- THE ULTIMATE STING!
Nowhere is God’s orchestration more mind-blowing than in the working out of his plan for our salvation.
See his hand at work in the crucifixion: Even Pilate, the heathen governor of Judea, is put in his place of authority by the will of God. Although he seems to be the deciding voice in Jesus’ fate, Jesus tells him flatly, “You would not have any authority whatsoever over me if it were not given you from above” (John19:10-11 Amplified Bible). Pilate’s authority was given to him because Jesus’ death was necessary and foreordained for our redemption.
In foretelling his own death Jesus said, “My Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again” (John 10:17-18 NKJV).
Although he isn’t aware of the implications, Caiaphas has it right when he prophesies to the worried members of the Sanhedrin:
Being the high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was to die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but also for the purpose of uniting into one body the children of God who have been scattered far and wide. So from that day on they plotted together how they might put Him to death (John 11:49-53 AB).
Jesus’ death is the centerpiece of God’s great deliverance plan. So he doesn’t interfere as Satan sets up Jesus’ betrayal through Judas, or as the ruling Jews demand his crucifixion, or as Pilate sends him to his death. It’s a hotbed of mixed motivations, fueled by fear and ambition and fanned by Satan. And God has coordinated it all.
The apostles later recognized exactly what had happened. They prayed:
“Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” (Acts 4:27-28 NIV).
It’s a divine sting operation! The Scripture says that if the rulers of this world had understood God’s plan, “they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8 AB). God allowed Satan to manipulate these influential people and bring about Jesus’ death—and so orchestrate his own doom. Satan envisioned only Jesus’ death; the resurrection and ascension—and our redemption—never entered his mind!