesus Christ His only begotten Son to this earth to manifest His love for you. The Son of God bore all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, and God the Father even allowed His Son to be crucified. God the Father loved us so much that He did not spare His own Son and delivered Him to death. So all of us must believe that this is how much God loved us. I ask each and every one of you to realize and believe with all your heart that God the Father loved you like this.
When we think of God’s love, we can see just how great and noble it is; in contrast, when we think of us human beings, we see that we are too weak, selfish, and wicked. When animals are trapped in a forest fire and perish helplessly, we feel sorry for them. But the corruption and wickedness of humankind have reached such an extreme extent that we would not feel sorry for human beings even if fire came down from the heavens right now and devoured the whole planet earth. However, far from punishing such evil people like us with terrible suffering, the Lord has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit and saved all who believe in this gospel.
If I had God’s power, I would have punished such people in every way possible, by plaguing them with incurable diseases and bringing every conceivable plight to them so that they would all agonize in suffering for the rest of their lives. God could have done this easily. But God is not like me, and so rather than bringing such suffering to mankind, He has brought salvation by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Are you really thankful for this?
We were made by God’s hands, and when we had gone astray despite being God’s creatures, instead of punishing us, God manifested His love through the salvation of the water and the Spirit. Could we then still claim to be good people if we do not believe in this Truth of salvation? If we were to reject this love of God, we would be worse than beasts. Even a ferocious beast like a tiger, if it’s taken as a cub and raised by its masters, obeys and listens to him. Even an animal trusts and follows its kind master, and so how much more should you, as a human being created by God’s hands, trust and follow your Creator? God has shown His unbound love for you through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but do you even recognize Him as your Savior?
It’s undeniably true that man was made by God. Everyone was indeed created by God. It’s also true that everyone can put on God’s love and be remitted from all his sins. Because human beings are in fact evil by nature, all of them must receive salvation from God by faith. What we must remember without fail is that God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit out of His love for us, and that He still loves us all. God wants you to realize His love. Yet despite this, many people do not know the love of God, and instead they just seek carnal love that only brings temporary gratification to their flesh. When they accomplish something, they think it’s all because of their own merit, and they are not grateful to God at all. Just how ridiculous is this? That is why the Lord said that the unsaved are like the beasts that perish.
How long can a human being live even if he were to live a long life? Life is not that long. When you are healthy, you may think that you will live for a long time, but once you fall ill, it’s in your human nature to feel as though death is just around the corner. Have you ever thought about death? Do you think death won’t come to you? That’s certainly not the case! Death will also come to you. Everyone must face physical death. Yet do you still think that you will live a long life? Even if you were to live for a long time, it’s only 100 years at most. You may even live longer than this, but only by a few extra years.
What is then left after your life? God said in the Bible, “As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Is there anything special to life? From dust to dust is what life is all about; once born, everyone must die eventually. But you must remember here that after this, you must face your judgment without fail.
Because of our sins, all of us were destined to face God’s just judgment. We were so full of sin that we were all doomed to be cast into hell. We all deserved this fate.
But even though we should be rightfully cast into hell, God loved us so much that He endured untold suffering in our place and paid off the wages of all our sins for us, thereby manifested His great love to us. What would happen to us then, if we were to neither accept this love with thanksgiving nor remember it? Wouldn’t we then become the most depraved of all sinners, since we would be adding the sin of not believing in and rejecting God’s love on top of all the sins that we already have?
Therefore, all of us must believe in God’s love exactly as it is, neither adding to it nor subtracting from it. When God Himself says that He loves us, we must accept this love. And we must carry on with our lives in this world by trusting in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God Himself came to this earth to manifest His love, was baptized by John the Baptist to bear all our sins, and was crucified to death while shouldering all these sins. And He rose from the dead again in three days, thereby saving us once and for all. That is just how much God loved us all. All of us must therefore remember what Jesus has done to save us from sin, never forgetting the purity and nobleness of all the sacrifices that He had to suffer out of His love for us.
 
