Delivered that we may be delivered {Day 35 of 40 Days of Lent}

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 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?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

(John 19:1-16 ESV)

The story of the last days of Jesus’ life on earth were populated by people who thought they were in control.

The Jews thought themselves in charge of a brief, illegal trial was over.

A pagan ruler whose apparent indecisiveness was matched only by his excessive cruelty ordered Jesus to be flogged – not once, but twice. An earlier, possibly lighter, flogging may have been an attempt to appease the crowd while this second flogging as a cruel, Roman specialty designed to inflict horrific pain on those condemned to an even more horrific death on the cross.

Soldiers thought they were in charge when they sunk a crown of thorns deep into his flesh. Blood gushed from His head as the soldiers covered him with a regal purple robe for Pilate to bring him before the people one last time.

“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Judas delivered Jesus to the soldiers.

The soldiers delivered Jesus to the Caiaphas and the Jewish council.

The council delivered Jesus to Pilate.

Pilate delivered Jesus to Herod.

Herod delivered Jesus back to Pilate.

Pilate delivered Jesus to his soldiers who crucified him.

“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Through it all, God was in control.

Jesus could have called legions of angels. He could have turned from the road to the cross.

He allowed himself to be delivered to death.

Because he was delivered, we are delivered.

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