A Lenten Sermon
Providence Presbyterian Church
February 10, 2002
Text: John 18:28-40
by Pastor Jeffrey J. Meyers
With a little help this morning, I think you will be able see from the way this story is written, from the details that John has selected, what the Holy Spirit wants us to think about.
We are too used to reading the Gospels stories of Jesus arrest, trial, condemnation, and death from a devotional perspective and so miss a lot of what’s going on. We actually have a difficult time trying to figure out the meaning of the details of the story. Of course, we will defend the historicity of the details of the story against unbelieving academics and liberal churchman. But why these details? Why any details at all?
John, of course, has already wonderfully summarized things in chapter 1 and 3. “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” and “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” But what does God’s provision of a lamb for the sins of the world have to do with this long story of what happens to Jesus the night before he dies? What does God loving the world have to do with the machinations and conspiracies of Judas, the High Priests, Pilate, and the Jewish crowds? A great deal, truly, but we will have to learn to read them a bit differently.
You see, here in the narrative of Jesus’ arrest and trial and condemnation we have a somewhat surprising perspective—it does not contradict or compete with the other apostolic explanations of Jesus’ death, rather, it complements and enriches them. Remember, the meaning of death of Jesus is far richer than we are often used to acknowledging. (more…)