“What shall I do with this Man called Jesus?” Pilate asked the restless crowd.
“Crucify Him!” they shouted.
“No,” Pilate countered. “I won’t crucify Jesus. I’m going to crucify that murderer Barabbas instead and set Jesus free.”
The crowd grew angry. “If you set Jesus free, our law demands we take Him and stone Him.”
And they did.
If you’ve read any of the four Gospels, you know this is not how it happened. But it could have, if God weren’t in control. Have you ever thought about that?
The Law of Moses demanded death by stoning for anyone who committed blasphemy against God. Stoning—not crucifixion.
If God weren’t in control, Jesus would’ve been stoned to death before the germ of the idea of Calvary and the cross ever grew in the Jewish leaders’ minds. Eager to pick up stones and silence Christ, their desire became ravenous.
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied,
“but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
~ John 10:33
Fortunately, God’s not hindered by man’s desires.
God had pre-determined Christ would be crucified. Despite multiple attempts to stone Jesus, they failed. God intervened.
Pilate failed too.
So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me?
Do You not know that I have authority to release You,
and I have authority to crucify You?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me,
unless it had been given you from above . . .”
As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him . . .
~ John 19:10-12a
I love it.
One statement from Jesus transformed Pilate from bold and arrogant to quaking in his sandals.
Pilate thought he’d make Jesus beg for his life, until Jesus set him straight. Suddenly Pilate seems ready to give Jesus an all-expense paid trip to anywhere.
If God weren’t in control, Pilate would have set Jesus free.
But, He couldn’t go free.
Christ had an appointment with the cross that had been set by God before the foundations of the earth. God wouldn’t allow Pilate to set him free.
(There’s more to the story about Pilate that I’m going to tell in my next post, God Still Pardons Murderers, that beautifully demonstrates that God is in control. If you think you know what it is, please leave comment in the comment section—where else, right?)
If God weren’t in control over man’s desires and determinations, Jesus wouldn’t have been crucified that day, and we’d be lost. We’d be without a Savior or a God who’s able to take care of our every need. Thankfully, God is in control. Nothing can stop Him.
God desired to make a way for man to be free from sin and restored back into a relationship with Him. He did. Neither the Jewish leaders, Pilate, nor Satan could stop Him.
God determined to give man free will to choose if he would acknowledge Jesus as Lord. He did. But one day, every knee will bow, and no one can stop it.
God is in control of everything that touches our lives. Over the good and the bad. Over those who belong to Him, and those who deny Him.
This would be a scary thought if God weren’t also the God of perfect love—but He is—and out of the abundance His love, He pours out blessings. On the good and the bad. On those who belong to Him, and on those who deny Him.
But His greatest blessings are reserved for those who belong to Him.
And no one can stop Him.
Never forget God’s promises to you.
Never doubt His love for you.
Trust in Him, and rest.
God is in control.