What Will You Do With Jesus?
Various Passages
And thanks to Bro. David Roper
(some of his sentences are quoted verbatim)
By Paul Robison

Let's look again at the passage that was read earlier, Matthew 27 starting in verse 19: “While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him saying, 'Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.'  But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.  The governor answered and said to them, 'Which of the two do you want me to release to you?'  They said, 'Barabbas!'  Pilate then said to them, 'What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?'  They all said to him, 'Let Him be crucified!'”  Pilate asked a very interesting question here, a question that we all must answer: “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”  Looking at the lives of those associated with Jesus' crucifixion shows us that this question can be answered in many ways.  Let's look this morning at both the negative and positive ways that this question can be answered.
 
We come first to a man who was one of Jesus' disciples.  We ask him, “What will you do with Jesus, Judas?”  Looking around for a moment, he whispers into our ear: “I'll sell Him!”  And according to Matthew 26:14-15 that is exactly what he did: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said: 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?'  And they counted out to him 30 pieces of silver.”  For a mere 30 pieces of silver, the legal price of a slave, this hypocrite sold our Lord!  But what can you expect from a man who loved money so much?  Even a little money will turn the head of a little man.  Truly, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).  How far will a man go to get money?  Judas went so far as selling his Rabbi, his Teacher.  Maybe it would be timely to ask: “Have we ever sold Christ?”  Have you ever sold Him for an extra hours sleep on a Sunday morning and skipped Bible class?  Have you sold Him for some TV program or televised sports event on a Sunday or Wednesday evening?  Have you sold Him for a dishonest business deal during the week?  Pity the person who is so blinded by the “almighty dollar” that spiritual blessings are sold out to material goods!  “I'll sell Him!” is one negative answer.
 
Going further along the trail, we find another man.  This man is large and appears to be a rugged outdoors-man.  We hear him being called “the big fisherman.”  “What will you do with Jesus, Peter?”  Peter reflects thoughtfully and then replies: “Jesus has warned me that I'll deny Him.”  And Mark 14:69-72 reports that he did just that: “And the servant girls saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, 'This is one of them.'  But he denied it again.  And a little later, those who stood by said to Peter again, 'Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.'  Then he began to curse and swear, 'I do not know this Man of whom you speak.'  A second time the rooster crowed.  Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, 'Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.'  And when he thought about it, he wept.”  Peter had not intended to deny Jesus, but neither had he heeded Jesus' warning to pray that he would not sin.  His flesh was much weaker than he had thought, and he was sitting in the wrong company.  The result was that he did the very thing that he said earlier that he would not do.  Doesn't that sound a lot like us?  Oh no, we'd never deny Jesus, and yet because of our spiritual weakness and being in a wicked situation, we actually end up denying the Lord.  Some so-called Christians deny Jesus through their use of profanity and foul speech.  Other weak Christians deny Jesus by following the crowd and refusing to say: “No, I can't do that because I'm a Christian.”  Don't be deceived; our companions CAN cause us to deny Jesus.  And Jesus knows every time that we deny Him.  “I'll deny Him” is another negative answer.
 
Now, we see two men dressed in costly garments.  One is the high priest and the other is a ruler.  We ask these gentlemen what they will do with Jesus.  They both reply in unison: “I'll condemn Him!”  Although one is a Jew and the other is a Roman, they both do exactly as they have said: “Then the high priest tore his clothes saying, 'He has spoken blasphemy” (Mt. 26:65)!  “So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested ... and delivered Jesus to their will” (Luke 23:24-25).  Jesus once told the Pharisees that we are either for Him or against Him (Matthew 12:30).  Jesus is a most unique Person.  He is the only Mediator between God and man.  Paul proclaims: “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man, Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 2:5).  Jesus is the perfect example of what a human being should be.  Hebrews 4:15 affirms: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”  Jesus is the divine Savior: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).  When a Man like this stands before you, you have to make a decision—a decision that has to do with your soul, judgment, and eternity!  Jesus Himself said in John 12:48: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day!”  You can condemn Jesus if you wish; you have the freedom of will to do that.  Just remember, however, if you condemn Him here, His condemnation will be yours in the hereafter!  “I'll condemn Him is another negative answer.
 
As we travel further, we see two more men.  One is wearing a crown and the other has a lengthy beard.  “What will you do with Jesus?” we ask to King Herod and to a Jewish elder.  They both reply: “I'll mock Him!”  And both did exactly that:  “Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate” (Luke 23:11).  “Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said: 'He saved others; Himself He cannot save.  If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him'” (Matthew 27:41-42).  Both these men have high positions, but they end up ridiculing Jesus.  The same thing happens even today.  One American television group, known as Comedy Central, wanted to start an animated series to ridicule Jesus called JC.  They describe this cartoon as the story of 'JC [who wants] to escape his father’s enormous shadow and to live life in NYC as a regular guy … meanwhile his all-powerful yet apathetic father would rather be playing video games than listening to JC recount his life in the city'” (Toto@bighollywood.
breitbart.com).  This is a cartoon.  Who will be the audience?  That's right—children and teens!  How often today do we hear Jesus' name being ridiculed at office parties, political rallies, ballgames, and other gatherings that we attend?  Maybe we need to remember Paul's warning in Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”  “I'll mock Him” is another negative answer.
 
