Isn’t it amazing how life changes from one day to the next? It is amazing that people can go from friendship to hatred for each other in a very short time. It is amazing that every time we think things are about to improve in the world and that we have made a turn in the right direction, that something happens to carry us down the wrong road so soon afterward. I look at the events of our own time and all the marching, mobs and destruction of businesses or of property of people who had noting in the world to do with the problems that we are angry about or the wrongs that we believe have been committed against us. I don’t know what the jury will decide in the case of the policemen that is charged with the murder of the man whom he kept his knee on his neck for too long. But I know this, there is something horribly wrong with people who are supposed to be leaders in the country or even among people, who shout that if the jury doesn’t rule in the way we are demanding we are going to destroy the city or burn down neighborhoods. There is a reason we send people to court to be tried. Rule by mob doesn’t work and leads to innocent people being hurt horribly. But what good is it to have a court or jury if we are going to demand, no matter what the evidence is that you see, you must rule the way we like or we are going to do all kinds of damage to the city? I don’t always agree with how the courts rule on anything. But I know that mob rule is not the answer. If we demand our way with one case, what happens when it is someone we like or even agree with that is being tried for something later? Do courts and juries make mistakes? Certainly, they are made up of humans. But, I had a million times more trust what a jury decides over what an angry mob decides. The fact there has been injustice in the world doesn’t ever justify our own injustice toward others.
Think of the time recorded in Luke 22 when Jesus had celebrated the last supper with the apostles. He had washed their feet, even knowing they would all forsake him, one would betray him and sell him to a mob for thirty pieces of silver and another would deny him three times. He instituted the Lord’s Supper with them and told of the coming kingdom. He challenged these same men to love each other in the same way he had loved them and said that would be how others would know they were really his disciples. After the supper, he went out with eleven of the twelve apostles to the Garden of Gethsemane where he prayed earnestly to the Father about what was about to take place. He asked, if there was any way that he might not have to go through the cross. But there was no other way. Judas came, leading the mob, with swords and spears to arrest Jesus. Judas went up to Jesus and kissed him over and over again. Jesus asked, “Are you betraying me with a kiss?” Simon, who would would soon deny him, grabbed his sword and took a mighty swing cutting off the right ear of a man named Malchus. Jesus demanded he put his sword away saying that one who lived by the sword would die by the sword. He reminded Peter that if he wanted to do so, he could call down ten legions of angels to deliver him from that hour but if he did so what would happen to God’s promise of the savior?
Notice what happened then, “Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him. ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. BUT THIS IS YOUR HOUR – WHEN DARKNESS REIGNS.” (Luke 22:52-53).
God has all power and all authority. He could indeed have stepped in at the moment and stopped the whole process. But we would have been left without a savior who paid for our sins with his own blood. God instead chose to allow darkness to take the lead for the moment. He allowed the darkness to reign so that the light of salvation might shine bright as he went all the way to the cross to bear our sins in his own body on the tree. Darkness would have its day. But to their total surprise in only three days the very one they executed knowing full well his innocence, would be raised from the dead, triumphant over death, hell and the grave!
I wonder how long the dark hours of our time will last. How long will God allow Satan to have his way and evil to be called good, sin to be called a choice and rebellion seen as the way to set things right? I know that God holds the answer. He holds in his hands the power to overcome Satan and his rule in the world. He has given us one tool to use to change the world for the better. it is the gospel of Jesus that we are challenged to go and preach to the world. The sad reality is the followers of Jesus so often become carried away with their own ideas and plans and fail in the mission of sharing the good news with all people. No matter how dark the hour, We have good news to share. That Good News is the very power of God to Salvation for all who believe. Jesus paid the price for your salvation. Don’t let the temporary challenges of life move your attention from what matters for eternity to what matters today.