Posted by: Brad Beaman | July 28, 2010

When Darkness Triumphed…..For an Hour

Golgotha

The Cross. We sing about the cross. We talk about the cross. We preach about the cross. It is a symbol in the church on jewelry. The cross, the crucifixion death of Jesus is central to the Christian faith. The cross is central to history.

All of history leads to the cross and everything since follows from the cross. It is the central point in all of time. Yet the cross is a low point in human history. It is the time that God’s anointed was executed. In the timeline of history the cross is the major event. One of Jesus’ disciples betrayed him with a kiss. Jesus saw beyond what Judas did to Satan, who entered Judas. The gospel records this.

But Satan did not work alone. He had his evil alliance in committing the worst act of history, crucifying the son of God. More than Judas. Ultimately Satan behind his betrayal and death. Yet there was no denying that many were involved and played a role in the crucifixion.

Military might, empty religion, world’s system, men pleasers joined hands together. Working together with a common goal to crucify Jesus and in so doing see their own causes triumph. And they were successful; this coalition of darkness did triumph, but only for an hour.

Luke 22:52-53 (New International Version)

52Then 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? 53Every 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.”

Empty Religion

Sometimes we think of rebellion and debauchery and contrast it to religion, as if all religion were pure noble and right. Much evil has come from the religious that is a form of religion devoid of a true relationship with God.

The religious seemed most eager of all to form this coalition with Satan to see the Son of God destroyed.  The religious elite, like Caiaphas, Annas and the Sanhedrin council derived power and personal gain from religion. Jesus came to overturn this and they believed he must be stopped whatever it takes.

Jesus publicly rebuked their hypocrisy calling them for what they were, whitewashed tombs. They held to a religious regulation mixed with superstition and tradition, but with no power to save men from their sins. These religious leaders would go to any extent to protect this system that served them well and which they derived all their self-worth. These religious elite were all too happy to pay Judas to betray Jesus.

Jesus was brought before Caiaphas the high priest the leader of their hypocrite high council. Jesus was examined before them with no reason found to put Jesus to death. They bore false witness against him. Jesus was charged with blasphemy and sentenced to die.

The next morning they delivered Jesus to Pilate, the Roman Governor for crucifixion. The religious leaders did not enter the palace to avoid ceremonial uncleanness, as if there was anything pure in them that was left to be defiled. It was all outward hypocrisy that is empty religion.

Even Pilate discerned it was out of envy that Jesus was delivered up.

When Judas was overcome with what he had done he went to the religious leaders to tell them he had sinned. Their response was, what is that to us. See to it yourself. Empty religion triumphed at the death of Jesus. It was the finest hour for empty religion.

Military Might

The death of Jesus was a triumph for military might and the might makes right philosophy. The Jewish Temple was grand. Roman soldiers temple police department. Both had the might is right mindset. Both groups assumed it is right mindset. Both groups assumed that their power from swords and clubs gave them liberty to spit upon Jesus, mock him put a crown of thorns upon his head. They put a mock robe on Jesus and bowed a bow of mockery and gave mockery worship to Jesus.

Jesus did not use that method when a detachment of soldiers came with weapons to make false arrest. Peter responded in like manner, drew his sword and struck. But Jesus rebuked him. “Put your sword away” (Matthew 26:52-53) those who draw the sword die by the sword. Jesus reminded Peter that if he so desired he could call twelve legions of angels and they would at once be at his disposal.

This was the hour for military might and their bullying. It was the finest hour for those who are brave when they outnumber their victims.  The temple guards, the Roman soldiers wanted Jesus dead. His was a kingdom not of this world, of love, of peace. They hated Jesus and all he stood for. It was their hour of victory when Jesus died. They were having their moment when they forced Jesus to carry the cross and nailed spikes into his hands and feet. It was their hour when they guarded the tomb assuming that clubs, swords and military might would matter. It was their hour when Jesus died on the cross.

 The World’s System

Jesus warned his disciples about the world’s system.  If the world hates you keep in mind the world hated me first, Jesus said. Herod Antipas was one of those in the world’s system that hated Jesus. His father Herod the Great tried unsuccessfully to kill Jesus when he discerned from the Magi where Jesus was born. The world hated Christ from birth.

When Herod asked the Magi where Jesus was he did not want to hear from God. He had already beheaded John the Baptist. Herod’s system was the worlds system. During Jesus ministry he was warned that Herod wants to kill him. Jesus calls Herod a fox. Tell that fox of my ministry and destiny.

When Jesus now stood before worldly Herod he was ready to die. Herod was pleased because he hoped to see some miracle. It was a typical worldly response. Herod mocked Jesus and dressed him in a royal robe. It was the hour for the worlds system to prevail. That dark hour.

Jesus told his disciples. You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. Herod and Pilate became friends that day. They were on the same team. The team of darkness that would triumph at the death of Christ. When the world hates you keep in mind it hated me first.

Men Pleasers

Pilate the Roman Governor, he said himself to Jesus; I have the power to free you or crucify you. He was a man with position, but without principle. While the others willingly collaborated with Satan Pilate did not want to, but he did not have the courage not to.

His wife told him, from a dream she had, that Jesus was a righteous man. Pilate said, I find no crime in this man, “I do not find this man guilty.” He tried to set Jesus free. He had the power to free him or crucify him. He knew Jesus was innocent first tried to give Herod the responsibility. Pilate knew he was righteous.

He must be the Son of God. But what about the crowd. What will people think? These are the concerns of the men pleasers. He let others make the decisions for him. What shall I do with Jesus the Christ? Wishing to satisfy the crowd he handed him over to be crucified. He defied his own conscience. Indecision took the victory. He asks, what is truth? One who knows the truth, but refuses to act on the truth. Indecision about Christ is the alley of Satan. Darkness reined….. For an hour.

Jesus was nailed to the cross. He died quickly. His side was pierced to make sure he was dead. He was laid in a tomb secured by a guard. Darkness reined as Satan, empty religion, the worlds system, men pleasers, military might were all together on the throne wearing the victors crown, for an hour.

It was a short-lived victory.  Sunday morning the stone moved. The guards were like dead men in fear angels rolled back the stone. Jesus who was crucified is risen. He arose! The light has overcome the darkness. “I am he who liveth, I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.” Up from the grave he arose. With a mighty triumph over his foes.

Satan is defeated.

World has been overcome.

Military might is now conquered by the Spirit of God.

Empty religion has been exposed and judged as wood hay and stubble.

Indecision is held accountable as is every careless word and deed.

There is victory in Jesus. The risen Lord! The hour of darkness has come and gone. The power of God overcame the darkness. He is alive forevermore. Don’t give the defeated enemy victory in your life.

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Responses

  1. Brad,
    Thank you once again for a great message and teaching. You ended by saying “Don’t give the defeated enemy victory in your life.” This message could not have come at a better time than now when I needed it most. Thank you as I always find your postings great encouragment in my growth and walk with my Lord.

    • Hi Yodit,

      Thank you for your feedback! How encouraging.

      In Christ, Brad B


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