Thursday, September 17, 2015

The most important priests and teachers of the law were trying to find a way to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people.”  (Luke 22:2 IEB).

Fear 02Fear is a strange animal.  It can freeze strong men motionless.  It turns legs into Jello.  It makes an orator speechless.  It turns the powerful into cry babies.  It makes important people self conscious.  It changes the aggressive into cowards.

The fear in the priests and teachers of the law blinded them to the weakness of the people’s loyalty to Jesus.  Pilate’s willingness to release Jesus was undermined by his fear of losing his standing with Rome.  Pilate’s answer was to wash his hands while staining them with cowardice.  The priests and teachers ridded society of their troublesome Rabbi, only to  propel him into the world’s recognition, while they melted into obscurity.

Ignorantly they served the devil in his fruitless attempts to thwart God’s plan to save a lost mankind.  He was doing everything within his power to remain the god of this world.  He had deceived those priests and teachers into believing they were God’s followers.  They thought Jesus was Satan’s puppet attempting to undermine their godly positions.  Jesus was just another false Messiah to them.

They thought they were doing God’s work.  Surprisingly, they were!!  That’s right.  They were doing God’s work!  How?  They were fulfilling prophesy, just from the wrong side of the street.

He was hated and rejected by people.  He endured much pain and suffering. . .He was hated. . .he certainly took our suffering upon himself, and he felt our pain for us. . .But he was wounded for the things that we did wrong.  He was crushed for the sinful things we did.”  (Isaiah 53:3-5 IEB).

They were the ones who hated and rejected.  They were the ones responsible for his pain and suffering.  They were the ones who made it possible for him to be wounded and crushed.  They thought they were God’s faithful servants when in reality they willingly took up the mantel of the one attempting to defeat God’s plan (John 3:16).  They succeeded in murdering Jesus.  The irony of their efforts is that they were successful in making Isaiah’s prophesy come true!

Fear can be your enemy.  It can also be your friend.  A child is warned to not touch a hot stove or cross a busy street without its parents.  Obedience keeps the child safe.  Fear of punishment for disobedience may also be a helpful reason.  God has given us warnings, to help us and keep us from harm’s way.  Yet, fear causes us to not trust God.  That fear is welcomed by Satan.  Our refusal to trust and obey God can lead to consequences which we do not desire.

What direction are your fears driving you?