The past few months I’ve been using a Harmony of the Gospels (a chronological blending of all four biographies of Jesus) to get a more panoramic view of Jesus life. Today I was reading about the legal proceedings leading up to Jesus execution.
I am amazed at how willing the Sanhedrin (the Jewish governing council) were to violate their own laws of justice in order to convict Jesus. Here are a few of their own laws they broke (there are many more):
- They arrested Jesus at night
- They accepted the assistance of a betrayer
- They convicted him without the agreement of two witnesses
- They didn’t individually pole the members of the council for their verdict.
They simply wanted Jesus dead.
They didn’t care about playing by their own rules.
They wanted what they wanted.
What a stark contrast to the way the God of the Universe was willing to submit himself—in the person of Jesus—to his own rules, even to the point of a gruesome death at the hands of His own creation. It was a price He was willing to pay out of the vast ocean of His love for humanity.
Eugene Peterson, in The Message, has rendered Philippians 2:5-8 this way:
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Thank you Abba that you are just. How ironic that at times we humans accuse you of being unfair! I am so grateful that I can trust you completely to rule over the universe with justice and over my own personal circumstances with compassion. Jesus, please rule over my heart!
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