“Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” John 18:24
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God” Romans 8:28
There was a show who’s main character’s famous line was: “I love it when a plan comes together”. Well Annas, Caiaphas, the leadership, the High Council must have been thinking that very thing. Also, recently, the phrase: “We got him”, has been used to announce that a very evil person has been captured or killed. Again you can hear that phrase being passed in hushed voices among the crowd of leaders with congratulatory pats on the back.
Their plan, the plan of the Jewish leadership, seemed to be working to perfection. Find a traitor in Jesus’ ranks; check, we have Judas. Get Pilot to okay the arresting of Jesus; check, he gave a whole detachment for the purpose. Arrest Jesus in an out of the way place where there won’t be any crowds to come to His defense; check, arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. Now all that was left was to have a controlled trial with paid off witnesses. Convince Pilot that it was in Rome’s best interest to kill this man. Yep quite a plan they had and it sure seemed to be working. Even Jesus seemed to be cooperating by mainly keeping quiet.
People scheme. They work so hard planning nefarious deeds, thinking themselves clever and wily in their use of deceit and subterfuge. Men believe themselves to be smarter than all others but themselves and as they put their plan into action, with seeming early successes, they become convinced of their ultimate triumph. Their evil will prevail. They will not get caught. They work unseen. They are unstoppable.
Unstoppable? Unseen? Triumphant evil? Not Hardly. The schemers don’t understand that they were thwarted before they used one brain cell to devise their plan. They can’t comprehend that the evil they are devising is fitting into the Greater Good that God has had planned all along. They have no inkling of the reckoning that is in store for them when God’s plan comes to fruition.
For you see, we needed a Savior. If we were going to be able to inter into a perfect, everlasting relationship with God, it would have to be God’s Will that made it happen. We sin and try as we might (often times forgetting to even try) we have not the power within ourselves to stop, let alone atone for the past sins that we have. We needed a plan; a perfect plan. We needed a plan that would give us the Power to be cleansed from sin once and for all. We needed a plan that would allow us to walk reprieved into the presence of Almighty God because someone had atoned for our sins for us. That atonement would need to be performed by the shedding of blood; the death of the perfect Lamb. God had the only person in mind; Jesus Christ his Only Son.
So Jesus is arrested, tried, convicted, crucified and buried. Game over. Evil won. But wait a second. What this? Resurrected? That can’t be! ”Stop preaching Him! Stop healing in His Name!”, the leaders shout. One of their fiercest warriors, Saul, turns traitor and goes to the other side; changing his name to Paul and starts boldly preaching and starting churches. This can’t be happening, the Jewish leaders cry out. We won! We were smart! It was all going so well!
So what are we to take from this? We can take great comfort indeed. For today is no different. Evil people devise evil plans. The prince of this world schemes for ways to stop the church or at the very least drive a wedge between God and His people. They think they are winning. They believe they have won. But here’s the thing; Christ won upon His death and resurrection. Christ’s victory was assured when He came to earth as a little child. God’s plan was never in jeopardy of not succeeding; then or now!
Take heart dear brother and sisters. God has a perfect plan for each of us. And in the fulfilling of that plan, He will cause some earthly evil plans to never start; but He will also allow some evil plans to happen because He will turn them around and turn them into blessings for us. Through thwarting those evil plans; He will show His Ultimate Power to the world as well as show His commitment and mercy to His people. No evil devised against you or I will stand as long as we call upon the Name of Our Lord and Savior; Jesus Christ. Because of God’s ultimate Power to bring the circumstances of all things to be blessings to His People, may it be that we will plan to live lives that praise His Most Glorious Name.
Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, the world strives hard against You as well as Your People. We pray for Your protection from the world and the evil it devises. We call upon Your Name to thwart the plans of the enemy and bring there schemes to naught. We ask that You would turn their plans against them ultimately showing Your Power in this world. Finally, we sincerely thank you, Merciful Father, that You saw fit to devise a plan for our salvation. We praise Jesus Christ for being a willing participant in the plan knowing that it would lead to His death. Thank you for the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ’s resurrection which once and for all defeated death and the prince of this world. Praise be always to Your Most Holy Name. In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen