Who has not come across this old saying… Rule #1: “Your boss is always right.” Rule #2: “If you think the boss is wrong, refer to Rule #1.” Take heart, there is a big boss over all the bosses. Of several Hebrew names for God, the word Adonai (See Is 6:1, NLT), used to describe the Almighty on His Sovereign throne, has through the ages brought comfort to the confused, solace to the distraught and reassurance to many with creased foreheads. The somber setting–King Uzziah, who by and large was a good King offering security and prosperity had died–to the vision of Prophet Isaiah is good enough reason for the Almighty to remind the worried Prophet (about the future of the Judean Kingdom) that good Kings may come and go but the King of Kings shall always reign from His throne providing for His needy ones at all times.
Not only the King of Kings rules over all, He also at specific times influences (even without their knowledge) the Kings and authorities, He has placed in power in a way they virtually dance to His Divine tune in order that the bigger Divine purposes are achieved. Take Christ’s birth in Bethlehem as a case in point. Where was the Holy family of Joseph and Virgin Mary when the time was drawing near for the birth of the Saviour? In Nazareth (Northern part of Israel) but as per the prophecies (Micah 5:2, NLT) where would the Messiah be born? In faraway Southern town of Bethlehem!!! So the Heavenly King in whose hands the heart of an Earthly King is like “a stream of water that He channels toward all who please him” (Prov 21:1, NLT) made Roman Emperor Augustus pass a decree that Census has to be taken which required all Jews return to their native towns and villages. Joseph’s forefathers, who were descendants of King David (a native of Bethlehem), had due to so many unknown reasons in the past shifted from Bethlehem to Nazareth in the intermittent time of 1000 years (David lived around 1000 BC). But now thanks to the Royal decree…
“All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son…” (Luke 2:3-7, NLT)
So if in God’s plan the birth of the “Lamb of God” (see John 1:29, NLT) was foreordained in Bethlehem, then it was also part of His Redemption plan that God’s Paschal Lamb (1 Cor 5:7-8, NLT) complete the atoning work on the the Cross exactly on Passover day in Jerusalem again precisely between 3 pm and 5 pm, exactly when the Paschal Lamb is slain as per the Law (Ex 12:6, NLT). Mind you, by Jesus’ own words He came to fulfill the Law (Matt 5:17 NLT). Because He has met all the requirements of the Law, we are saved from its demands (Acts 15:4-11, NLT / Gal. 5:1 NLT).
Here it would not to be out of context to remind ourselves that just as the blood of the Paschal Lamb made the death angel pass over the Jewish homes on the night of their redemption from Egyptian bondage (Ex. 12:21-23 NLT), the Blood of Jesus (God’s Paschal Lamb) on us unworthy sinners makes the just wrath of God “pass over” over us (1 Thess 1:10, NLT) at all times. During this season when we meditate on our Lord’s sufferings, beginning with the next devotional, Of “Control” at the Cross, we will focus on how the Almighty controlled events leading up to Christ’s atoning death exactly on the Passover day at the appointed time.
Prayer: Father, I know you can easily influence the hearts of the authorities. Influence my heart too in such a way that I always do things pleasing in Thy sight. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
(To access the entire “Of ‘Control’ at the Cross” mini-series, please click here.)