One of the most ironic things that have happened in history was how men claiming to serve God put God’s Son on trial.
In the YouTube videos that Rudy Ross and I have recorded for this week, we have frequently shown a drawing that explains some of what was taking place.
Behind a crudely drawn curtain, I wrote two words, “God” and “Satan.” If you haven’t seen the picture, “God” is in large, bold print. On the other hand, “Satan” is written in as small of print as could be seen on the video.
God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere present. Satan has none of those qualities. By no means, are God and Satan co-equal gods battling it out to see who will be victorious.
Satan blindly attempted to kill Jesus, believing that the death of God’s Son would allow him to rule the world. Satan used the religious establishment, Roman authorities, and even Jesus’ disciples for his purposes.
God was also at work in the background. Luke gave insights into God’s activity. Paul’s letters go further to explain what God was doing to save humankind through his Son.
— 2 Corinthians 5.17-19 – So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;
That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
In order to bring humans into a transforming relationship with God, he was “in Christ” reconciling the world to himself.
When God reconciled us, he changed his relationship with us by forgiving our sins and putting us to work in his reconciliation business.
God’s redeeming work was hidden from the religious and Roman authorities. Neither did any of Jesus’ followers understand what was taking place with regard to Satan and the Father.
Human Response – Human Responsibility
If you have seen the illustration in our YouTube video, you know that on the other side of the curtain is what was apparent to all. Human beings judged the Son of God and treated him with the utmost disrespect.
Though there were invisible actors in the drama of salvation, these people were never the less accountable for their actions.
— Luke 22.63-65 – Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him;
They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”
They kept heaping many other insults on him.
Jesus was mocked and abused by the Temple police before he stood before the Sanhedrin for their judgment. The Sanhedrin was the Jewish ruling body in Jerusalem.
— Luke 22.66-70 – When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council.
They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”
He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer.
“But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”
All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?”
He said to them, “You say that I am.”
Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”
The Temple authorities had many opportunities to listen to Jesus’ teaching when he spoke on the grounds of the Temple. They never sought to learn from Jesus, but only attempted to find ways to accuse him.
Rudy explains in today’s video that no one ever expected Israel’s Messiah to resemble the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.
As we examine Jesus’ responses from the trials to his crucifixion, images of Isaiah 53 will frequently appear.
At this point in Jesus’ journey to the cross, Isaiah’s message defines his experience.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people. (Isaiah 53.7-8)
Seven hundred years before Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, Isaiah prophesied his fate before the religious and governmental establishment. What happened to Jesus was the Father’s plan all along.
That being said, the people who treated Jesus in this fashion were guilty of a great offense.
Let’s not forget that Jesus came to save sinners. It is possible that some repented after the resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
As we consider the ways that we have judged God’s actions and complained about them, let’s recall this tragic moment in world history. Let’s join the “repenters” and humbly turn to God for his forgiveness and restoration.
I have frequently referred to the YouTube video that Rudy and I produce. I think our dialogue will help your appreciation of this passage. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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