The Second Sunday in Advent: Preparation Luke 3:1-6

Dear friend in Christ.


May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and from His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with us now and always, Amen.


Today is the second Sunday in Advent, and so it is the second Sunday of the new church year. As Christians we are living in the effects of His first Advent and we are awaiting His final Advent. Last Sunday our message concentrated on His final Advent and in that message we were reminded that when we look around and see the fading away of this world, we are to look up, and lift up our heads, for our redemption is drawing near. The title of that message was waiting, and meant that as Christians living in the effects of the first Advent, we are waiting for His final Advent with anticipation, with expectancy and with confidence...


Today's message is entitled "Preparation." and our text will be taken from Luke's Gospel, chapter 3:1-6. Let us read the Word of God in Jesus Name.



KJV Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

 2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

 3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.


What is the most common question that one is asked during this time of the year, as we approach Christmas? "Are you ready for Christmas?" When we are asked that question, on what basis do we respond? Does it not largely depend upon one's age as to how that question is answered? For us older ones, in general our answer can be based on  preparations that have been made such as Christmas  baking, decorating the home with a Christmas theme, sending out Christmas greeting cards, purchasing and selecting presents for those to whom we are giving gifts and so on.


In general, children are living in the expectation of what gifts they are going to receive at Christmas time, as they live in the excitement and the expectation that they will be receiving gifts from those who love and care for them. As they observe the presents that are being placed beneath the tree, they sneak over in order to see whose name is on which gift. Finding one with their name on it, they are filled with eagerness to see what is underneath the beautiful wrapping paper. But they must wait, and wait and wait.....

From eternity and through the ages God has been prepared the Greatest Gift that one could ever receive. That Gift was Promise in the Old Testament and Fulfillment in the New Testament!

The prophets in the Old Testament spoke of this gift, but it was difficult for them to see clearly.


Luke 10:23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:

 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.


1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.


The Gift was wrapped by God, and one day He would take all the wrappings off. On Christmas Eve, He revealed to gift to some shepherds and to a family in Bethlehem in a stable.


Luke 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.


Isaiah, speaking by the Spirit of God “saw” the day in the future when John the Baptist would come on the scene from out of the desert, which is 30 years after the Gift was born on earth, and through John the Baptist, God would take some more wrappings of His Gift.


How was John used to unwrap more of the Gift that God had for the world?

He was to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. He was to tell the people of the Gift of the Lord that was coming to them now.


Luke 1:11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.

 13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,

 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,

 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."

Prepared to receive that which was to come, even as a child is prepared and waiting to receive the gifts they will be receiving.  


And after Zacharias’ speech was restored, he spoke to his 8 day old son, prophesying of that which God had prepared to give to the world.


Luke 1:76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,

 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

Through the mercy of God, the One who was coming was bringing the forgiveness of sins, giving light to those who sit in darkness and in the eventual reality of death and to guide the feet of believers in the way of peace.


We return to John the Baptist and his “unwrapping of the Gift” for all to see.

Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.


John the Baptist is telling the people that come to him to receive the Gift, through which is  now openly and graciously poured out the forgiveness of sins unto all people. There is nothing that can stop this Gospel from coming into the world, for the King of salvation is now unwrapped even more and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, change your mind, and believe the Gospel for the forgiveness of your sins!!!! This Gospel is like a huge waterfall coming out of heaven which is full of grace and truth, washing away all sin and separating it as far as the east is from the west.

When the Spirit of God opened this salvation up to Isaiah 700 years before, he could not contain himself as he rejoiced in the knowledge of that which was to come, saying….

ESV Isaiah 40:9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"

Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

God is the Greatest Gift Giver!!! As the Gift of God is unwrapped more and more for us by God Himself, may we clearly see the grace of God lying in the manger in the One who humbled Himself lower than anyone ever has, so that we might be lifted up. Oh, What a Gift, what a Saviour!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala


The First Sunday in Advent: Waiting: Luke 21:5-38

Dear friend in Christ,


Today is the first Sunday in Advent. It a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well our waiting in anticipation for the final return of Jesus..


Our scripture reference is from the Gospel of Luke, from chapter 21:25-38, and which conerns the end of the old, and points to the new. For the old must pass away before the new can come.


