Knowing basically what I’d find I looked up the word “tolerance” in my biggest dictionary. It had six definitions, and three of those were a bit more fine-tuned into sub-definitions. It also listed about two dozen synonyms – including words like “indulgence“ and “acceptance.” But, you know, I didn’t find a definition that said: “Tolerance is the quality of being soft and fuzzy.” What’s wrong with being soft and fuzzy? Could it be that there isn’t much tolerance when it comes to definitions about “tolerance?”
If I sent a letter to the editor of our newspaper which said that homosexuality is sinfully deviant behavior, or if I paid for piece which said that abortion was murder, or if I publicly said that Mormonism is a cult and should not be considered a part of Christianity, there would be a dozen letters to the editor vociferously condemning me as being “intolerant.” But the fact is, according to the Bible, those three things are absolutely true. “Intolerance is not an issue when it comes to the matter of truth. A growing number of people in the United States today are absolutely intolerant toward intolerance. “Intolerance“ is one of the bats with which honest people are beaten up these days.
But just as the dictionary is intolerant toward false definitions, truth is truth, error is error and heresy must be clearly condemned as heresy. And even though the Lord Jesus was gracious towards erring sinners and heretics, He didn’t redefine sin in order to make it something less than sinful. When a machinist is manufacturing a delicate piece of equipment with several hundred parts … He must make sure that every component is formed precisely to the required specifications. If one piece is too big or too small the whole instrument may be rendered useless. So that machinist will make each of those parts to specific, exacting tolerances. That is, most of those pieces will have no room for error. And with that I’d like to point toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
This morning my only agenda is to remind you of something about the Lord that we might praise His name together. You’ll probably not learn anything new today, nor will you be dazzled with eloquence. May we simply lift up the Savior among us. The Lord Jesus graciously showed patience toward sinners, but He himself was put together, so to speak, to precise and exacting tolerances. When it came to Himself, there was no tolerance at all. “He is the rock, his work is PERFECT; for all his ways are judgment; A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” – Deuteronomy 32:4. And so, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven in perfect” – Matthew 5:48.
Pilate, the Roman governor and judge, declared that he found no fault in Christ.
The Jews were trying to get rid of our Savior according to the strictest letter of their law. They were trying to trap Him with His own words; They were trying to catch him the snare of the law. They were trying to make sure that there were at least two or three witnesses against Him; and they wanted the Roman government to execute Him, so it was important to follow the Roman rules as well. The whole arrest and trial of the Lord Jesus would’ve been laughable, if it wasn’t so serious. The Jews did their best to eliminate the positive testimony of the people by staging the trial at night. For the most part the common people considered Jesus to be a prophet sent from God. But additionally those priests hired false witnesses, liars, against him. Oh, I’m sure that in the court minutes the records would show that they all acted legally. But even the casual reader of the Bible knows that they didn’t.
Eventually the priests brought the Lord Jesus to the Roman governor. Pilate had undoubtedly heard about Christ, and there were plenty of opportunities during the past couple of years to arrest him, if he had chosen to do so. But the Roman government had no quarrel with Christ. He had broken no Roman laws. And when he was brought into the council chamber there was a bit of interrogation, but Pilate had no heart for the task at hand. And he eventually declared Christ unworthy of the charges against him: “I find no fault in this man.”
It might be said that Pilate represented the secular world’s opinion of Christ. That man had no personal interest in the Lord. He was not sneaking off in the evenings to listen to the Lord Jesus preach the Word of God; He did not have any written correspondence with the Lord. They had not privately debated the finer points of theology. But the secular world still could not quarrel with the person of Christ. Pilate certainly didn’t mind if the Lord fed multitudes, or healed sick people. He probably laughed at the idea that Jesus raised the dead, but he wouldn’t have cared if He had. Was the Lord Jesus a threat to the Roman government? No. Was He a revolutionary? No. Was He a thief or a murderer? No, He wasn’t. In Acts 10:38 Peter said that “Jesus had been anointed with the Holy Ghost and went about doing good.” And what kind of good was that Peter? “He went about healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” Rome had no official policy against doing good, and neither should the United States of America.
The secular government declared that our Lord Jesus Christ was not worthy of any kind of punishment. Despite Jesus’ goodness, I’m not sure that our society would say at the same thing today. But it was and is still true.
Also, the man who facilitated the arrest of Christ, made the same confession.
