It seemed so well planned and executed.
Stir the pot. Talk to one of Jesus’ disgruntled and disillusioned disciples. Encourage him a little. Thirty pieces of silver. We will take care of the rest. Done deal.
Little did they know that they staged and scored an own goal. They thought they had won. Only to discover that they had lost. Big time. That final nail was the proverbial last nail in the coffin for them.
The minions and executors – Judas, the religious leaders, the Romans – could not have known. Even more surprising and shocking, the key movers and instigators – the rulers of this age – did not know either. They were clueless.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.1 Corinthians 2:7-8
1 Corinthians 2:8 tells us that “had they known, they could not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Their intention was to cross out the Messiah so that He could not complete His kingdom assignment. They did not know that the Messiah’s kingdom assignment was to be carried out on the cross. By putting Jesus up on the cross, they participated in their own downfall. What a double cross!
The ways of the kingdom have always been upside-down and contrary to the ways of the world. We know this. However, so many struggle when it comes to actually accepting and living it out. Instead, the tendency is to keep looking to the power and status symbols of the world – money, knowledge, name, popularity, etc. These seem so much more attractive than the way of the cross.
Sadly, the Church has also bought into this thinking and considered these as indications of God’s favour and blessings. This is not the wisdom of God. Let us be reminded that Jesus’ perpetrators and executors thought that they were really smart; only to be outsmarted. It was cosmic cluelessness of the highest degree.
If we are to be wise in the Lord, we must not walk the same path and commit the same error. If we have the Holy Spirit and are indeed walking in step with Him, we will know the wisdom of God, the deep things of God. These may appear hidden and a mystery. Yet, in Christ, by His Spirit, through the cross, it has already been revealed and made known to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
No wonder Paul “determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:3). Clearly, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Whatever the world threw at him, however intense the spiritual battle, Paul held on to the revelation of the Cross – a picture and reminder of the wisdom of God. Over the cluelessness of the powers and principalities of this age.
What an encouragement for us as we experience and go through the challenges of life and ministry. Look back to the Cross. Live forward from the Cross. We may not know or understand everything at that point in time. Embracing the way of the Cross, we may be considered foolish. But at least we know, we are not clueless.
Blessed Good Friday.