Who’s in Charge Here?

Who’s in Charge Here?

           Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:10–11, ESV).

Jesus. Undiminished deity dwelling in full humanity. The One who spoke and the worlds were formed.

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

“For in him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,” (Colossians 1:19)

“All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3).

Jesus.

Plant this all-powerful description of Him firmly in your mind as you prepare to read the following words: “Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him” (John 19:1). Understand how remarkable the idea is that a person Jesus created could deem himself authorized to order Him beaten, His flesh torn and ripped from His body by leather straps embedded with metal, bone, and sharp rocks, leaving Him hardly able to stand.

The flogging complete, Jesus emerged bloodied and abused. “Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the man!’” (John 19:5), no doubt in a tone of disdain. I think Pilate was hoping the people wanting Jesus killed would be satiated by the obvious punishment He’d absorbed by this point. But far from being satisfied, the bloodthirsty chief priests and their mob of onlookers cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” (John 19:6).

Pilate then took Jesus inside where he could speak more privately, “and said to Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ But Jesus gave no answer” (John 19:9). What awesome restraint. “So Pilate said to him, ‘You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?’” Don’t You know what I could do to You?!

Actually, here’s what Jesus knew: “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.” You are only doing to Me what I allow you to do.

Within that statement of Jesus and this scene in Pilate’s headquarters is one of the key principles to take away from Passion Week. The one who appeared to be in control actually had no control at all. And the One who appeared to have no control had everything. Jesus had all control.

Even on the cross the next day, when He “bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30), Jesus was still in total control. I mean, isn’t that sequence out of order? Shouldn’t His head not have dropped down until after He was dead? No, not Jesus. No one took His life. He wasn’t a victim here. He laid down His life. He willingly gave Himself up. He was always the One in control, all week long. Not Pilate. Not the angry crowd. Not the religious leaders. Not even Judas on the night he betrayed Him. No one on the scene was in control of any of these events except Jesus.

Here’s what you can do with this truth from God’s Word today. As you think about something you’re facing in your life right now, where, from everything you can see, there’s nothing God can do about it, think again. Think again while I say it again. The one who appears to be in control actually has no control at all. And the One who appears to have no control has everything under control.

James MacDonald