Let's review quickly.  What will you do with Jesus?  Four negative answers are: “I'll sell Him!”, “I'll deny Him!', “I'll condemn Him.”, “I'll mock Him!”  The Scriptures reveal that some of these answers can have terrible consequences.  Now let's consider four positive responses, which can have joyous consequences.  
 
As we stand near the cross, we hear a conversation recorded in Luke 23:39ff: “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, 'If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.'  But the other answered, rebuked him, saying: 'Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?   And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.'  Then he said to Jesus: 'Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.'  And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.'”  One of the robbers shows: “I'll believe Him!”  Isn't it paradoxical that a disciple denies Jesus while a robber defends Him?  Somehow, this robber could clearly see Jesus' innocence, and he shows great faith in Him by asking Jesus to remember Him in His kingdom.  This must have been one of the brightest moments for Jesus at the cross!  A robber was repenting and recognizing Jesus' righteousness and His kingdom to come.  This faith is exactly why Jesus was enduring the cross's shame and pain.  Do you believe in Jesus?  Do you believe that the cross was where He was sacrificially slain for your forgiveness?  “For God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  While under the old covenant, Jesus chose to save this robber for his faith.  After His resurrection, Jesus gave these words as His commandment for all: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).  If you have not yet done so, secure your salvation and forgiveness this morning by determining to put your sinful past behind you, by believing that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away your sins, and by re-enacting His death, burial, and resurrection in the waters of baptism.  “I'll believe Him” is a positive answer.
 
As we stand near the cross, see a Roman centurion, spear in hand, watching others and guarding the bodies during an unusual period of darkness at midday.  We want to ask him what he would do with Jesus, but suddenly there is an earthquake, and Jesus cries out: “Father into Your hands I commit My spirit.  It is finished!”   Then we hear this centurion confessing: “Certainly this was a righteousness Man!  Truly, this Man was the Son of God” (Luke 23:47; Mark 15:39).  “I'll confess Him!” was his positive response.  Here again is another interesting paradox: the leaders of the Jews condemn Jesus while a Roman soldier exalts Him!  A Gentile is the first person to acknowledge Jesus' divine nature after His death!  Just like the robber, this Roman soldier saw clearly that there was something different about Jesus.  He saw how Jesus cared for His mother, and He was amazed that Jesus did not insult those where ridiculing Him.  In fact, he actually heard Him praying for their forgiveness!  He heard the words of hope that he had given to one of the robbers.  He noticed that Jesus' coping with death had a different conduct than what he usually saw in other rebels.  For whatever reasons, he confesses that Jesus is both a righteous Man and God's Son.  There are two confessions that all people need to make: one at their baptism and one each day of their lives.  Paul writes about the first in Romans 10:10: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”   Jesus mentions the second in Matthew 10:32: “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.”  Like this centurion, confess your belief in Jesus' divine nature, and then live after your baptism in such a way that you confess your loyalty to Jesus every day before others around you.  “I'll confess Him!” is another positive answer.

Most of the people are now gone from the cross, but two men are walking up to the centurion.  After their conversation we ask, “Nicodemus and Joseph, what are you going to do with Jesus?”  They both reply, “We're going to help Him and serve Him by giving Him a descent burial.”  “I'll serve Him” is another positive answer.  Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews and Joseph was a wealthy man.  They both come to help the One who had taught and inspired them.  Joseph was even giving up his expensive tomb for Jesus.  “Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury” (John 19:40).  Are you willing to serve Jesus and to make personal sacrifices for Him?  Someone has noted that there is no prominent or obscure service with Jesus; it is all the same to Him (Chambers).  Someone wrote in his personal journal: “Say no to self and yes to Jesus every time” (Borden).  Are we planting shade trees that we know full well we'll never sit under?  And are we doing acts of service that we know full well only Jesus sees?  Paul says that people should look at us “as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1).  “Make me a servant, Lord.  Make me like You.  For You were a servant; make me one too.  Mold me, and shape me, do what you must do, to make me a servant.  Lord, make me like You.” (Owens).  “I'll serve Him” is another positive answer.
 
Here we find two women, and both are named Mary.  “What will you do with Jesus?”  They reply excitedly: “We'll proclaim Him!”  And that is just want they did according to Matthew 28:8ff: “So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.  And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them saying, 'Rejoice!'  So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid.  Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.'” And the women obeyed Jesus!  Will you proclaim Jesus?  “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things” (Romans 10:15).  “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 3:21).  “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,' we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you” (2 Corinthians 4:14).  Let's do all we can to speak up for Jesus!  With how many people have you talked about Jesus this past year?  Would you pray and plan to share Jesus with at least five other people in the near future?  If we want a harvest of souls, we MUST sow the seed of the Gospel!  “I'll proclaim Him” is another positive answer.
 
At the day of judgment, the question we've asked will be reversed.  Then, the question will be: “What will Jesus do with you?”  If you desire Jesus' answer to be negative, then sell Him, deny Him, condemn Him, and mock Him.  But if you desire that Jesus' answer be positive, then believe Him, confess Him, serve Him, and proclaim Him.  Will you spend an eternity in the hereafter with those in the negative group who were at the cross or with those in the positive group at the cross?  What will you do with Jesus?  Do unto Jesus today what you would have Him do unto you in that last day!  Another rejection of Jesus' invitation keeps you in the negative group, but an acceptance of His invitation will put you in the positive group.  What will you do with Jesus?  It is now time for YOUR answer to that question.