Sermon Date: October 24, 1999
Sermon Time: 0930
Main Scripture Text: Matthew 27:22
I. His Attributes
II. His Adoration
III. His Admission
IV. His Abilities
A. He Is Able to Save
B. He Is Able to Subdue
C. He Is Able to Secure
Take your Bibles, please, and turn to Matthew chapter 27, and look in one verse here in just a moment, verse 22. The background is this: Jesus is on trial before Pilate. He’s standing before Pilate. One of these days, Pilate will stand before Jesus. Pilate has Jesus on his hands. Shall he allow Jesus to be exonerated or executed? Commended or crucified? And Pilate is a fence-straddling, pussyfooting politician, and whatever buttered his own bread would determine his conduct. But he asked a question. Look at it in verse 22: “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified” (Matthew 27:22).
Now I ask you the same question, because as Jesus Christ was before Pilate, Jesus Christ is now, today, before you. And this question, therefore, is coming to you this morning, and I want you to listen to it carefully. What are you going to do with Jesus? It is a personal question. I’m not asking what somebody else is going to do with Jesus. I am asking you today, what will you do with Jesus? It’s a personal question.
And it is a present question. I’m not asking what you will do later on, or what you may have done. I’m asking you right now, today, presently, what will you do with Jesus?
And, furthermore, it’s a pressing question. I can tell you that you will do something with Him. You say, “No, I won’t.” Oh, yes, you will. You will do something with Him. You will accept Him or reject Him. You will crown Him or crucify Him. You will hear Him or ignore Him. But you will do something with Jesus Christ. It is a pressing question.
But here’s the thing I really want to put upon your heart. It is a pertinent question. I’m not asking what you’re going to do with some social event. I’m not asking what you’re going to do with some political personality. I’m not asking what you’re going to do with some idea. I’m asking what will you do with Jesus who is called Christ. That’s a pertinent question. Really, who is this Jesus?
You know, small minds, they say, discuss things. Great minds discuss ideas. Very small minds just discuss people. But that’s not true with the Lord Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus Christ? Let’s discuss Him.
I believe, and the Bible teaches, that Jesus Christ is God. Now, don’t miss that. I’m asking, what will you do with Jesus. Jesus is God. Now if Jesus is not God, I want to say that Jesus Christ is an imposter. If Jesus Christ is not God, He is an impersonator. If Jesus Christ is not God, He is an imitator. If Jesus Christ is not God, He is a pretender, because I’m going to show you from the Word of God, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Jesus Christ Himself claimed to be God the Son, and the Son of God.
Now you can’t, therefore, just tip your hat to Jesus and say Jesus was a good man, or Jesus was a prophet. Oh, no. If Jesus Christ is not God, He is a fake, a fraud, an imposter, a deceiver. Now not only that, but He has deceived countless millions. He has blasphemed the Almighty. He has desecrated all that is sacred. He has falsely represented God the Father. He has scandalized the truth of God. And He has invalidated the writing of the prophets—if He is not God. Don’t just come along and tip the hat to Jesus. Oh, no. Either you accept Him and bow the knee, or you reject Him. What will you do with Jesus?
One man wrote some high-sounding words, and they sound good; but I want you to listen to them carefully. He said,
If Jesus Christ is a man,—
And only a man,—I say
That of all mankind I cleave to him,
And to him will I cleave alway.
If Jesus Christ is a God,—
And the only God,—I swear
I will follow Him through heaven and hell,
The earth, the sea, and the air!
—Richard Watson Gilder
Now that’s sounds good. But, friend, if Jesus Christ is a man, and only a man, He is a deceiver, a fake, a fraud, an imposter. He is one of three things: Lord, liar, or lunatic; Deity, deceiver, or demented. He’s one of the three. And you’re going to have to take your pick of those three this morning. And I’m asking you this question again: What will you do with Jesus Christ?
