As the referendum looms this week, how do you feel? Are you fearful that catastrophe could be right around the corner? Or are you quietly confident that it will all, sort of, work out alright?
Whatever your view is of Britain’s relationship with the EU, it is important this week to remember who has the ultimate authority over the situation and to understand who is in control.
During his lifetime, Jesus was clearly subject to the state. God used the rulers and authorities to control crucial events in his lifetime which served to fulfil his purposes on earth. Even his birth place was determined by a decision of Caesar’s, whilst his crucifixion was ordered by a Roman Governor. When Jesus was tried, he revealed an insight to Pilate which helps us to grasp the authority that God has over all situations; this includes decisions made by the collective people, and by kingdom rulers.
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Jesus allowed Pilate and the Jews to deliver him to be crucified whilst confidently expressing that he was in control. By stating that “my kingdom is not of this world” he gives us confidence to know that even those of the highest powers on earth cannot contend with the plans of our creator God. The history-changing decision of Pontius Pilate served to advance the kingdom of heaven when from an earthly perspective it looked like it was to end. Therefore, whatever situation we face this week come Friday morning, we can be confident that God has not been absent.
Swiss Theologian, Karl Barth, famously said to a friend the day before he passed away: “Just don’t be so down in the mouth, now! Not ever! For things are ruled, not just in Moscow or in Washington or in Peking, but things are ruled – even here on earth—entirely from above, from heaven above.”