Have you ever been summoned to jury duty? I’ve had the unique opportunity of serving on three juries in my life.
When you get chosen, the judge is very clear about what his role is all about. Then he explains the attorneys’ roles, followed by the role of witnesses and finally the role of the jury.
After listening to testimony after testimony, the jury has to ask and answer two questions: What are the facts? And what’s the verdict – is this person guilty or not?
At the end of the trial the judge will utter those classic words, “Can you find this person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?”
In chapter 19, John seeks to answer the question in one of the most controversial trials in all of history: Is Jesus the unique Savior of the world?
To find out whether or not Jesus took on the sins of all people of all time by dying on the cross, let’s look at some of the evidence.
Jesus gave a testimony – and it’s summed up in one word: Love.
In John 15, Jesus said to His disciples, “Greater love has no man that this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (v. 13)
Jesus was talking about what really matters. And then what did He do? He modeled it. He willfully laid down His life for them and for us.
In Mark chapter 10, Jesus talked about His life purpose. He said, “The Son of Man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many.” (v. 45)
In other words, He said, “I came to buy you back out of the slave market of sin. I love you so much that I died and gave my life for you.”
Jesus experienced physical and emotional pain, but he also experienced total humiliation. The Roman soldiers stripped Him naked and put Him on a cross and made Him a spectacle.
And here’s why he endured all of that: Love.
With his death, Jesus said to each one of us: “I love you that much. You matter to Me and the Father and the Holy Spirit that much.” That’s the evidence.
Talk is cheap. We have all had people in our lives say, “Hey, I’m here for you and no matter what, I’ll be there.” And yet they don’t actually show up.
But God doesn’t do that.
God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
So what about you? Do you believe Jesus “innocent” or “guilty” of being the unique Savior of the world, or not?
This is not an intellectual exercise. There are huge implications. You either trust that He is the one and only Savior of the world, or not.
How will your verdict inform how you live, pray, and interact with others this week?
To learn more about this topic and how to communicate your Christian faith, check out the resource by Chip Ingram, Why I Believe.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip