Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (Psalm 2:1-3)
When the most righteous Man Who ever walked the earth stood before representatives of the world's two most powerful kingdoms – the Gentiles' Roman government, and the supreme religious authorities of Judaism – accused of crimes worthy of capital punishment, His defense appeared rather lackluster. True, He miraculously cured one of the arresting officers, who might have testified on His behalf. His disciples were eyewitnesses of all He taught and the good He did. Would they stand in the gap? Would Lazarus mount a rousing defense? Formerly blind Bartimaeus? Bold Peter? But scripture records none who came to His aid.
To even a novice, the questions and accusations were decidedly bent in one direction: peg anything on Jesus to warrant the death penalty. The burden of proof was high, and the high priest and Sanhedrin council had a hard time of it. They had to find a religious reason worthy of death as well as a secular criminal offense, for the Jews could not execute a man under Roman rule. Their two false witnesses messed up horribly. Even their testimony didn't agree. After being put under oath by the high priest (I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ?), He simply confessed His deity with a short answer. Jesus, knowing He had to be on a cross then in a tomb within a short time, gave them what they wanted. He voluntarily added, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Sitting on the right hand of authority? Perfect! It's both blasphemous (if He were only mortal) and treasonous (if He had Rome's lowly throne in mind). Let the monkey trials begin!
Then He's sent off to Pilate, who learning of Jesus' Galilean descent, dumped Jesus off on Herod, who happened to be in town for the Jew's holy day. Jesus answered Herod nothing in the face of numerous outrageous accusations. Back to Pilate, whose wife (an unelected "official"), advises him to have nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. Pilate declares Him innocent, find[ing] no fault in him, yet condemns Jesus to death when the rioters outside demand a fellow insurrectionist. Is this justice? We've heard little from the accused. Why isn't He talking?
God Almighty had already answered these evil schemers through David's prophecy: He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. God does not have a sense of humor. Irony, yes, when He heaps man's ways back upon his own head. This laugh is one of scorn and disdain. This laugh comes from an assured Ruler.
Travesty of justice is nothing new among the governed. It seems such will never end. Likewise, God's just and eternal proclamations know no end. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Psalm 2:6-9)
God controls the timing of any nation's start and doom. Abram got a hint of this when God disclosed 400 years of future affliction upon his seed before their enslaving nation would be judged. God's curious note, that in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full, seems as if God has a bucket list of national iniquities, and when it's full, it's over. His laughter begins.
King Jesus, God's Son set upon Zion's hill in heaven above, remains firmly in control, relinquishing nothing to any for any cause. Men's devil-driven thirst for absolute power and control, to be like the most High, propel the power-hungry upon earthly thrones by any means. God's executive orders remain in force: Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him. We best listen to that last statement!
Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
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