In our text we read of how the enemies of Jesus bound Him in preparation for sending Him to Pilate:
“And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.” (Mark 15:1)
As we read this, it is easy for our hearts to be filled with sadness, and even with a touch of "righteous indignation" for that crowd that bound Jesus in such a way. And yet, there are few today who are not guilty of binding the hands of Jesus in a "figurative" way! We are guilty of binding the hands of Jesus when we:
I. Refuse to Accept the Salvation He Offers.
A. In His great love for us, Jesus stretched out His hands and died for our sins.
1. Even today, through His gospel, He pleads with all to take advantage of His vicarious suffering.
2. He does not want us to suffer for the guilt of our own sins
3. His "tender invitation" is still being offered today.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mat 11:28-30)
B. But when one refuses His gracious invitation:
1. The hands of Jesus are bound!
2. There is no way such a person can then receive the benefits of Jesus death!
3. For that person, the death of Jesus was in vain!
C. Is this true of you this morning?
1. It is...if you have not yet received Christ as your Savior.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
2. You see it isn't you go your way and I'll go mine and we'll meet on the other side!
3. If you reject God's plan of salvation...there is no other way for you to get to heaven!
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
[But even those who accept Christ can be guilty of "binding the hands of Jesus".]
II. By Refusing to be Transformed.
A. It is God's will that when a person accepts Christ that they be transformed.
1. This transformation involves a renewal of the mind.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:2)
2. Note: Eph 4:20-24
3. This renewal occurs as we read, study, and meditate upon the Word of God.
a. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." cf 1 Pe 2:2
b. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil 4:8)
B. But many Christians neglect the Word of God.
1. We allow other things to take precedence in our lives.
2. When we do so we "bind the hands of Jesus" that we do not change!
C. Are we guilty of this?
1. We are, if we neglect to study the Bible on our own!
2. We are, if we fail to take advantage of opportunities to study with others!
3. Neglect the transforming power of the Word of God, and we are just as guilty of "binding the hands of Jesus" as were those who delivered Him to Pilate!
[We can also be guilty of "binding the hands of Jesus"...]
III. By Refusing to Pray.
A. Jesus has become our "HIGH PRIEST"...
1. He became man for this very purpose. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb 2:17-18)
2. He has made it possible for us to boldly approach God's throne of grace in prayer. cf He 4:14-16
3. As our high priest...
a. He is able to save those who come to God through Him. (Heb. 7:25a)
b. He "ever lives" to make intercession for us. (He 7:25b)
B. When we don't pray as we should ...
1. Jesus cannot be our high priest, our intercessor!
2. Figuratively speaking, we have taken the "praying hands" of Jesus and "bound" them behind His back!
C. Are we doing this?
1. If so, what a tragic situation we have!
2. For here is Jesus...
a. Who "lives" to intercede for us
b. But Who can't, because we prevent Him from doing so by our failure to pray!
[There is yet another way to be guilty of "binding the hands of Jesus"...]
IV. By Refusing to Serve Him in the Local Church.
A. The local church is described as the 'body of Christ'. cf. Ep 1:22-23
1. As His body, we are individually members of one another.
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Cor 12:27)
2. As members of one another, we are to care for one another.
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:15-16)
3. It is through such "mutual edification", that Christ provides much of His help for the members of His body!
B. But when we fail to do our share, again Jesus is "bound".
1. Just as our physical head can do little if our bodily members fail to follow its leading, so it is with Jesus and His church!
2. Jesus could do so much more for His members, if only more of the members did THEIR part!
C. Have you ever considered it this way?
1. That by failing to do our part, we "handicap" the body of Christ?
2. That because of our neglect, or apathy, or lukewarmness...
a. Either the whole body of Christ suffers...
b. Or others are forced to do "double duty" in order to make up the difference?
[Yes, there are many ways we can be just as guilty of "binding the hands of Jesus" today as were the religious leaders in delivering Jesus to Pilate! But consider just one more...]
V. By Refusing to Share the Gospel with the Lost.
A. Jesus has made His disciples to be His hands in taking the Gospel to the lost.
1. Consider: Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15-16; 1 Pe 2:9
2. In every case of conversion recorded in Acts, Jesus used a disciple to tell the good news.
3. Jesus works the same way today!
B. But to fail to get involved in God's plan to reach the lost means:
1. We have "bound the hands" of Jesus once again!
2. We hinder Jesus from telling others of His wonderful grace!
3. If we aren't involved with world-wide missions outreach we hinder others from reaching the lost as well!
C. Are we "BINDING THE HANDS OF JESUS" in this way?
1. Every day, countless souls die with no hope of eternal life.
2. This need not be, if more would make the sharing of the gospel the primary concern in their lives!
3. Sadly, in too many cases the primary concern of Christians is the pursuit of pleasure and acquisition of worldly treasures!
Yes, one does not have to literally "bind the hands of Jesus" to be guilty of the same sort of offense that we read about in Mk 15:1. As we have seen, there are many other ways as well!
Why not today, resolve to "loose the hands of Jesus" so that IN us and THROUGH us He may accomplish His full desire? Which is...