THE SPLASH OF WATER

Reading:Matthew 27:19-26

 

 INTRODUCTION

 
    (a) Water holds a highly important place in Scripture -
    Right from the beginnings of  the   creation,   when the Spirit of  God
    moved upon the  face  of   the   waters,  right   through   the  flood,
    the   cleansing of Naaman's leprosy, the baptism of Jesus,  through  to
    the end of  Scripture, where it speaks of the RIVER  OF  LIVING  WATER,
    in  eternity  long  after  this life  is finished!!
 

 POINT 1

 
 (a) This is  especially  true  in  the  Easter  story  where  it  concerns
    Pilate,  and his endeavour to WASH  AWAY   the  RESPONSIBILITY  of  his
    rejection of the  claims of Christ!!
 (b) Even those who were too  far  back   in   the  crowd  to hear what was
    being said, were aware, that even  in  those days, actions spoke louder
    than  words.  It   was obvious to all that PILATE WAS WASHING HIS HANDS
    OF JESUS!!
 (c) History of course tells us that   it   DIDN'T  WORK,  for this man was
    to end  up in a SUICIDE'S GRAVE!!
 (d) There is a MOUNTAIN  NAMED   IN   HIS   MEMORY  IN  SWITZERLAND CALLED
    MT. PALATUS.
     Local legend apparently has it  that  on moon-lit  nights,  the unique
    spirit of Pilate hovers  above the  waters of the lake, forever washing
    his hands.
 

 POINT 2

 
 (a) Cyril Smith the rather bulky  British  Liberal  politician said on one
    occasion,  "FIND  ME  A  FENCE  STRONG  ENOUGH  AND  I'LL  SIT  ON
    IT!!"
 (b) Pilate was trying to do just  that!  He  stated  Jesus to  BE  A  JUST
    MAN WHO SHOULD  BE  FREED:  but  he  was  also   aware   of  the  words
    spoken   to   him in  John  19:12,  "IF  THOU  LET  THIS  MAN  GO,
    THOU  ART  NOT CAESAR'S  FRIEND".
    Because of course, Jesus was said  to  be  a  King in opposition to the
    Roman emperor.
 (c) It was within his power to   free   Jesus!!   But  it could do him and
    his ambition harm - SO HE  DREW  A COMPROMISE!  He  would  state  Jesus
    to  be  innocent, give  opportunity  for  His  release, and  then  pass
    the responsibility to someone else!!
 (d) When we come face  to  face  with   Christ   A   CHOICE  HAS GOT TO BE
    MADE!!
 
    Pilate was trying to sit on  the  fence,  as do many people today, when
    they too come  face to face with Christ and a DECISION IS INEVITABLE!!
 (e) Pilate  may  have  thought   he    had    passed    the  decision  and
    the responsibility to others  -  BUT  IT  REMAINED  FIRMLY HIS PERSONAL
    CHOICE, WHAT TO DO WITH CHRIST!
 (f) He asked the crowd, "What shall  I   then do with Jesus which  is
    called the Christ?"  He  let  THEM  take  HIS  DECISION TO CRUCIFY
    JESUS!!
 

 POINT 3

 
 (a) Pilate could find NO FAULT in Jesus!  But  he did not have the COURAGE
    OF HIS CONVICTIONS!
 "You'll NOT be CAESAR'S FRIEND" was ringing in his ears!
 (b) We live in  an  age  today,  when  everyone  wants  to  "PASS THE
    BUCK". IN POLITICS, IN BUSINESS, EVEN IN THE CHURCH!
    A previous General of the Salvation   Army,   when  faced with  a  very
    difficult problem,  said  to   his  secretary,  "I  could  let  it
    drop, or sweep it under the carpet; BUT I  AM   GOING TO  DO  SOMETHING
    ABOUT  IT  - BECAUSE THE BUCK STOPS HERE."
 (c) No-one else can take our decisions about Christ and His way for  us  -
    SUCH THINGS DEMAND A PERSONAL  DIRECT  RESPONSE  FROM  YOU  OR ME AS AN
    INDIVIDUAL.
    WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH CHRIST!!
 

 CONCLUSION

 
 (a) DO YOU SEE PILATE IN YOURSELF ??
 (b) I would like to read you a short prayer composed by Rita Snowdon.
    Lord Jesus, I think of the  man  who  released  You to Your death. I
    think of the mess he made of his life, and how he became trapped in his
    own  foolishness.
    I think of how he feared for his own safety - and the more I think, the
    more I see, Pontius Pilate in me.
 (c) Sing solo "I'm The One".
 (d) Quote - The words of  a  song  from  an  Irish Easter Musical 'BORN TO
    DIE'.                                
     Washing his hands of Jesus,
     Trying to forget Him,
     Wishing he had never met Him,
     Washing his hands of Jesus;
 
     But all the water in all the world,
     All the water that had ever flowed,
     Never could wash away the stain,
     And free him from the awful guilt and pain -
     Only Jesus could do this.
 
     Trying to cleanse his conscience,
     Nothing could remove it,
     Only this, could not improve it,
     Trying to cleanse his conscience;
 
     But all the water in all the world,
     All the water that had ever flowed,
     Never could wash away the stain,
     And free him from the awful guilt and pain -
     Only Jesus could do this.              
 
 
 (e) Congregation to sing chorus number 10,
 "Sacred Hands of Jesus". (Salvation Army Song Book)
 
 
 
 FINAL PRAYER