|Volume 22 Number 6 August 2020||
When the Jewish leaders brought Jesus to Pilate, they wanted Pilate to kill Him. Pilate tried several ways to figure out how not to find Jesus guilty unto death. He finally made them choose between Jesus and a known murderer, Barabbas (Mark 15:7). To his surprise, the Jewish leaders managed to influence the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas (Matthew 27:20). Pilate wanted to know what he should do with Jesus.
The crowd cried out that they wanted Him crucified, but they went even further in their insistence that He be killed. It is recorded in Matthew 27:25 that they stated, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” That is a remarkable statement. They wanted it on record that they desired His blood to be shed, and they wanted it known that they took responsibility for it. It is sad that this was not the way Jesus wanted His blood to be used. They took their rejection of His life and love for them as a badge of honor. Jesus intended to shed His blood, but He was doing so to save them. Instead, they rejected Him.
Later, the Jewish leaders got extremely angry when an inspired Christian accused them of having Christ’s blood on their hands. In Acts 5:28, the Jews told the apostles to stop bringing Jesus’ blood upon them. This is an amazing indication of hypocrisy. They took responsibility for His death when it was convenient. Then, they wanted to deny their responsibility when it was not convenient. It is also sad that Jesus and the apostles would have loved for the Jewish leaders to have accepted the blood of Jesus in the right way. Rather than taking credit for His death in a gloating way, they should have been acknowledging guilt in killing Him, and then, allowing the blood of Jesus to immerse them and cleanse them as entrance into the kingdom of Christ. Study your Bible. Learn all you can about our great Savior. Learn how to let His blood be upon you. Then obey Jesus. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
[Editor’s Note: Happily, about 3,000 Jews, on the birthday of the Lord’s church, did acknowledge their guilt in the death of Jesus Christ. They were baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:22-23, 36-38, 41). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
Donald R. Fox
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word sensitive can be defined in part as, “having or showing keen sensibilities; easily offended, disturbed, shocked, irritated, etc. as by the actions of others, high-strung, tense, and touchy.”
When I was growing up in Brooklyn, New York, my favorite major league baseball team was the Brooklyn Dodgers. My boyhood friends also liked the New York Yankees or the Giants. Friendly squabbling about our favorite teams was commonplace. None of us were easily offended because of our team choices.
Maybe it’s just me! However, it seems that political sensitivity has increased over the years. People seem to be afraid to discuss for whom they voted. We don’t want to discuss political differences. We whisper to each other, and we look over our shoulders, watching and not wanting to stir sensitivities or to offend anyone. Such type things are not normal for Americans. We were always open to discussion. What has happened, and why the sensitivity?
We have heard for years, “Don’t discuss politics and religion.” Most of us ignored this axiom. We would come back with another truism, “It’s a free country, isn’t it?” With that comeback, we all smiled and joked with each other. Many times, there were strong disagreements concerning these matters, and yet, we would depart, still friends.
In matters of religion, sensitivity is always an issue, with strong feelings concerning such. Family ties, the religion of parents and the like have always been a problem. Our conversations must be civil and at all times using the Bible as our standard. Religious differences, divisions coupled with partisan spirit, are always present, and they even existed in the days of the apostles of Jesus Christ. Although sensitivity is an issue when we discuss religion, sensitivities should take a backseat. The Word of God is our standard.
In the body of Christ, contentions and divisions are condemned. Why should one be sensitive when this issue is discussed?
Now, I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
The need to debate and to study is crucial. Why should one be easily offended when we search for the truth? “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself…” (Proverbs 25:9). “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things” (Proverbs 15:28). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Even though politics and religion are sensitive subjects, they must and can be discussed in a civil manner. When we are afraid to discuss issues for fear of others, our freedom of speech is threatened. May we covet and protect our liberties and not allow fears to take hold of us.