Er was a wicked man in the Lord’s sight. Onan did evil in the Lord’s sight. Judah made a plan of trickery and found himself tricked. Joseph was sold into slavery; he was pursued by Potiphar’s wife; he was accused of raping her and put in prison. The baker and the cupbearer were also imprisoned–one later released to freedom, the other released to his execution. Jesus is bound by priests, elders, teachers–the entire high council and led away to the Roman governor.
Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. (Mark 15:1, NLT)
When Pilate prepared to release a prisoner as was custom during the Passover celebration, the crowd called for Barabbas to be released, not Jesus.
9 “Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. 10 (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) 11 But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. 12 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”
13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”
But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified. (Mark 15:9-15, NLT)
I watch the effects of sin seep through a lineage, a history. It breaks families, steals years, murders. I remember other verses, that an enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Resentment leads to enslavement. Lust leads to imprisonment. Jealousy and hatred manipulate leading priests, elders, teachers, the whole high council and the people they influence to choose a murderer’s freedom over the Christ who came to set them free.
God, you are sovereign. Nothing escapes your notice. Not things that burn in a heart, not secrets kept hidden, not a prisoner unjustly accused and left forgotten. You are sovereign when a crowd calls for crucifixion. Your will prevails, even when it looks like sin wins. Sin comes to steal, kill, destroy. You hold freedom and life in abundance.
37 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
39 When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:37-39, NLT)
Lord, the lengths you go. You are just. You are sovereign. I can trust you. I praise your name. Grateful.