Jesus gets it. He gets how hard life is. He gets how heartbreaking it can be. He gets how violating and brutal and unjust people are sometimes.
We all need a God who gets it, because when life’s cruelties break into your life, you don’t need a god who’s aloof and pampered and insulated. You need a God who gets it, who understands how it feels, who can sympathize with you, and who will weep with you.
And friends, Jesus has been there. He gets it.
In this passage, John is going to walk us through Jesus’ Roman trial. Now, as we make our way through this passage, notice two things in particular: First, John’s depiction of the cruel suffering and injustice Jesus faced. Some of us can relate to that. Second, John’s use of irony throughout this account. Things are not as they seem.
As we walk through the passage, this sermon explores six striking ironies:
- Disingenuous Fulfillment: Through the religious leaders’ hypocrisy, God’s will is achieved. They unwittingly advance the will of God, that Jesus would be lifted up and draw all people to Himself, just as He said He would.
- Discounted King: Pilate missed the ultimate reality standing before him. The true king, the highest truth, the ultimate reason for the universe was standing right in front of him, and he missed seeing Jesus. Instead, Pilate throws up his hands and walks out.
- Demanded Substitute: This exchange depicts precisely what Jesus offers—substitutionary payment for our sins in our place. This irony is, what they demanded, Jesus voluntarily offers.
- Defamed Innocent: By stripping Jesus’ honor they ensured His glory. They intended to shame Him into oblivion, but all they ended up doing was move Jesus closer to His glory.
- Disregarded Lord: The religious leaders stand in judgement of the true Judge of all the earth.
- Destined Lamb: In a redemptive twist, Jesus is the true Passover Lamb. Passover commemorated how God redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt through the blood of a lamb. And now all these years later, a true and greater Passover is taking place. God redeems not only Israel but also the entire world from slavery to sin by the blood of a true and greater Lamb. And here’s the irony: all of their murderous plotting against Jesus played into the greatest redemption the world has ever seen.
- What they intended for evil, God intended for good.
- Nothing irredeemable can happen to us.
If God can take religious hypocrisy, trumped up charges, abusive power, political intrigue, and vindictive mobs, and work a redemptive twist through all of it to bring salvation to the world…imagine what he’s up to right now in our lives!