Read Matthew 27:1-66
It seems like an impossibility . . . even a contradiction. How can the same people through the same actions cooperate in carrying out a demonic plot and yet, at the same time, accomplish a divine plan? I have no great answer other than God can redeem even the vilest acts of mankind. As with Joseph’s experience, He is able to purpose for good what man (and even Satan) designed for evil (Gen. 50:20).
But at first glance, we may only see the evil.
We may only see how Satan influenced Judas. We may only witness this disciple’s kiss of betrayal. We may only hear the words of the kangaroo court that convicted Jesus. We may only smell the charcoal fire where Peter denied Him. We may only see His bruised body that was whipped and nailed to a cross. We may only observe the mockery of a crown of thorns and listen to the taunting voices that made fun of an innocent man. For that matter, we may only hear the very voice of Jesus Himself as He called out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46)
Had Satan won? Was the demonic plot victorious?
We dare not forget that God was . . . through the same people and with the same horrific murder . . . simultaneously accomplishing the ultimate good of His divine plan. The crucifixion of Christ was an essential part of His will. He had warmed us to the idea through numerous Old Testament signs including:
- His own instruction to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, while, in the end, providing a ram in his place (Gen. 22).
- The necessity of a Passover lamb for the rescue of God’s people in Egypt (Ex. 12).
- The necessity of sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16).
Yes, God redeemed even this evil plot. After all, according to His divine plan, “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).
Thank you, Jesus, for your suffering!