Caesar Is No Savior (The Empire of Grace #2)

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God’s Kingdom is not just a fiercer version of worldly empires. It's an empire of grace, as different from the empires of this world as love is from hate and light is from darkness. It's mercy and love. It's a rejection of merciless power, a rejection of the authority that comes by brandishing fear.

This week, we had a special guest preacher with us, Russell Minick. He wrote up a text version of his sermon here.

The text we read was John 18-19, including John 19:14-16:

“Behold your King!”
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

John 18:4-6: 

"Whom do you seek?”
They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am.”
Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

John 18:33-38: 

“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

And finally, John 19:5-15: 

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”
When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.
He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
 

God’s Kingdom is not just a fiercer version of worldly empires. It's an empire of grace, as different from the empires of this world as love is from hate and light is from darkness. It's mercy and love. It's a rejection of merciless power, a rejection of the authority that comes by brandishing fear.

This week, we had a special guest preacher with us, Russell Minick. He wrote up a text version of his sermon here.

The text we read was John 18-19, including John 19:14-16:

“Behold your King!”
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

John 18:4-6: 

"Whom do you seek?”
They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am.”
Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

John 18:33-38: 

“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

And finally, John 19:5-15: 

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”
When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid.
He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha.
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”