A question was asked by the disciples of Jesus when he gave made a statement about the beautiful temple in Jerusalem which was going to be demolished as a result of the horrible war against the Jews in the year 70 a.d.


He then begins to warn them of the coming judgment on the city of Jerusalem as well speaking of the end of the old. He first speaks to them of that which was coming upon the city of Jerusalem, but yet speaking of events that can be seen as happening near the end also.



 Luke 21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,

 6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

 7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?


Dont by deceived by false teachers and preachers.

 8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.


There will be birth pains the old passes away.

 9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

 10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

 11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.



You will be arrested and persecuted, and you will be given opportunity to be a Christ witness in the power of the Spirit.

 12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.

 13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.


Divisions will come into your relationships, even amongst families.

 16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

 17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.

 18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

 19 In your patience possess ye your souls.


Jerusalem will be destroyed, the suffering will be horrible.

 20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

 23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.


In the last days, as the new day dawns.

 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.


He will return in the same manner that He ascended. (Acts 1:11)

 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.


We are encouraged to look up in anticipation of his return, not around us in fear.

 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.


Jesus illustrates of the Advent of the new by using a fig tree's cycle.

 29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

 31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

 33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.


Jesus cautions us as we await the coming of the kingdom, not to be caught in a trap of Satan.

 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting,(carousing)  and drunkenness, and cares (anxieties) of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.(unexpected)

 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.


We are to be awake, alert in our Christian walk, to pray for strength to prevail over the traps that are set before us.

 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.



Jesus taught in the temple in the daytime and at night went to commune and fellowship with His Father. In the morning, ALL the people came to hear Him in the temple.

 37 And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.

 38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.



As we get to the end of our text, after giving us the encouragement to look up in expectation for His return, after warning us to be not be tricked by Satan, after giving us counsel to stay awake spiritually and to pray continually so that through faith we would perservere to the end, it is recorded of Jesus going to commune with His Father and of how ALL the people came to the temple to hear Him.


Dear friend, the new is here and we are living in His kingdom, which as some have described is a militant kingdom with the triumphant kingdom still to come. We are living in the proceeds of Christ's first Advent (redemption), and are anxiously awaiting His final Advent. Let us not forget that we are overcomers, as these two verses reveal to us.


KJV John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?


How does one receive these words that are before us from the Holy Word of God, which speak of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the end of the world? How does this fit in with this time of the year when we are thinking about our Christmas celebrations of God coming to the earth?


These words speak assurance and expected hope for us, and they also give us an increased love and concern for those who are not living in expectation of the new, but are trapped in the old through unbelief.



My dear mother passed away over 5 years ago at the age of 94 years. Since she lived  on the west coast and I lived in Minnesota, we would regularly speak on the telephone. Almost without exception, when we said good bye, we would both conclude our conversation with the some words that Jesus spoke in our text today. Left unsaid in our goodbye but understood was the reality that ultimately the New Kingdom was where we would meet again and so we said "keep looking up for our redemption is near."


Also when some of our family left back for home after being with us over the Thanksgiving holidays, when we said goodbye I shared with my daughter of how a man in our congregation always gives me a message of the new by the he says goodbye. The simple goodbye of "See you later" has a powerful message of eternality to it, for it reminds me of what is real. We are members of the new by faith in Christ here, and it is only a matter of time and a change in existence that will cause us to see our fellow believers in glory. So it gave me much peace to tell my daughter "See you later" as she left for home, knowing that we will see each other again.


But what about those who are not looking up in expectation of Him imminent return, and what about those who do not truly understand what it means to say, "See you later?"


My son is a songwriter and a singer. He is gifted in that he writes music that has deep meaning and application to it. One of his latest songs is called "Thunder in the stillness." and it is a warning to anyone who is living in hope of this life only as well as a gracious invitation to enter into the hope and expectation.


Where will you go, when the moon has turned to blood 

The highway's turned to mud and leaves you scrambling?

What will you do, when there's nothing left to hold

It's only fools gold that you're gambling?


What will you say when the shadows turn to ice

No one's playing nice in the potter's field?

Where will you turn when the sky is opened wide

there's no place left to hide and your fate is sealed?


I'll be on the others shore, won't you come with me?

Don't you want to see the Promised Land?

