“Pilate said to [Jesus], ‘What is truth?’” (John 18:38)
It has been said that truth is relative in the age that we live in. You have your truth and I have my truth. Whatever floats your boat or finds your lost remote. Each one of us is the arbiter of what is true. Indeed, this is true to an extent, but it’s much worse than we think it is. We live, as we always have, in an age of lies. Both Depeche Mode and Tom Waits were truth telling when they sang, “Lie to me.”
I would much rather be lied to than told the truth, especially as it pertains to people’s perception of me. Tell me that I look good, you like my tie, you think I’m doing a good job, I’m one of the most wonderful people you’ve ever met. I want to hear whatever will feed the image that I have of myself because the truth hurts. The truth has implications.
Pilate knew the game. He knew that Jesus was innocent of any wrongdoing, but political expediency was more important to him. Truth didn’t matter a lick when it came to the decision of whether or not to crucify Jesus. The mantra of the world is, “It is true because it works.”
Truth, real truth, especially as it pertains to faith, works because it is true.
We are often reluctant to tell the truth about ourselves, much less others, but being a Christian does not leave us an option. The activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives brings the truth to the fore. We cannot help but see our brokenness and dependence upon the Lord. Even when we try to make our own way, it exacerbates the situation, making the truth about us all the more plain.
But this is not the whole story. What is also true is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Holy week is a culmination of the life and ministry of Jesus, God-incarnate. In fact, all of history leads up to this very moment and the face of the earth is changed. Mercy and justice finally kiss. There is an answer to the truthful problem of the world that everyone is trying to solve on their own. Jesus rescues us from ourselves this week.
This is a true saying and worthy of all men to be received . . .