Today, the devotional writer says, “The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God.”
In that context, the Scripture points to Pilate and his claim of authority. He says he has the power to release or crucify Jesus Christ and in that lies the mystery of God. Why would God give a man this authority? Isn’t this a terrible risk?
Today’s news is filled with situations that raise the same sense of mystery. The Bible says God is sovereign and controls all things. Why then is the world filled with so many events that contradict our idea of a loving God? Back in the day when Pilate was challenged, he didn’t consider that God was allowing him the authority he had. He tried to get Jesus to defend Himself and said to him:
“You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” (John 19:10–12)
Those opposed to the greater plan of God are usually ignorant of it. Pilate was. He had no sense that the man he was about to crucify would bring salvation to a sin-filled world. All he knew, or thought he knew, was that he was powerful and he called the shots.
Compared to Pilate, I’d say most of the political leaders in today’s world have no idea why God allows their worst decisions or what He is going to do with them. Pilate thought the issue at hand was whether Jesus lived or died but he was oblivious to the deeper issue: someone perfect had to die for the sins of the world.
We look at things like carbon taxes, spats over who rules what territory, immigration issues, and a host of other things, but very few will claim to know what God is doing on a deeper, eternal level. As many Christians say, all we know is the last chapter of the story — Jesus wins.
Oh Lord God, the newspaper would severely depress me or drive me to fear if I did not consider the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Your death, unjust and totally tragic, seemed to be one of the worst things that could have happened. But You allowed it, not only allowed it but planned it — so that we might be set free from the tyranny of sin and spend eternity with You. This story has nothing to do with Pilate’s ‘authority’ because no matter what he tried to do, You were in charge. By Your eternal plan, our Savior would die. Because that is true, the news is only news. We are simply oblivious to the details in Your plan that will bring this world to its knees before You.