There's either thunder in the stillness

Or there's stillness in the storm

Take a little time to understand


Who will you believe when the voices come around

Confusion is the sound that's overtaking?

Who will hear your prayer when your bread has turned to stone

There's dust in your bones and you're forsaken?


I'll be on the others shore, won't you come with me?

Don't you want to see the Promised Land?

There's either thunder in the stillness

Or there's stillness in the storm

Take a little time to understand..


May the Lord add His blessing to these words!


Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Christ the King Sunday John 18:1-19:6

Dear beloved friend in Christ.

This Sunday, November 25, in the year of our Lord 2018, is Christ the King Sunday, that last Sunday of the Church year which precedes the Advent Season. This part of scripture reveals unto us the true nature of our King, One who layed down His life for all humanity so that we would live and not die. Kings of this earth demonstrate their influence and power by ruling over people while the True King gave His life for all of His brothers and sisters in the world. May the Spirit give us illumination to "Behold the Man" arightly... And may we receive this knowledge from the Word of God which He has spoken and yet does speak.

We will use the Holy Scriptures from the Gospel of John which I will put down for us and we will go through it, making a few comments as we go along. But as I said earlier, let us allow God to speak to us by His Word and Spirit.  Also let us be reminded that John’s Gospel was the last one written so it must be kept in mind that many details of what John is writing about the readers would be aware of from the other gospels. To get the full picture of the accounts, it is important to read all four gospels and to compare them. For this exposition however, we will for the most part follow the story of what the Spirit gave John to write in his Gospel.


John 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

 3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

 5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

 6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

After concluding His High Priestly Prayer (John 17), Jesus went to a familiar place that Judas had been with him on occasion. He knew what was ahead, and He did not go to another place to hide from Judas, but rather He knew that “the hour had come. “ It was a garden that he went into, and there Judas, in whom Satan had entered into, found him, coming with a large band of soldiers with lanterns, weapons and torches. This is our first clue to the hiddenness of the Kingship of Christ, for Judas is leading a band to find the Light of the World with earthly torches, lanterns and even weapons. Perhaps they considered that because Jesus has a large number of followers that the army of soldiers would be needed to stop the resulting riot upon them arresting and binding up Jesus.

Even after Jesus speaks to them in identifying Himself, with “I AM He” and them falling back to the ground, they still kept on with their mission to arrest Him. Judas was right there with them, and he likewise fell to the ground.


 7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

 8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

 9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.


Jesus speaks on behalf of his followers, asking that they be spared of what He knew was coming and as the scriptures testify, his request was honored as none of them were arrested by the soldiers.


 10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

 11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Peter, the most forward of the apostles, having maintained that he would even to death for Jesus, now lashed out with his sword, seemingly wanting to protect the Lord from being arrested. He in doing this demonstrated his loyalty to Jesus, but not yet understanding the nature of the King that Jesus was. He was told to put his sword away, for didn’t he realize that Jesus is moving forward into the work that He came here to earth to accomplish for the redemption of the world? He did not understand at this point what Jesus was all about.

 12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,

 13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

 14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

They took our Lord, binding Him with some kind of fetters, which He could have easily broken had He exercised His power for Himself. But rather He exercised restraint and in so doing demonstrated that He was of a different nature than earthly kings.  He could have called Ten Thousand Angels, but He did not do that. Are we thankful that He didn’t, for where would we be if He had? We all know that we would be without hope of eternal life.


 15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.

 16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.

 17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

 18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.


Now back to Peter, who through John’s intercession was allowed to come into the palace of the high priest. It was there that Peter was warming himself by the fire when a damsel (young woman) insinuated that Peter was one of Jesus’s disciples. How did Peter respond? He denied it by saying, “I am not.” He then continued standing there with the servants and the officers, by the fire to stay warm.


 19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

 20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

 21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

 22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

 23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

 24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.

The high priest now began to ask Jesus about His followers and the doctrine he was teaching. It could not have been honest inquiry, for Jesus had taught openly to the world, He had taught in the synagogue and in the Temple and He had done no teaching in secret. Annas was only interested in finding something to pin on Jesus which would help condemn Him to death. Jesus then told Annas to go ask the people who He had taught and find out from them what He had taught.

