Mourning into Joy | Good Friday: I Find No Fault in this Man | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 7 of 10

I find Pilate’s declaration of Jesus’ innocence quite intriguing. Why would YHWH require a man’s institution declare Him innocent? Considering, the kind of humiliation that would entail. I mean, wasn’t the cross enough? Why put Jesus through the avoidable humiliation?! But the more I inquire, the more I grow in love with the fact that Christ endured all this – not just knowingly, but also willingly.

So many Christians around the world will hear their pastors preach the Cross to them today. And that is absolutely essential. But me, I can’t help but be moved by this little exchange Jesus had with Pilate. So, in this insignificant humble little blog of mine, I wish to devote some words dwelling on that.

Jesus was subjected to a human judiciary system. I believe, that in itself is a humiliation – unbearable; considering Jesus to be an equal head of the triune God who is sovereign. But not just that, the subjugation did not proceed from accusation and straight to the Cross. No. Jesus was put through every minute of what entails – the most gruesome dealing a judiciary system could enforce. Apart from this, it is also worth noting, He had no friends or followers devoted to Him at this point. Jesus was abandoned, both socially and later, spiritually (Matt 27:46). I believe it is very important for us to know – Jesus suffered the Cross absolutely alone. Now in the backdrop of this context, I want us to revisit Pilate’s declaration.

Why was this needed?

The reason, I (apparently) believe is to inform us, through all conceivable medium that Jesus died sinless – true to His nature – an innocent man – for our sins. Because the judiciary system of God requires the blood of the lamb to declare us innocent, as Jesus was declared innocent. Because only the blood of the lamb can wash us anew. Because only the blood of the lamb can make us holy.

Dear reader, one day – as Jesus was judged by the law of man, we will be judged by the law of God. And on that day – our only fighting chance to be declared innocent is if we are washed in the blood of the lamb. The only way, we will be declared innocent is if we are cloth in His righteousness. The Apostle Paul so aptly put this in words.

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Cor 5:21, NLT)

The only way we could be made right with God is through Christ. And the only reason we could come through Christ is because of Good Friday. It is because on this day, Jesus knowingly and willingly, put Himself through man’s judgement to fulfill the wrath of God. So that one day, you and I could stand as innocent as Him, when God’s judgement comes to pass. Therefore Paul confirmed, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1) How wonderful is that… Jesus died an innocent man so that you and I could be declared innocent. Because it is only His righteousness that grants us salvation. To God be the Glory.    


I hope everyone is safe and quarantined. Let us use this self-isolation period to grow more in faith – to spend more alone time in the Word of God. I wish you and your family a very blessed Good Friday. I hope and pray that the joy of salvation be thoroughly renewed this season – in your life, and in the life of your loved ones. Shalom!


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic (6) Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me

Mourning into Joy | Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 6 of 10

Various monumental events mark this day, and various important teachings. But I want to focus on only one thing here today, i.e. Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. To me, nothing demonstrates His truly human nature as here.

We often forget, or perhaps, I often forget, how true Jesus was to His human nature. He suffered every desire, pain, joy and pleasure as a man would. And in Gethsemane, we find Jesus battling a great sense of agony – as a man about to take the full force of God’s wrath. Facing judgement of any kind, as a guilty man is worst enough; have you ever wondered how it might have felt to face the same judgement as an innocent man?! But that was what Jesus did. We find in the account of the Apostles that Christ prayed twice. First, He pleads for the cup to be taken away. But the second time he pleads for the cup, He also accepts it as the will of God. Between these two prayers lie, the fear and anguish of a God who was truly human. He wrestled with His fears like an ordinary man would. But thank goodness, He overcame His fears with a perfect obedience – truly as God would. The Book of Hebrews therefore confirms:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (4:15, ESV)

A lot many people will focus on the teachings of the Upper room today, and on the institution of the Lord’s Table. And perhaps, they should. Because it was during this period that Christ instituted the new law – love one another: just as I have loved you. (John 13:34) But Jesus was not just any other new age guru of enlightenment. So, to me this teaching will always feel incomplete; if we do not remind ourselves, intimately how Jesus demonstrated His love for you and me, suffered like you and me (would) and ultimately died in our stead. Jesus, truly lived as He preached, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13, NLT) And what a great comfort that is to know that Christ knows all our sufferings. He is never far. Even now, the scripture says, He pleads our case to the Father. (Rom 8:34)

Dear readers, the cross we are called to bear is not one where we are pinned to it. We are called to the cross to crucify our sins. Christ said, my yoke is easy and light, and it grants rest and understanding. (Matt 11:28-30) Let us take comfort in the Christ who prayed with perfect reverence and YHWH answered. (Heb 5:7) This is the same Christ, who suffered like a man in our stead. And most importantly, this is the same Christ who continues to plead for us. You and I can fail. But He cannot. And it is because He did not fail, we will also not fail. His grace endures. Dear reader, I don’t know who you are and what your story is. But I want to tell you, Christ knows. He knows you. He knows your wants and needs, your sufferings, your joy, your failure, your problems, your guilt, your sorrows… I want to tell you Christ has already bore that cross of condemnation. I want to tell you dear reader, you belong to Christ. And a life of sin does not belong to you. Embrace holiness today. Embrace grace. Embrace love. To God be the Glory.


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic

Mourning into Joy | Holy Monday: Tough Love | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 3 of 10

Love is not always meek. My mother loves me a lot. I know this, not only because she is good to me. But because she scolds me, and corrects me when I need correcting. Christ demonstrated this bolder side of love, post His meek entrance into Jerusalem. He cursed a healthy-looking fig tree. And raged through the various vendors at the temple. Because the Israelites had lost the plot. They were more concern with being religious superficially, than knowing God authentically. Obedience is better than sacrifice. (1 Sam 15:22) If the Israelites really cared, they would have known what their patriarch David himself wrote: “you do not desire a sacrifice (oh! LORD), or I would offer one”. (Ps 51:16) But the whole pretext of littering the temple with various vendors was to facilitate the ease of offering sacrifices; as Israelites came from various different places – travelling long distances. From that perspective, what a reasonably noble thing those vendors were doing. But that’s not what YHWH desires. But beyond that, the superficial religiosity was keeping foreigners away from God. Jonathan Parnell wrote:

The great sadness of this scene wasn’t so much the rows of product and price-gouging, but that all this left no room for the Gentiles and outcasts to come to God.” (Pg. 27)

This scene was sad, because according to Isaiah’s vision foreigners and outcasts were to gather with His people. (Isa 56:4-8) Do you understand now, why Christ did, what He did? He cleansed the temple – because He loved us. He corrected the Israelites because He loved them; and most importantly, He loved us – foreigners and outcast, who without Christ’s intervention would have remained outside of His covenant.

So – dear reader, do you understand, Christ’s bold move wasn’t a reaction against an unexpected sight – seeing corrupt money lenders in the temple. No. He is sovereign, and omniscient. He knew it already.

This was a lesson He wanted His disciples to learn, and for us to know. It is not a bloated religiosity that He wants. A fig tree no matter how healthy, without good fruits, is only destined for condemnation. What Christ wants – what YHWH wants is our hearts. And no one, absolutely no one can bear good fruits, until He is planted in the one who says:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5, ESV)

So dear readers, this is why Christ cleansed the temple. So that we could be gathered into Him; so that we could abide in Him, and bear good fruits. Let us take comfort in knowing that this same Christ, is willing to clean our hearts and make us a temple that glorifies His name. Because nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love, that is manifested through Christ for us. (Rom 8:38-39) To God be the Glory.   


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy

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