Well, it's a milestone for us today, we come to the twenty-third chapter of the gospel of Luke...Luke chapter 23. And that leaves us with only chapter 24 in this beloved history of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The twenty-third chapter of Luke opens with Jesus being taken to Pilate, the Roman governor by the Jewish leaders who desire the Romans to execute Jesus. The chapter begins this way, "Then the whole body of them arose and brought Him before Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, 'We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.'"
For the moment, we can stop there.
We now meet another of the corrupt characters in the unfolding drama of the death of Christ. We add Pilate and we will soon add Herod to the list of Judas, Annas, Caiaphas and the entire Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of Israel. They are a Mosaic of tragic figures. All of them thought that they had the power or the influence to determine the destiny of Jesus, to render judgment on Jesus. They were wrong and that is the strange irony of this Mosaic. In reality, the destiny of Jesus had been determined by God. Jesus was never the victim of human decisions. He wasn't the victim of a corrupt disciple that betrayed Him. He wasn't the victim of a couple of corrupt High Priests who arraigned Him. He wasn't the victim of the Jewish Supreme Court who condemned Him. Nor was He the victim of Pilate and Herod who ultimately executed Him. He was God's chosen Lamb, and God had predetermined that He would die.
But nonetheless, this litany of corrupt and tragic characters play very particular roles in the murder of the Son of God. I guess the best way to understand it is, none of them really determined the destiny of Jesus but what they did with Jesus determined their own destiny. None of them really condemned Jesus, but each of them condemned himself....
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