by Shawn Brasseaux
History testifies to the brutal regimes of horrible world dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler. These rulers were ruthless, heartless, and probably demoniacs. During Saddam’s regime, tens of thousands of innocent people were tortured and executed. Joseph Stalin, leader of the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) from 1927-1953, is estimated to have killed between 20 and 60 million—seven million people starved after being denied food. During the Holocaust, Hitler murdered 10-12 million Jews.
Genocide is still occurring today in parts of the world. We have the same sin nature, the evil natural tendency for man to do wickedness, to murder each other, and inflict damage and pain on one another. While there is certainly no justification for the acts of violence mentioned above, there is a Bible truth many people just never stop to ponder….
Jesus of Nazareth humbly presented Himself to His people Israel, rightfully claiming to be their Messiah-King. For three years, He performed miracle, after miracle, after miracle, after miracle, after miracle, after miracle, after miracle. He raised the dead, He healed the sick, He fed the multitudes, He casted out devils, He calmed storms, but the majority of Israel stood in unbelief. Despite the abundance of signs, miracles, and wonders, the Jews refused their King and rejected Jesus as an imposter!
Nathaniel asked in John 1:46, “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” When Pilate asked the Jews what they wanted him to do with their King Jesus, look at their response in John 19:14,15 KJV: “And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour [noon]: and he [Pilate] saith unto the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ But they cried out, ‘Away with him [Jesus], away with him, crucify him.’ Pilate saith unto them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’”
Instead of the Jews embracing their Creator God, the King of King and Lord of Lords, they demanded Jesus’ crucifixion. They preferred the release of Barabbas, a murderer of all people (Luke 23:18-21)! That is the wicked human heart in action (see Jeremiah 17:9, the human heart “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked”). Jesus, on the other hand, was innocent. The evil heart of unbelief caused these Jews and Romans to overlook His history of miracle working. They traded treasure (Christ) for trash (Barabbas): typical human nature, the typical human heart of unbelief.
The innocent God-Man was not only betrayed by His nation Israel, but the Romans were just as guilty as the Jews. Jesus was non-despotic, and look at how people treated Him! Our world is no different today—no wonder we needed a Saviour! If society had another chance to crucify Jesus on the cross, they would do it again in a moment’s notice. However, when He returns one day, He will not come back as a lowly carpenter. The Lord Jesus Christ will return in great glory and power, executing punishment and righteous wrath on anyone who rejects His authority and who refuses to believe His Word (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 19:11-21).
Whenever a person dies today and goes to hell, it is not their wicked lifestyle that sent them there. It was a wicked heart of unbelief, refusing and rejecting God’s Word to them—the Gospel of Grace of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, that Christ died for their sins, was buried, and rose again the third day. Unbelief, not fornication in the presence of an idolatrous golden calf, is what prevented the Jews from entering the Promised Land (Psalm 95:8-11; Hebrews 3:7-19).
This wicked heart of sin and unbelief will prevent most of humanity from ever seeing the glories of heaven! Oh, how sad. They had the chance to get saved, but ignored it. But, God is not to be blamed, as He made the plan of salvation as simple as He can! If you are not saved today, I hope that will trust in Christ Jesus alone for your salvation!