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Friday, 3 August 2012
Be encouraged, He has full authority over all wickedness
Why Was Jesus Unintimidated by Pilate?
by John Piper | July 31, 2012
Ponder with me the lesson of Pilate’s authority over Jesus.
Pilate said to Jesus, “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)
Pilate's authority to crucify Jesus did not intimidate Jesus.
Not because Pilate was lying. Not because he didn’t have authority to crucify Jesus. He did.
Rather this authority did not intimidate Jesus because it was
derivative. Jesus said, “It was given to you from above.” Which means it
is really authoritative. Not less. But more.
So how is this not intimidating? Pilate not only has authority to kill Jesus. But he has God-given authority to kill him.
This does not intimidate Jesus because Pilate’s authority over Jesus is
subordinate to God’s authority over Pilate. Jesus gets his comfort at
this moment not because Pilate’s will is powerless, but because Pilate’s
will is guided. Not because Jesus isn’t in the hands of Pilate’s fear,
but because Pilate is in the hands of Jesus’s Father.
Which means that our comfort
comes not from the powerlessness of our enemies, but from our Father’s
sovereign rule over their power. This is the point of Romans 8:25–37.
Tribulation and distress and persecution and famine and nakedness and
danger and sword cannot separate us from Christ because “in all these
things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:35–37).
Pilate (and all Jesus’s adversaries — and ours) meant it for evil. But God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20).
All Jesus’s enemies gathered together with their God-given authority
“to do whatever God’s hand and God’s plan had predestined to take place”
(Acts 4:28). They sinned. But through their sinning God saved.
Therefore, do not be intimidated by your adversaries who can only kill the body. Not only because this is all they can do (Luke 12:4), but also because it is done under the watchful hand of your Father.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is
forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6–7).
Pilate has authority. Herod has authority. Soldiers have authority.
Satan has authority. But none is independent. All their authority is
derivative. All of it is subordinate to God’s will. Fear not. You are
precious to your sovereign Father. Far more precious than the