Although I have preached about Judas several times, I have never declared why he do what he did. Because I don’t know for sure. Some say that he betrayed the Lord out of greed; he wanted those 30 pieces of silver. That may have been a lot of money, and it may be true. But he was also the church treasurer with potential access to a lot more money than that. Some say that he was trying to provoke the Lord into taking action against the Priests and Romans. I don’t know for sure why Judas betrayed the Lord, and I don’t think that anyone does. But I do know that Satan entered his heart just before he made those arrangements with the priests. That is described in the Book of Luke. And shortly thereafter he kissed the Lord and watched the soldiers arrest Him.
Matthew 26 describes Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. In Matthew 27:2 the scripture says that “they took the Lord bound unto Pilate,” and then it gives a description of that trial, beginning in verse 11. Wedged between Matthew 27:2 and 27:11 is a description of Judas’ remorse. When he came to Himself, he returned to the men who hired him and tried to give back the money and to undo what he had done. This was before the Lord was whipped, before he was pummeled and before His hair was pulled out. This was prior to the bloody thorns in his scalp, before he was humiliated in front of the crowds. Judas returned to the priests before the crucifixion with its nakedness and its nails. It was even before Judas knew for sure that Christ would be put to death. Judas’ confession was not as emotionally charged as it might have been a few hours later. And in his right mind he declared: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. ” Here was a man who had spent the better part of nearly every day for the last three years with the Lord. There were only a dozen men who really knew very much about Christ; Judas was one of those men. And when he wasn’t possessed by Satan, he openly and loudly confessed: “Jesus Christ is an innocent man.” In what sense did he mean “innocent?” He meant “innocent” in the sense that there was no reason whatsoever for Him to be put to death.
I know that the word “innocent” does not necessarily mean the same thing as “sinless.” But the fact is, Jesus Christ was innocent BECAUSE He lived a completely sinless life. Scripture says that “He did no sin.”
A third testimony of Jesus’ innocence comes from a very strange source.
Matthew 27:3-5 – “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.”
After the confession of Judas, notice how the Priests replied: “What is that to us?” When he said, “I have betrayed innocent blood,” why didn’t they argue? Why didn’t they correct him and say that he had betrayed a GUILTY man; a man worthy of death. Aren’t the words “what is that to us” essentially the same thing as “so what”? or “we don’t care”?
The Sadducees and Pharisee’s hatred of Christ was not because He was doing disreputable things. He wasn’t sinning against the Law of Moses or the Law of God. When the authorities were looking for witnesses to testify against him, they came up empty. No one could say that they heard Christ tell a lie. “He did no sin neither was there guile found in his mouth” – I Peter 2:22. No one could testify that He stole something from them, or defrauded them. He didn’t desecrate the Temple, but rather He showed to everyone how the Jews had desecrated it. The Lord took steps to cleanse the Temple. He honored the temple by teaching within its walls. The Lord Jesus didn’t create a secret society and build a cult around Himself. He didn’t whisper pernicious words about other people in dark corners. He was not a brawler or back-biter. He didn’t try to bring down the government of the Sanhedrim. Some said that He broke the laws of the Sabbath, but the Lord proved that He broke only what had become the Jewish traditions about the Sabbath. Yes, He associated with and helped publicans and sinners, but there was no law against that. He in fact blessed the nation by delivering some of those sinners from their wickedness. And he touched a few lepers, but the law didn’t say that was a sin. Touching a leper only rendered the person temporarily unclean. And besides, those lepers weren’t lepers after He touched them, so the proof of even that charge disappeared.
Basically speaking the Jews case against Christ didn’t have a leg to stand on.
Certainly the afflicted and the dying didn’t have anything derogatory to say against the Lord.
Out of many possible examples, I’m thinking of the man whom the Lord healed in John 8. As Jesus and his disciples were walking by a blind man on the Sabbath day the disciples asked: “Whose sin caused his man’s blindness?” And Jesus replied, “There was no sin in this man’s blindness.” Why do people think that bad things only happen to especially bad people? He was blind in order that the work of God might be performed upon him. Then Jesus stooped down, and spitting on the ground, made a little ball of mud. With that mud He anointed the eyes of the man and told him to wash off his eyes at the pool of Siloam. Through that means sight was given to eyes that had never seen before. The man began praising God for the great blessing – and for the Man who had given it back to him. Eventually he was brought before the Pharisees and questioned about the miracle. They tried to tell him that Jesus was a sinner, because He did good deeds on the Sabbath. The man replied, “All that I know for sure is that he healed me.” The Pharisees got nastier and nastier, “Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.” The man said, “Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Those hypocrites kept at it and kept at it, until the former blind man said, “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” And to follow his logic to its conclusion: While the Pharisees said that Christ was a sinner, this man denied it. “He prayed for me.” “We know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshiper of God and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
Do you think that the widow of Nain, who had her dead son restored to life, would say that she had aught against Christ? What about the Roman Centurion whose servant was healed? What about Jairus whose daughter was raised from the dead? These and a dozen others would have all said, “We find no fault in his man.”