Now I said at the beginning that Jesus Christ is God, and I want to give you four lines of evidence that show the deity of Jesus Christ. Now this is not incidental. This is the fundamental doctrine of our faith: the deity, the Godhood, of Jesus Christ. Now I want you to get the four reasons that we believe that Jesus is God.
I. His Attributes
Number one: All of the attributes of God the Father are found in the Lord Jesus. All of the attributes of God the Father are found in the Lord Jesus.
Now I was in my front yard, and a man came up to me with a briefcase to talk with me about religious things. And so I said, “Well, I’ll be happy to talk with you.” I said, “What group do you represent?” He said, “Well, I just want to talk about the Bible.” I said, “Well, everybody has some affinity group. Where do you worship?” He said, “Well, that’s incidental. I just want to talk with you.” I said, “No, I’d just like to know where you’re coming from.” I already knew, but I said, “I’d just like to find out where you’re coming from.” I said, “What do you call yourself?” “Well,” he said, “all right, I’m a Jehovah’s Witness. Does that bother you?” I said, “Not at all. So am I.” He said, “You are?” I said, “Yes. And, by the way, I believe that Jesus is Jehovah.” He said, “Oh, no.” I said, “Oh, yes.” “Oh, yes. Jesus is Jehovah, and I want to share some scriptures.”
Now when I say Jehovah, Jehovah is the name for God in the Old Testament. It is used some 7,000 times. In your King James Version of the Scripture, which I’m preaching from, that word Jehovah is translated “LORD.” When pious Jews were transcribing the Scriptures, they would never ever even pronounce that name audibly. When they came to that name, they would just bow their head, shut their eyes, and worship. When they would write the name in the Scripture, they would lay aside the old pen and get a brand new pen just to write that name, Jehovah—Jehovah. Now it was the personal name that God used when He was dealing with His people. It speaks of a covenant-keeping God whose name is Jehovah.
What I propose to show you today—and I want you to listen carefully—is that the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New Testament are one and the same. Now I want to give you some Scripture. Take your pen. You won’t have time to turn to these, so I suggest that you jot them down, as I have.
First of all, Isaiah 40 and verse 3—here’s a prophecy concerning our Lord: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord …”—now that is the word Jehovah—“Prepare ye the way of [Jehovah], make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3). Who’s He talking about? Jehovah, our God.
Now, see how this is fulfilled in the New Testament. Look in Matthew 3, verse 3. Don’t turn to it. Jot it down. “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet [Isaiah], saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Matthew 3:3). John the Baptist, saying of Jesus, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
John was speaking of Jesus. Isaiah was speaking of Jehovah. And the same scripture is used. And, as a matter of fact, the Bible says that Jesus fulfilled this scripture.
Or let me give you another comparison. Isaiah 43, verse 11—God speaks of Himself, and here’s what He says: “I, even I, am the Lord …”—that’s the word Jehovah—“I, even I, am [Jehovah];”—now, listen to this carefully—“and beside me there is no saviour” (Isaiah 43:11). There is no Savior other than Jehovah. Do you have that? That’s plain—Isaiah 43, verse 11.
But now listen to Titus 2, verse 13—the Bible says we’re to be “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Hello. Listen. God says, “I am Jehovah. There is no other Savior.” And then we read, in Titus, we’re to be “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Do you understand what I say—that the Jesus of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament?
Let me give you another couple of the verses. Isaiah 44 and verse 6: “Thus saith [Jehovah] the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6). Now Jehovah, the King of Israel, says, “I am the first and the last.”
Then in Revelation chapter 1 and verse 17 John the apostle has a vision of Jesus, and he says, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17)—“I am the first and the last.”
In the Old Testament, Jehovah says, “I am the first and the last.” In the New Testament, Jesus says, “I am the first and the last.”
David, alone, out guiding his sheep, under divine inspiration, picked up his harp and began to sing, in Psalm 23 and verse 1, “The LORD is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1), and actually uses the word again Jehovah: “[Jehovah] is my shepherd.”
What did Jesus say in John chapter 10, verse 11? “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Jesus is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. The shepherd God of the Old Testament is the shepherd Savior of the New Testament.
Psalm 24 and verse 10—I love this: “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts,”—“the Jehovah of hosts”—“he is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:10).
But then what did the Apostle Paul say in 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 8? He speaks of the deity of our Lord, “which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified”—listen—“the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8)—“the Lord of glory.”
Psalm 24:10: “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts.” First Corinthians 2:8—Jesus is “the Lord of glory.”
Let me give you one more, and we could go on and on comparing the Jesus of the New with the Yahweh, or Jehovah, of the Old Testament. Exodus 20, verses 10 and 11, speaking of the Sabbath: “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:10–11).
Now it is the Sabbath of Jehovah, but in Matthew 12, verse 8, “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (Matthew 12:8).
So what I’m trying to show you, folks—are you listening?—when you are witnessing for Jesus, you are Jehovah’s Witness. The Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New Testament are one.
Now I’ve just used the Scriptures. You see, you need to understand the pre-existence of Jesus. Jesus did not have His beginning at Bethlehem. There never was a time when the Lord Jesus was not. Put this scripture down—John 1 and verse 1: “In the beginning was the Word …”—it’s the Greek word logos—“In the beginning was the [logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word”—the logos—“was God” (John 1:1). Jesus is called the Word of God. And this scripture says He was in the beginning with the Father, and He was God. When He was born at Bethlehem, He was as old as His father and older than His mother—when He was born. There never was a time when He was not. Jesus always has been.
You say, “Well, Pastor Rogers, I don’t understand that.” Well, that doesn’t bother me that you don’t understand it. You can’t understand God. Can the finite understand the infinite?
I understand that Albert Einstein came up with the theory of relativity. It’s so complicated that only twelve men can understand the theory of relativity. I can’t vouch for that, because I’ve never met the other eleven, but it’s that complicated. Somebody asked Mrs. Einstein one time, “Do you understand the theory of relativity?” She said, “No, but I understand Dr. Einstein.” She knew him—she knew him.
Listen. I cannot understand the pre-existence of Jesus, but I believe it. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” Listen. The absolute holiness of Jesus Christ is taught, and there’s only one who is absolutely holy, and that is God Himself. Hosea chapter 11 and verse 9—God says, “For I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee” (Hosea 11:9). “I am God, and not man.” There is no man that is inherently holy; only God.
Jesus Christ—John 8, verse 46—could look at His detractors, His enemies, those who were snipping at Him, and He could say, “Which of you convinces me of sin?” (John 8:46). I wouldn’t ask that to my friends, much less my enemies: “Which of you convinces me of sin?” And the apostles, when they talked about the crucifixion of Jesus, said, in Acts 3, verse 14, “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just” (Acts 3:14). His absolute pristine holiness sets Him apart from all other individuals.
Have you ever noticed that in the Bible Jesus never once prayed for forgiveness? Think about it. He never once prayed for forgiveness. He taught us to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive those who sin against us, our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). He never did. Either that was consummate arrogance, or He was indeed absolutely holy.
II. His Adoration
So what have I talked about? First of all, we’re just giving you some evidence of His deity, and we’re talking about His attributes. But, secondly, let me give you another reason that I believe that Jesus is God. Now, don’t miss this. Folks, this is not incidental. The adoration that He received shows Him to be God. Jesus received adoration. Now, listen to me. Jesus allowed Himself to be worshiped. Now idolatry is the ultimate sin, to worship any other god other than Yahweh Jehovah, and yet Jesus allowed Himself to be worshiped. Jesus Himself knew that only God is to be worshiped.
Now, don’t miss this point. Satan tried to get Jesus to worship him. Satan said to Jesus, “I’ll give you the kingdoms of this world if you will bow down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8–9; Luke 4:5–7). Put this verse down—Luke chapter 4 and verse 8. Here what Jesus Christ Himself said: “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8). Worship is reserved for God Almighty only.
Now Jesus allowed Himself to be worshiped. Matthew 28 and verse 9: “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him” (Matthew 28:9). The same One who said that God, and God only, is to be worshiped—and here He is allowing His disciples to worship Him.
Suppose I were to come over here and bow down in front of Mark and start worshiping Mark. Mark, what would you do? I’ll tell you what you’d do. You’d say, “Pastor, stop. If you don’t, we’ll both be in trouble: you for doing it, and I will be in trouble for allowing it.”
Look in Revelation chapter 22. You might turn to this one. John is on the island of Patmos. He’s getting a vision from an angel. And the angel is showing John all of these wonderful things, and John is just overwhelmed: “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen,”—now, watch this—“I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Revelation 22:8–9). Here’s an angel saying, “Don’t you worship me, John. Get up. I’m just a fellow servant. Worship God. Worship God. Worship God.” Now, friend, listen. If Jesus allowed Himself to be worshiped when He Himself said that God alone is to be worshiped, either He is guilty of ultimate arrogance and inculcating the most despicable sin of idolatry, or else He is God. There are no two ways about it—no two ways about it. The adoration that Jesus receives shows Him to be God.
III. His Admission
We’ve talked about His attributes. We’ve talked about His adoration. Let’s talk about His own admission. Here’s the third reason: Jesus is shown to be God by His own admission. An interesting thing: Jesus is having a discussion with the Pharisees. They could not accept the fact that He was God in flesh, and so, in John chapter 8, verse 56—jot it down. You can look these up later, but we’ve got a lot of Scripture to cover. Jesus said—“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” Now Abraham had been dead for centuries, and Jesus said, “Look, your father, Abraham, the one that you adore, he rejoiced to see my day.” Verse 57: “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” And now, watch verse 58. Now if you don’t hear anything else in this message this morning, I want you to get this. This is John chapter 8 and verse 58: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily …”—now, listen. When Jesus says, “Verily,” you pay attention. When He says, “Verily, verily,” you’d better pay attention—“Verily, verily …”—He is saying it for emphasis—“Verily, verily, I say unto you,”—now, listen—“Before Abraham was, I am.” Don’t miss this. He didn’t say, “Before Abraham was, I was.” He didn’t say, “I got here first.” He is saying, “Before Abraham was, I am.” And when He said that, look in verse 59: “Then took they up stones to cast at him” (John 8:56–59). They’re ready to stone Him now because He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”
Why did they want to stone Him? Because He said He was I AM. You see, listen. God called Moses to lead the Jews out of Egypt into the Promised Land, and Moses said, “Well, who shall I say sent me?” (Exodus 3:13). Now you have to understand that the Egyptians worshipped 2,200 different gods—2,200 gods—and so Moses has to go and say, “Which, who, is the true God? Who shall I say sent me?” Put this down—in Exodus chapter 3, verse 14: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14). “You want to know my credentials? The I AM sent me. Not I was, not I will be, but I AM.” There never was a time when He was not. There never will be a time when He will not be. He is the great, pre-existent, eternal God. This sacred name for God, I AM—the I AM, the I AM. And they said to Jesus, “Why, you haven’t seen Abraham. You’re not even fifty years old.” He said, “Look. Before Abraham ever got here, I AM.”—“I AM.”
I’m telling you, folks, that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament. He Himself claimed to be. Jesus said to Philip—listen—John 14, verses 8 and 9: “Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (John 14:8–9).
Now, suppose you said to me, “Adrian, show me the President of the United States.” I’ll say, “Well, you’re looking at him. If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the President.” You’d say, “Mark, you hold him; Jim, you go get the butterfly net.”
I mean, the unmitigated arrogance for him to say, “Philip, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Not somebody like the Father—“You have seen the Father.” By His own admission.
IV. His Abilities
Last point: He is shown to be God by His abilities—by His abilities, His mighty abilities. I want to just mention three times in the Bible where the Bible mentions His ability, what He is able to do.
