“What is truth?”
With this seemingly seeker sensitive question, Pilate questions Christ. It’s funny, isn’t it, when men use words to shield and not to grow, to obscure and not to enlighten? Yet that is the nature of men and words, for it is the nature of man’s soul.
What truth do you want to hear today? Do you want to hear my truth, because my truth is right for me, even if it isn’t right for you. Of course, the reason I’m telling you this is to defuse any attempt by you or anyone else to try to tell me what to do or that there is a truth outside me and a God outside me who gets to tell me what to do.
Do you want to hear political truth? That’s the kind of truth where you get to say one thing to one group and its opposite to another group while smiling, kissing babies, and spending other people’s money for the people in your district. Political truth is also the kind of truth where truth is what we say it is because we can; the might makes right kind of truth that is very persuasive, especially at the end of a muzzle.
Or would you prefer philosophical truth? This is the kind of truth where you get to argue and debate forever and ever, world without end (Amen), always pontificating about the truth but never knowing it. It’s the kind of truth where you can make anything sound plausible as long as you’re smarter than the guy you’re arguing with. It’s the kind of truth where the sole truth is that there is no truth or a truth we cannot know.
Or maybe your taste runs to pragmatic truth. Whatever works is true – if only we could find some standard by which to measure what we mean by “work.” There’s only one problem with pragmatism: it doesn’t work.
So here we find the Truth before the greatest legal nation in the ancient world united with the greatest religious nation in the ancient world, united only in this: that they both denied the Truth when He stood before them.
The Jews, chosen to be a light to the world, instead chose darkness. Those who were given the Law of God, the very words of life, perverted that law for their own ends. The Jews, known for truth become liars, for they said that they had no king but Caesar. How ironically twisted that the nation who claimed that God alone was their king throw over God to hide the truth.
Both the Jews and Romans are so mad with envy and hatred of the Truth that they give up what they most truly were. They come unglued and disintegrate in their mad rush to hide from the Truth in true Adamic fashion.
What a contrast the Truth is to those who deny the Truth. Notice how simple and imperturbable He is, when He is the one who should be agitated. He is the one who is facing a court of mockery and injustice: He is the one being sentenced to death. Yet, being the Prince of Peace, He is at peace, and they are unstable and unhinged.
And what of you? The Truth stands before you every day, pleading His case, crying out to all who will listen. His claims are comprehensive. He asks you not only to affirm Him as the Son of God and King of kings but to submit your life to His Truth.
It’s not enough to affirm Him with the mind but not with the life or soul. It’s not enough to affirm Him in the big things (by which we mean the bigger questions that are easier to affirm because we are less accountable in them): we must affirm Him in every little thing.
We are to keep our heads when others are losing theirs. We are to stand for the Truth, unperturbed by the chaos that threatens to engulf the rest of the world.
The Truth stands before you every day. Do you recognize Him when He comes? And do you stand for Him?
He stands before you in His Word (but you have to open the Book or open your ears!)
He stands before you, offering His Body and Blood to you (but you have to come before Him and open your hands and your eyes of faith.)
He is the Minister represented by your local pastor or priest, and He is the one teaching you in school, at home, or at work by those in authority over you.
He is the Truth of every good book, both fiction and non-fiction, and the Truth of every story in print, in film, or in our families.
He is the Morning Star and the Light of the World.
He is the reason birds sing and the praise of the trees.
He is the Good in every person you meet, and the glory of mankind.
He is the Beauty of the Universe and its Artist.
He is the Word of God and He is the perfect flesh of Man.
The Truth stands before you every day. Do you recognize Him when He comes?
When He calls you to do what you know you are supposed to do – do you stand for the Truth? And when He calls you not to do what you know you’re not supposed to do – do you stand before Him and obey?
The Pilates and Pharisees and scribes of the world become deniers of the Truth one day at a time. They begin by living the delusion of Self and end by denying the Truth.
But those who love the Truth practice seeing Him and hearing Him every day.
What is Truth?
It’s a Person, Jesus Christ, God made man for us.
Prayer: I worship You, Father of Truth, because You have made known Your Truth in the person of Your beloved Son.
Come, Holy Truth, the Son of God, who stood before Pilate, the Jews, and the Devil, confessing the Truth of the God who is Himself love and the only salvation for mankind. Convict me of the truth today that I may find You and in You, Truth.
Come, Holy Spirit, the promised Spirit of Truth, who reveals the splendor of truth to Your people, and lead us deeper into the Mysteries of our Faith. Come to us today, and deepen in our minds and hearts the truth who is Christ Jesus, the Son of God.
Come, Holy Trinity, and immerse us in Your truth, protecting us from all falsehoods, false testimony, and cowardice, and so make us effective witnesses of Your Truth within our families, among our friends, and to all the world. Amen.
Points for Meditation:
- In what ways are you tempted to be a denier of the Truth, even in little ways?
- What things has the Truth been trying to tell you lately?
Resolution: I resolve to stand before the Truth today and do the very next thing I hear Him command me to do!
Jesus Before Pilate – U. S. Public Domain