One of the officers struck Jesus with his palm, saying, Do you answer the High Priest in such a way? In other words, how dare you speak to the high priest in this way? It is ironic that Jesus, the True High Priest, was right in front of the temporary high priest but did not recognize Him.

Jesus responds to the officer: “If I have spoken evil, tell me  in what way I have spoken evil, but if I am speaking in a non evil manner, why did you hit me?  Here we see a principle that needs to be mentioned, for Jesus has taught us not to reward evil with evil, but evil with good. There is a difference between turning the cheek in non retaliation and between speaking truth into a matter where evil is being done.  This could be developed and explained, but we will leave it at that and go on to the next part. We go back to Peter and his struggles within himself, just like us.


 25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.

 26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?

 27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.

Luke 22:33-34 Jesus had foretold Peter that this would happen, and it did come to pass as it noted here. John tells of two denials while the other Gospels record all three denials.

Now Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor enters the scene.

 28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

 Those who were moving towards killing Jesus did not want to go into the judgment hall, for if they did they would defile themselves and they would not be able to eat of the Passover. Huh? This illustrates the blindness of a hardened heart that is not open to the truth. We could kill someone, but yet be afraid of some man made rule that would prevent us from worshipping through our ritual? O Lord, help us to see arightly.  


 29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?

 30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.

 31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

 32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.

At Pilate’s question, they responded something like this: We know what we are doing, for He is guilty in our estimation and we are bringing him to you since we can’t sentence him to death. We know that he is worthy of death, but you need to pronounce it on him and carry out the sentence.


John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Now Pilate begins to question Jesus, by asking Him if He was the King of the Jews, and Jesus responds by asking Pilate if he is asking for himself or did others put him up to it.  To which Pilate, like recoils, am I a Jew? (He was a Roman governor, a non Jew) Your own people, including the chief priests have delivered you up to me, What have you done? Are you then a king? Pilate only knew of earthly kings, and must have been really confused with Jesus.

Jesus answered in a clear and positive manner, and in so doing revealed of the nature of His kingship. You call me a king, well, I am a king but not a king like the kings of this world. I was born  (in human flesh in a manger) and as a king I came into this world (from eternity) in order to bear witness unto the truth. The truth that I bear witness if that which is contained in the Scriptures (Old Testament and those signs and words which He has done and spoken)  And then Jesus lays down a very important statement: Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.


 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

Jesus graciously places in front of Pilate Himself as the Truth and invites Pilate to hear and to believe what He has just said. How does Pilate respond? What is truth? Truth is standing in front of Pilate and he doesn’t see or hear it. Are we missing the Truth? Are we like Pilate, saying what is truth anyway? Pilate moves on with another angle by which he can get Jesus off of the hook….

 39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

It was a custom to release a prisoner during the Passover, and it seems like Pilate thought that if I bring a real bad terrorist as one of the criminals, they will choose to let Jesus go. But they did not so choose, as the chief priests moved the people to shout to have Barabbas go free and to have Jesus crucified.  Let us turn to Mark’s Gospel for a little more info on this happening.

Mark 15:6 Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.

 7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

 8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.

 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

 10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.

 11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

 12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.

 14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.


KJV John 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

 2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

 5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

 6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged, which means having your back struck with cords having bits of bone or lead on the end of the cords. Scourging resulted in open wounds all the way to the bone and would leave one weak. How does one properly describe the pain and suffering that must have been part of his scourging? Awful, awful, that which our Saviour endured out of His love and commitment for us soul’s salvation.

The soldiers made mockery out of our Lord, putting on Him a crown of thorns and putting a purple robe on him, coming by Him hitting him as they passed and hailing in mocking voices, “Hail the King of the Jews!”

Then Pilate, brought Jesus, disfigured as described in the book of Isaiah:


Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.

 14 As many were astonished at you- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind-

 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

And Pilate, again washing his hands of the affair, put Jesus before them saying: “Behold the Man!”

Our King Jesus, standing before all the people, and perhaps they would now see that He was not a threat to their power base in the Jewish hierarchy. This man who would not fight back, would not call Ten Thousand Angels to fight for Him, but a man who was bruised, bleeding and weak from all the scourging stood there silently.


ESV Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

May the Holy Spirit show us Christ, the crucified, dead and risen Saviour King today.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala