What Will You Do With Jesus?
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
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
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.