63 And said, Sir, we have just remembered hos that vagabond Imposter said while He was still alive, After three days, I will rise again. Ė Matthew 27:63 AMP
As Easter approaches this weekend, I have been drawn to the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. In todayís verse, the chief priests and Pharisees had assembled before Pilate in order to request that guards be placed at Jesusí tomb and the tomb be sealed so that His disciples would be prevented from stealing His body. They even called Jesus a vagabond Imposter.
Now we are all familiar with both terms.
Imposters in human terms pretend to be something they are not. Actors impersonate the lives of others in movies. International spies pretend to be someone else to gain top secret information for their country. And there are even Christian imposters. They are called hypocrites and hereís a big news flash: the Christians faith is full of them.
But Jesus was a vagabond? I guess if you think about it, He could have been considered a vagabond. He spent three years traveling all over Judea from Capernaum all the way down to Jerusalem. He didnít stay in one place very long, and was even asked and sometimes forced to leave some towns He entered.
But the proof that Jesus was not a vagabond is found in Scripture. When being questioned by Pilate in the Gospel of John, Chapter Eighteen, He plainly tells Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). The last time I checked, kings not only had thrones to sit upon, but they had large castles to live in. This completely blows away the Jesus being a vagabond theory.
Now my point today is not to argue about Jesus. Itís to point out that Christianity today is full of vagabonds, imposters, and yes, even vagabond imposters.
Christian vagabonds are everywhere nowadays. Perhaps they have visited your church. They are always looking for a church, but fail to find one that meets their many criteria. They search in vain and sometimes give up and stop looking. Those who stop looking choose to church at home with their family, while others fall away from the faith that seemingly always let them down.
Imposters on the other hand have a church and are often very involved in ministry. But their lives are fruitless. Their children are out of control. They show no fruits of the Holy Spirit in their life. But they put on a happy face at church and in front of their Christian friends. They only live their Christianity one day a week.
But the vagabond imposters are the worst of both worlds. Theyíre church hoppers to the core with fruitless lives. They are always looking for the next big thing or better music so they can praise God without distraction. But when the preacher or someone else in the church says something they donít like, youíll always hear the same line: God has called us to another flock.
The thing is that all believers donít fit into one of these groups. But I guess if I had to choose which one I would like to be then I would be a vagabond. I would rather travel week after week in search of a church and live life for God than live a hypocritical life. The kicker is that I personally know all about being an imposter. I lived that life for years. I was the one at church doing everything for everyone, but had no fruit in my life. And like my blog yesterday, the snare around my neck was so tight that it took wire cutters to remove it.
Now letís return to Jesusí day. He was definitely no imposter and we can also see from Scripture that He was no vagabond. So who were the imposters? The religious leaders were. Read over the Book of Matthew alone and count how many times He calls the religious leaders hypocrites. It probably occurs more times than you think.
The very hypocritical part of todayís verse concerns the Pharisees. The Pharisees believed that resurrection from the dead was possible, while the Sadducees did not. Yet the Pharisees were there before Pilate wanting guards posted. Any Pharisees who really stood by his beliefs should have taken a wait and see approach to Jesusí resurrection. In fact, they should have been camping outside of the tomb ready to shout a loud I told you so the moment Jesus walked out. None of them did. They could be counted among the biggest imposters of all.
Are you a church hopper? Do you live out your Christianity daily, or do you just put on a good show for your friends? You may be neither, and thatís okay too. But I would definitely stop and check yourself. Being a vagabond isnít bad as long as you donít pretend to be a Christian in the process. Jesus may have been a vagabond in the eyes of the world, but the religious leaders were imposters in the eyes of God. Who do you want looking at you?