The bigwigs huddled in secret, hatching a plan to arrest and kill Jesus. But they had a problem: pilgrims were pouring into Jerusalem by the tens of thousands to observe Passover, and they were in a frenzy of excitement about Jesus.
Jesus had to be eliminated. “‘But not during the Feast,’ they whispered, ‘or there may be a riot.’” They would wait until the pilgrims went home; then do their dirty work.
Not so fast! Jesus told his disciples that he would be handed over to be crucified during the Feast of Passover.
“Not during the Feast,” said the schemers.
“During the Feast,” said the Lord.
So it happened during the Feast, for what the Lord decrees is certain to occur.
Sometimes we’re on pins and needles because God’s way doesn’t appear to be the winning way. When Eve fell for Satan’s lie it seemed that Old Scratch had won. But God decreed: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head . . . ” (Gen. 3:15). God decreed it; the cross and the empty tomb fulfilled it.
Spear in hand, Saul said, “I’ll pin David to the wall” (1 Sam. 18:10). But God decreed that Saul was to be dethroned and David enthroned: “Your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam.7:16). Jesus, as David’s descendent, was to reign on his throne forever (Isa. 9:7). The angel said to Mary: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David . . . his kingdom will never end” (Lk. 1:32–33).
Oops! On a fateful Friday Jesus was hanging on a cross instead of sitting on a throne. Satan had won. But no! God disarmed the powers and authorities, “triumphing over them by the cross” (Col. 2:15); routing the Prince of Darkness “by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 12:10, 11).
All power and authority in both heaven and earth is his.
Mortals ascend to high office, flex their muscles and brandish their power—but only briefly. Before long their term ends and they are swept out of office and into the dumpster of history. As J.B. Phillips advised, “Remember that the powers-that-be will soon be the powers-that-were.”
God brings down rulers and turns them into nothing. They are like flowers freshly sprung up and starting to grow. But when God blows on them, they wilt and are carried off like straw in a storm (Isa. 40:23–24).
He determines the course of world events; he removes kings and sets others on the throne (Dan. 2:21).
Hand-wringing gloom-and-doom in kingdom people is unbecoming and off-base. We are citizens of the only kingdom that doesn’t have an end date. “Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful . . . ” (Heb. 12:28).
Kingdom citizens make only one move—from kingdom here to kingdom there.
If Paul was right, God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Eph. 1:11).
That leaves no room for gloom.