The disciples never saw the arrest of Jesus coming and ran away in the night at the time of Jesus arrest. Then while the Jewish portion of his trial was going on, Peter falls farther from God as in a panic in the courtyard he denies that he even knew Jesus. Then Judas, the disciple of Jesus feels the shame and burden of his betrayal for just 30 pieces of silver and goes out and hangs himself.
Next.. the trial of Jesus moves from the Jewish Night Court to the courts of Herod and Pilate. Though Jesus was an innocent man, he was chosen by the chants of a jeering crowd to be crucified in place of career criminal Barabbas.
Just think, on Sunday the crowds shouted HOSANNA, and just 5 days later they shout CRUCIFY HIM! I would like to think these were two entirely different crowds of people, but after enduring a few election cycles in America in my lifetime I have observed man is at best.. fickle.
So at the end of the trials.. Barabbas believes he is free, Pilate believes he was in control, and Satan believed he won the battle. In reality they were all just players in the salvation plan orchestrated by God
So if they were just pawns in God's Passion Play there is another question..
Who was to blame for the crucifixion of Jesus?
The beatings and crucifixion of Jesus are not proper material for a cartoonist, and beyond the comprehension of my comfortable world.
To think this was all part of God's plan for salvation and even when nailed to a CROSS Jesus still shows compassion and perspective that is incomparable with the words "Father Forgive Them for they know not what they do."
and then with his last breath Jesus declares "It is Finished!"
With these final words JESUS DIES. Then the skies turn Dark, the guards grow afraid , the ground shakes, and the Temple Curtain Tears from top to bottom!
But the message of the Cross though lost at this grievous moment is the very POWER OF GOD. This amazing story of grace and love by the son of God crucified on a cross as a sacrifice for a fallen world is about to be completed on that first Easter morning.
Even while hanging on that cross Jesus shares this same grace and love to the repentant Thief on the cross when he asked Jesus to remember him when you are in your kingdom, and Jesus replied.. "Today, you will be with me in paradise." This moment was another example of the heart of the gospel. God's grace is not about our report card. It is love and forgiveness of a loving parent.