August 23

Someone has made a statement something like … men plan, and God laughs. The idea behind this statement is that we humans often think we are in charge. We think that because we have given titles, and we have earned degrees and money, that we are the ones who are in charge. The truth is that we are not the ones who are in charge at all. God has always been in charge; He is in charge; and He will remain in charge forever. The self-proclaimed “greatest” men on the earth all have seen their frailty when it comes time for the end of their lives. Their seeming strength or position means nothing when death comes knocking at their door.

As I was reading today about the mock trial of Jesus, I was reminded of this once again. Pilate examined Jesus and found nothing worthy of any punishment. He left his judgment hall to go out to the courtyard where the religious Jews had congregated to revel in the punishment of Jesus. He encouraged these leaders to “… take ye him, and judge him according to your law” (John 18:31). There was a simple problem that these religious Jews had with that suggestion. “The Jews therefore said unto him, ‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death’” (John 18:31).

I want you to catch the power of the words written in your Bible. The Jews answer is an integral part of the plan of God, unknown to them. There are multiple Old Testament references as to how the Messiah would be killed. All of them suggest death by crucifixion. The nearest I can find of when crucifixions began was around 70 BC. This is when the Roman government began to use this method to torture and kill criminals. The Jewish leaders would not have killed Jesus in this manner, even if they wanted Him dead. Psalm 22 described the death by crucifixion. This chapter was estimated to have been written almost 1,000 years before Jesus was born.

Here is the thought that came to me while reading this account again today: I will not doubt the power of every word in my Bible. The Jews could not have killed Jesus, because God has placed the prophecy in the Bible in Psalm 22, 1,000 years before any of them was born, that the Messiah would die as a result of a crucifixion. This had been God’s plan before Adam and Eve ever reached out for the forbidden fruit. Is it any wonder that Jesus remained so calm throughout this entire process? He already knew the plan. He knew the plan before the manger in Bethlehem, and He had volunteered to do His part! Man may plan and scheme, but never forget that it is God’s plan that will be worked out in your life. Whatever you are facing today, has been in the plan of God. Accept it and enjoy the ride!

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