A. He Is Able to Save
First of all, He, because He is God, is able to save. Remember over there in Isaiah, Jehovah said, “Beside me there is no saviour” (Isaiah 43:11). But put down Hebrews chapter 7, verse 25, which says, “Wherefore he”—Jesus—“is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25). I want to tell you today He’s able to save you. There’s no one that He’s not able to save. Anybody who wants to be saved can be saved.
You say, “Well, have I committed the unpardonable sin?” Friend, if you want to be saved, you can be saved. Anybody who wants to be saved hasn’t committed the unpardonable sin. You say, “Am I one of the elect?” Do you want to be saved? Just come on. Oh, who are the elect? I can put that in fifteen seconds. The elect are the whosoever wills. Whosoever will may come. “He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” And, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Hallelujah! He’s able to save.
B. He Is Able to Subdue
Not only is He able to save, but He’s able to subdue. Philippians 3, verse 21, speaks of our Lord, “who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). Friend, one of these days He’s going to make you like Himself. He’s able to subdue all things: every dust, every speck of dust, every mountain, every celestial body must obey His will.
C. He Is Able to Secure
He is able to save. He is able to subdue. And, furthermore, He’s able to secure. He’s able to keep you saved. Second Timothy 1:12—Paul says, “For the which cause I also suffer these things …”—Paul, when he had been beaten, put in prison, he said—“I suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto them against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). He is able. He is able. What a mighty God we serve! Every need that you have He’s able to supply.
A missionary was going to the foreign field, and just as the missionary was getting on the ship a man handed the missionary an envelope, a sealed envelope, and said, “Put this in your pocket. Keep it with you. And if anytime overseas you ever come to a place where you don’t know where to turn or what to do, open this envelope.” And the missionary came home after having spent a lifetime on the foreign field. And he came home to give his report to his church, and he told about the trials and the temptations and the persecution and all of the perplexities. Then he reached in his pocket and pulled out that envelope, never opened—never opened.
Thank God. Thank God, friend. There never comes to the child of God a time where he does not have a Savior that he can come to and cling to. And He is able. Do you believe that? I hope you do. Oh, what a mighty Savior we have!
I love Him with all of my heart. To explain Him is impossible. To ignore Him is disastrous. To reject Him is fatal. What a mighty God! Human speech is too limited to describe Him. Your human mind is too finite to comprehend Him. The human heart is too small to contain Him. Jesus Christ is God.
Now I come back to our text. “What shall I do with Jesus?” What will you do with Jesus? You can crown Him or crucify Him. They said, “Let him be crucified” (Matthew 27:22–23). You can accept Him or reject Him. You can love Him or despise Him. You can believe Him or ignore Him. But you cannot be neutral. Pilate tried that, but he could not be neutral.
Jesus is in your hands today. You must do the right thing, because you need Him in life. In life, if there were no heaven and no hell, you need Jesus day by day. He is like blood to your body, air to your lungs. You need Him in life. You need Him in death. You’re going to die. You’ll need Him in death. You’ll need Him at the judgment. You’ll stand before God one day to be judged. What will you say then? “God, have mercy upon me. I didn’t have a chance.” He’ll show you this scene today. What will you say? “God, I didn’t understand.” He’ll replay the message today. Friend, every excuse that you have will falter and fail. And right now Jesus is in your hands. But at the judgment you’ll be in His hands.
I ask you again this question. It is a personal question. It’s a present question. It is a pressing question. It is a pertinent question. What will you do with Jesus? Would you accept Him as your Lord and Savior? If you will, I promise you, on the authority of the Word of God, He will forgive every sin. Secondly, He will come into you to give you strength and power, as He’s done to me for over half a century. Thirdly, He’ll use you as His instrument to live His life through you. Fourthly, when you die, or when He comes, He’ll take you straight to heaven. I promise on the authority of the Word of God.
Rogers, A. (2017). Is Jesus God? In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Mt 27:22). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.