Stupidest decisions in history:
(Note, stupidest decisions, not people)
Dick Rowe (Decca Records) – not signing the Beatles
Mars Brothers – not letting Spielberg use M&Ms in a movie – E.T. The deal went to Reese’s Pieces who went on to make millions from the free promotion
ABC TV – turned down the Cosby Show because it “lacked bite and viewers wouldn’t watch an unrealistic portrayal of blacks as wealthy, well-educated professionals.” Became the most profitable series ever broadcast and lifted NBC from last place in ratings to first.
Today, we’re going to look at one more incredibly stupid decision.
The day before Jesus died, there was a very interesting exchange of words between the chief priests and Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea.
Recount Matthew 27: 15-26
Pilate had a choice before him: Choose to release Barabbas (a criminal), or Jesus (the Son of God). So he asks the crowd which one they want and they choose Barabbas.
This must rank as one of the stupidest choices, if not the stupidest choice, of all time.
Why in the world would they choose a murderer over a Messiah?
Why would they choose a sinner over a saviour?
There are many answers to this question ranging from pride to power, but the simple one I will give you today is because Barabbas, as despicable as he was, was never going to threaten their way of life.
Jesus, as holy and righteous as He was, was always going to threaten their way of life and so in their twisted way of thinking, Jesus was more dangerous to them and their way of life than Barabbas could ever be.
So then Pilate asks the question, “What shall I do then with Jesus?” And the people say “crucify him”.
Isn’t it amazing that this question of Pilate’s is still as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago: “What shall I do then with Jesus?”
Because the story (praise God!) doesn’t end with the death of Jesus. Easter is the celebration of this fact. Easter is the celebration of God’s love and wisdom overcoming man’s stupidity.
It is the celebration of God’s love and mercy triumphing over man’s sinfulness.
After his crucifixion, on the third day, Jesus rose again from the dead. The tomb was empty and Jesus appeared to more than 500 followers.
“What shall I do then with Jesus?” This question is for you and me.
Here’s what we know:
– Jesus was a real, historical figure. He lived in Palestine about 2000 years ago.
– Jesus was an amazing man. Even non-Christian historians refer to his teachings, his works of grace and his miracles. イエスは驚くべきお方であった。
– Jesus was crucified on a cross. He died.
– Jesus’ tomb was somehow opened and his body was missing
– Jesus appeared to his disciples and 500 followers after his resurrection
– Jesus’ apostles – a dejected and pathetic band of fishermen – were able to perform many extraordinary signs and miracles in Jesus’ name
– Today millions of people continue to testify that the risen Jesus is alive and working in their lives
Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, is risen and alive today. So this question will just not go away:
“What shall I do then with Jesus?”
We have a choice to make.
No matter how much we want to run away from him, as the disciples first did
or wash our hand of Him as Pilate did
or try to kill Him off as the chief priests did
Jesus remains the Risen Lord, the Son of God and the Redeemer of souls.
“What shall I do then with Jesus?” We have a choice to make.
The apostle Peter helps us to answer this question
22 “Listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him…
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear…
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Here is our question and here comes our answer…
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
This is the answer to the most important question you will ever have to face.
“What shall I do then with Jesus?”
Repent and be baptised in Jesus’ name. Believe in Him, receive Him, choose to follow Him. And you will receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Believers and followers of Jesus Christ will in a minute come forward to take communion. If you would like to answer today’s question by repenting of your sins, giving your life to Christ and joining the Christian family, you are welcome to come forward with them and confess Christ as your Lord and personal saviour and enter new life by receiving the Holy Spirit of God.