 
From Now on, We Must Work for the Sake of Other Souls
 
Even though God loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten Son, there still are too many people in this world who do not know this love of God. Therefore, to manifest God’s love correctly to all who still don’t know it, we must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith. As we have been born again by faith through the gospel of the water and the Spirit before everyone else, we must live the rest of our lives by faith. The Lord admonished us saying, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). What is God’s glory then? Isn’t it all about being born again by faith through the gospel of the water and the Spirit God has given us? And isn’t it to God’s glory that we preach this gospel so that even more people would be born again?
We must therefore always remember the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Regardless of our circumstances, in good times and bad times alike, we must remember this true gospel at all times and preach it constantly by faith. To manifest His love to us, the Lord has saved us from all our sins through the gospel sacrifice of the water and the Spirit, and He has also delivered us from our everlasting destruction. All of us must believe in this Truth to reach our salvation, and we must also reveal this Truth to everyone else. This means that we must live for the righteousness of the Lord until we go to see Him face to face. Instead of just living for our own flesh, we must live the rest of our lives for the sake of other souls, and then receive the Lord when He returns. I’d never say this to you if it really didn’t matter whether you lived for your flesh or not. I’m saying it because it’s something that you must realize without fail. If we have indeed met the Lord while living in this world and realized His love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then from now on, all of us ought to manifest the Lord’s love to everyone else. I give all thanks to the Lord for saving us through the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, do you realize just how much suffering Jesus had to endure for having borne your sins and mine through His baptism? As though being flogged was not painful enough, the whip that was used on Jesus had pieces of hook-shaped metal attached to it, and our Lord had to endure the pain of His flesh being torn apart by them. Could you have endured this pain? You could not have lasted beyond just a few lashes. Yet the Lord endured no less than 39 such lashes.
Why did He have to suffer like this? It’s because of none other than our sins that He had accepted through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. Do you grasp this? You must remember without fail that Jesus endured such terrible suffering because He loved us to death, even though we were all sinful. And you must believe in this Truth with all your heart and give thanks to the Lord.
The Scriptures say, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Galatians 3:13, Deuteronomy 21:23). Put differently, it’s the accursed who should be hung on a tree. And these accursed people were none other than us. Yet instead of us, Jesus was hung on the Cross. He had been cursed for our sins in our place. Whose curse was this? It was none other than ours. Had the Lord not borne all your sins and mine through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, we would have borne His accursed punishment. Our own flesh would have been torn, and we ourselves would have been crucified. However, because the Lord had taken upon all our sins through His baptism, His body was cursed to be torn apart in our place.
Do you think that there were many at that time who were put to death in this way? No, absolutely not! In those days in the Roman Empire, only the most hideous criminals who committed the most atrocious crimes were crucified to death rather than being executed by hanging or thrown into dungeons to be fed to savage animals. How would you feel if you were to face such a punishment? Would you be able to endure if you had to be stripped naked before everyone, whipped until your flesh is all torn apart, slapped and spat at in your face, and ridiculed with all kinds of insults?
The Lord felt every pain and suffering that human beings can feel before His death. Pierced by the thorns, His head was covered in blood, and His heart was also hurt by every conceivable ridicule and insult thrown at Him. He suffered in both body and spirit. Yet despite this, Jesus did not protest His innocence, and instead He endured all His suffering silently. Why did He do this? For whom did He do it? It’s none other than for you and me that the Lord endured all such sufferings, punishments, and insults. We were healed by His stripes, and we were made whole by His wounds. Had the Lord not accepted all our sins through His baptism on this earth, and had He not been crucified to death as a result, then we could have never reached our salvation. It’s because Christ has saved us personally through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have come to reach our salvation by believing in this Truth. And it’s because He was punished for our sins in our place that we could be freed from all our sins.
This world will change time after time, but there is something that we must never forget no matter how much the world changes. It is the fact that Jesus has manifested His love to us to death, through all His suffering and crucifixion. That is how much God loved us all. He loved us so much that He laid down His own life for us. Now then, whoever believes that Jesus has revealed His love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit can be saved from all sins once and for all. This is what you must realize here. All of us ought to give thanks to Jesus by believing in this Truth, and we ought to praise Him for what He has done for us. And just as the Lord is righteous, so must we also live righteously for the rest of our lives, preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit until the day we receive the Lord.
 
 
Look at the Love God Has Manifested to Us
 
Picture in your head the suffering that God endured to save us from the sins of the world, and try to feel it with your heart. Most people take the baptism of Jesus and His Cross too lightly without really understanding their full significance. But the baptism of Jesus and His Cross are extremely important elements manifesting the Lord’s love for us. Yet despite this, many people do not really believe in the love of God manifested in the Cross even as they are looking at it. However, if you believe in the Lord’s love shown on the Cross and are born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you will come to thank the Lord for His grace and become an exceedingly humble person before this love.
How much of God’s love do we know? How much do we really appreciate the sacrifice that God Himself made to reveal His love to us? On this Passion Week, all of us should thank the Lord from the depth of our hearts for saving us by manifesting His love like this, and for making it possible for us to believe in Him. Let us therefore all thank God by once again reaffirming our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit on this Passion Week.