John 11:49-50 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
This is a fascinating interchange, both on the level of the thinking of the Jewish leaders and on the level of God’s plans that are far deeper than we imagine. On the human level, these men were far more afraid of Rome than they were of God. We are tempted in exactly the same way. Appeasement can be very attractive in the short run, because we seek, as Chamberlain said after caving to Hitler, “peace in our time.” It didn’t do Britain any good then, and it doesn’t do us any good now. Today we speak of “throwing someone under the bus,” sacrificing someone in some way for the overall scheme to proceed. However, we can’t evade God’s justice any more than these Jewish leaders could. The other side of this particular situation is that God was using the sinfulness and pettiness of man to accomplish the greatest good since Creation. As John explains in the next two verses, what Caiaphas said was far truer than even he could imagine. That’s why we refer to the day of Jesus’ death as Good Friday. How could it be good when it was an incredibly gruesome travesty of justice? Because it was when Jesus took the penalty for the sins of all mankind, and our sins personally, on Himself, opening the way for our salvation by faith. We sometimes speak of someone “playing 4-dimensional chess,” when they have very insightful calculations and plans. God’s “chess” has infinite dimensions! That’s why we need to trust Him however things look from our perspective.
I have as much need to choose God’s perspective as anyone else. I’ve had a little more practice at doing that than some, but that doesn’t change the level of need. I too get frustrated when things don’t go as I would like, since frustration may be defined as the conflict between how we feel things should be and how we perceive them to be. I’ve got to remember that my perceptions are often inaccurate, because God’s ways and thoughts are so much higher than mine. (Isaiah 55:8-9) I am to stand against the devil and all his works, in my own life and in society, but at the same time I am to rejoice that ultimate victory is assured, because the One who is in me is greater than the devil and all his cohorts put together. (1 John 4:4) God has told me to rest, relax, and rejoice. I will do that only to the degree that I trust Him with the past, the present, and the future, believing that He is indeed omnipotent, omniscient God, and not trying to “grab the wheel” myself.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all the past few weeks have held, and indeed, all my life. Thank You for today, and all it holds. Help me indeed trust You enough to obey You completely, however it feels at the moment, so that Your perfect plans may be completed on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!