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…” (John 19:10, 11 ESV)
Pilate said this to Jesus during Jesus’ trial. It is not hard for us to consider that God has ultimate authority. It is a little more difficult to accept that all in authority are only there because God gives it to them. This is difficult because we know there are bad and abusive rulers. But it is even more shocking to hear Jesus say this in the midst of his own trial to determine whether he will be crucified or not. Crucifixion was a terrible death. It was a slow agonizing death and could take many hours, even days before a person dies. A person crucified died from asfixiation because he grew finally too weak to hold himself up to breathe. In Jesus’ case he would hold himself up by putting his weight upon the nails going through his feet. Every effort to stay alive would have been pure agony. Plus, a crucified person is put on display naked for all the world to come, gawk, mock, and condemn. The decision to crucify was the decision that Pilate was to make with this authority that Jesus says is only his because God gave it to him. What is Jesus saying by this? He is helping us see that his crucifixion was coming by the will of God. It came by way of man, but it was God’s will. The prophet Isaiah explained in chapter 53, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him.”
Why do you think it was God’s will to crush his own Son, with whom he was well pleased and who he loved? What would move God to do such a thing? (For a hint read Isaiah 53) How does this affect you?
Thank God this morning for his great love for you.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 2 Sa 11, 2 Co 4, Ez 18, Jn 19