When you look at the cross and see a man stripped naked, beaten, facing an ignominious death, people mocking Him and spitting upon Him, do you wonder about the truth of His claims? Do you wonder about the truth of His promises? Are you left wondering, like Pontius Pilot, in our culture of relativism, “What is truth?” Gavin Beers writes an insightful sermon concerning these questions in the excerpt below:
This evening can I take you to an eastern outpost of the Roman Empire. The scene is a trial and Pontius Pilot is under severe pressure. A great congregation of Jews has gathered and they are very angry. He feels that he must appease them because they are baying for the blood of Jesus. Pilot’s problem is that he can’t find any fault with this man, although at the same time, he cannot understand the claims that this man makes. “My kingdom is not of this world”, he says. Pilot then asks Him, “Are you declaring yourself a king?” Jesus replies, “No, you are saying that. I am come to bear testimony to the truth. Those that hear me are of the truth”. Pilot is challenged with this, he is confused and under pressure, and he is beginning to get angry. To our Lord Jesus Christ he replies, “What is truth?”
Earlier in the Gospel of John we discover that the Lord Jesus Christ has already answered this question (John 14, 6). The question on this occasion was posed by Thomas – Thomas is doubting again – and Jesus says that He is going unto the Father. Thomas is panicking and saying, “But how do we know where you are going? How do we know the way?” Jesus reassures him and says to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14, 6). Pilot asks, “What is truth?” Jesus answers the question: “I am the truth”.
Pontius Pilot is a very fitting picture of our age: he’s confused about the truth. When the truth was before him, Pilot sanctioned His death. Jesus was crucified outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem. But friends, the truth can never die. On the third day He rose again according to the scriptures, victorious over death and now to triumph in His gospel. In a world full of Roman’s like Pilot who were unsure about the truth, in a world full of Greeks who are continuing their elusive search for wisdom and truth, Christ is preached, and the known world we are told in the Acts of the apostle, is turned upside down. We might say it’s the right side up.
What we need to see this evening is that there has always been a conflict between truth and error. But throughout that continual conflict, our Lord Jesus Christ has always been winning, every day and all of the day; even when it doesn’t appear to you and me that He is winning, be sure of it, He is winning. (“Christ the Truth”, John ch.14 v.6)