Now for our next testimony I need your help.
Satan, in Revelation 12:10 is called the accuser of the brethren.
The name “Satan” literally means “accuser.” I have no doubt that he stays plenty busy reminding everyone who’ll listen that I am a sinner. If he still has visitation rights before the throne of God, I’m sure that it would be similar to what we find in Job 1. There he might be at the left hand of God, reiterating the truth about me and perhaps about you. “These people are not worth the death of Christ and the salvation God. You sure made a bad choice when you elected to save those rebels. Look after all the years of your blessings, how inconsistent they are in striving against sin. What a bunch of culls you’ve picked in those people at Calvary Baptist Church.” And except for the grace of God he’d be telling the truth.
Now here is where I need your help. I couldn’t think of single incident when Satan ever had audacity to make accusations against Christ. Oh, sure he did his best against the Lord – tempting Him to sin. And he loves to whisper lies about the Lord into the ears of wicked men. And he did lead a rebellion of angels against the Lord. But when has he ever boldly marched up to the throne of God and accused Christ Jesus of any sin or indiscretion? It would have been pointless. So much for the great accuser. Not even Satan can say aught against the perfect, impeccable Son of God.
And not even the wicked DEAD will have anything against the Lord.
I hope that you are familiar with the words of Philippians 2:5-11. I’m the kind of Baptist who believes that what the Bible says is what the Bible is trying to say. Although I have a collection of Bible commentaries and study helps, I don’t use them to dismiss what the Bible says. I use them to help me understand what the Bible says. And many times they aren’t much use, because the Bible is plain enough by itself. Philippians 2:10 says that “every knee shall bow (before Christ).” Verse 11 says that “every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.” And do you see those words “every”? In this case that is an absolutely unlimited word. Will those knees and tongues belong to Christians, saved and glorified by the grace of God? Not this time – they all are a part of wicked men at beginning point of their eternal judgment.
Additionally there will be no Christians in Heaven who will have a problem with the character, the actions, or the sacrifice or the salvation of the Lord Jesus. They will all repeat: “I find no fault with this man; I find no fault with my beloved Saviour.” Neither do I think that when the wicked stand before Christ as He sits upon the throne of Revelation 20 that there will be a single one who will have anything to say against the Lord. Every tongue shall confess that Christ never sinned against any man, woman, or child. And when the lost hear their fate and are cast into the Lake of Fire at the order of Christ Jesus, they will not be able to raise a finger against their Judge, or be able to call a lawyer to present an appeal to a higher court.
And certainly, those who will at that time be surrounding the Lord in glorified bodies
will not have a word against Him either.
I am of the opinion that Revelation 4 and 5 describe Heaven shortly after the translation of the saints. I believe that the twenty-four elders represent those who have been members of the Lord’s churches. And along with other saved people they will lift up their voices in praise to the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation of the earth. There will be millions of Christ’s people from every tribe and nation; From the days of Enoch and Adam, to the days of the Last Adam and even the Trump administration. And they will all joyfully declare that the man we call “Jesus” is worthy of the highest praise.
And why will they be so filled with praise? Because the Lord Jesus perfectly satisfied the Law of God, and yet permitted Himself to die under its penalty. They will praise Him because He gave His perfect life as a ransom for THEIR filthy sinful souls. They will praise Him for His saving grace. There will not be a single soul in Heaven who could say that he somehow got there without Christ or even by assisting Christ in His work of salvation. They will all freely and joyfully declare that: “Jesus did it all, and all to Him I owe; Sin had left its crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Do YOU worship this Christ in whom there is no fault? Permit me introduce you to the Christ of Calvary. Permit me to show you the man who told me all things that ever I did. Let me share with you the One who supplied the answer to all my needs – the perfect Lord Jesus Christ.