A current pop song on the radio raises this question: “What do I stand for?” This is a subject frequently echoed in questions like, what is truth or why take a stand for anything when everything is changing. To which I have responded, it’s good to ask these questions, but why not frame them with this understanding — that while things look new and old truths seem insignificant in our technological culture, this truth remains.
We and the world are corrupted by sin and here is some evidence of it. Medical care improves, yet people still get sick and die; governments and organizations give aid to the needy, but need still exists; peace is a goal we all strive for, but people are still dying in wars. Therefore, the reality about our fallen humanity is unchanging.
Consequently, positive and reaffirming truths often seem impossible to find, but nonetheless they exist. So permit me to show you a solid truth worth standing for as found in St. John’s Gospel 18:37-38: “Then Pilate said to him (Jesus), ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’”
So there’s that tough question again: What is truth. It was being asked then as it is today. The Bible, however, gives us the answer — we are fallen creatures in need of a Savior to rescue us from death and damnation. Pilate faced this same crisis, and as a Roman Citizen in his day he believed this; that in the political, economic and scholastic teachings of his people he could find his salvation as many still do today. This is where Pilate tried to take a stand.
Jesus, however, gave him a new foundation for truth, Himself as Savior, Lord and King, but in the end Pilate denied Jesus for he could not see that in Him the truth could actually take on living form.
This is what people still struggle with. That is, seeing Jesus as the true God of creation embodied in our human form that came to redeem His fallen children by dying on the Cross. But this is the truth. And if we believe in Jesus we have it; if we deny Him, then all we can say is, “What is truth, what do I stand for?”
Pilate also unwittingly answered his own question about truth when he said, “I find no guilt in him”. This is also the truth; Jesus is the sinless Son of God who came without the burden of guilt we carry. So as our perfect King, He speaks this, “I am the way the truth and the life”.
So to believe in Jesus as the truth is to gain eternal life. This is absolute truth in an uncertain world, and that’s something worth standing for even though our society is quick to deny Jesus truth.
As U.S. citizens in our day, we may also find ourselves like Pilate, disillusioned with this world, our society and with people. Like him, we might be quick to ask, “What is truth?” To which Jesus answers, in me you will find the truth you need, your hope for the future, the love of a gracious God, the peace this world cannot give, and the forgiveness of your sins that opens the gates of heaven.
So as Christians at this time of thanksgiving, we are blessed to uphold Jesus as the truth, the Lord of our salvation. And why? Because when we do, we are giving thanks and praise to Him that we are still able to freely say in this great country that Jesus is what we stand for. God’s blessings!