“But they cried out:  Away with Him, Away with Him! Crucify Him!”

“Pilot replied to them: Shall I crucify your King?”

“The Chief Priests answered:  We have no king but Caesar!”  John 19:15

Dictionary dot.com defines human nature as: “ordinary human behavior, especially considered as less than perfect.”  Human nature has been used as a scapegoat for much of mankind’s questionable behavior.  It is a way of giving you and I a pass, an excuse for common behavior that we wished we had not committed but many of our peers would have done as well.

Jesus is a threat to the Jewish leadership.  They are the recognized authorities on the law.  They are the ones people turn to with questions about God and Godly behavior.  Jesus challenges their authority.  Jesus does not do this on the basis of traditional study or learning.  No, Jesus bluntly states His authority comes directly from God.  For He is the only true Son of God.  For the Jewish leadership this is blasphemy, pure and simple.  Yet try as they might, they can’t get the Jewish people to turn against Jesus.  Every time there seems to be a slight chance for His destruction; once Jesus was going to be thrown off a cliff, another time it seemed like a crowd might stone Him to death, Jesus easily escapes.  And worse than that, because Jesus does escape, even more people flock to listen to Him, to believe in Him.

So human nature kicks in.  If we can’t stop someone on our own, then we’ll find another power to which we can turn, the Jewish leadership plots.  Very quickly, the Romans had been in control of the Jewish nation for more than six decades.  Thousands of Jews had been slaughtered in the conquest of Jerusalem and scores more were being regularly killed in attempts to keep order.  Also Pilot was known to put up pagan symbols all over the city over the strenuous objections of the Jewish leadership.  So now, to rid the land of Jesus, the Jewish authorities turn to, even seem to embrace the Roman leadership.

But the Romans, or at least their leadership, don’t like the Jews much.  The Jewish leadership is constantly complaining.  They are thorn in the Romans side.  So the Jewish leaders have an expectation that the Romans won’t just happily comply with their request to kill Jesus.  Indeed, Pilot can find no reason for placating the Jewish leadership in the matter of Jesus.  Pilot has no love or respect for Jesus.  He dislikes the Jewish leadership more.

So human nature dictates that the Jews will have to convince Pilot, by threats and gifts to get what they want.  The threat?; that the people will become uncontrollable, will riot if Pilot does not crucify Jesus.  The Romans greatly prized compliance and stability in their conquered lands.  If a Roman leader was not able to provide that; his professional as well as personal life was in dire jeopardy.  The gift?; servitude.  “We have no king but Caesar!”

“We have no king but Caesar!”  Augustus the emperor when Christ was born called himself a son of god (not our God).  Emperor Tiberius also considered himself to be divine.  The Jewish leadership declares that there only king is the divine (in his own mind) Roman?  Their one king is a leader of a regime that has brutally killed their people and blasphemed their religion?  Their only king is an uncircumcised gentile?  How can they stand to make that declaration?  Human nature says to proclaim anything is okay as long as they get their ends; Jesus dies.

If you’ve ever read any of the other posts, you will know that if you or I are shaking our heads and pointing a judging finger at these horrible people; we’d better avoid any or all mirrors.  “Jesus Christ is my King!  I have no other!”, I shout.  Hmmm, but I need that promotion so I better make myself look better than my other peers.  They may need help but too bad so sad.  That’s just human nature.  You make me look bad.  You embarrass me in front of my friends, family, coworkers.  You better believe I’ll be paying you back in kind.  That’s just human nature.  Look at the harsh, damaging conflicts in our world, in our own country, our own family, our own church.  Human nature is alive and well.

Dear brothers and sisters it is clear that the only true way to counteract the effects of our human nature is to strive to have Jesus Christ nature.  For Jesus Christ not only taught us what true, righteous nature should be; He also lived it every day, every moment.  Human nature would tell us that to even attempt to obtain the Christ nature must require an extremely high price from us; must involve years of study to achieve our JCN (Jesus Christ Nature) degree or maybe there is some “inside track” we can use to easily obtain it.  Well, there is a high price.  A price higher than the combination of all human wealth forever could pay.  It has been paid by the only one who could pay it; Jesus Christ.  Relying on our own wisdom, our own academic prowess to achieve?, not hardly.

While I don’t believe we (or at least I) can completely achieve Christ Nature in this world, it starts with a simple declaration and request.  There is no exchange of money involved, no signing up for a degree program.  It starts when we declare that Jesus Christ is the One True Perfect, Holy Son of God.  It continues as we further declare that we are sinners, in need of repentance  and ask Him to come into our lives as Our Savior.  Human nature tells us that can’t be it.  Human nature tells us to turn away from that message.  The only way to conquer human nature comes from and requires belonging to Jesus Christ.  Thankfully the Nature of Christ is to be lovingly there beckoning our call.

Most Gracious and Loving Jesus Christ, come into our lives, be our King, we pray.  Replace our evil human nature, with Your Righteous, Loving, Christ Nature.  Forgive us when we fall, when we slip back to our own nature.  Strengthen us to return to You, knowing that You paid the price for our sins.  That we might live lives of eternal praise to You and Our Heavenly Father.  In Your Name, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.