A Rendezvous with Death – Guy N. Woods

Guy N. Woods

Pilate’s contemptuous question, “Shall I crucify your king?” aroused the senseless fury of the raging mob which sought the Saviour’s death to its highest pitch and in a mighty chorus of hate sealed its doom by affirming its loyalty to Caesar and its rejection of Jesus and thus appointed for themselves a rendezvous with death nationally, spiritually and eventually, physically!

Here again, as is so often seen in the affairs of men, is a striking example of people being led, through their own folly, into the repudiation of that which they formerly held most dear. Their most cherished dream and that in which they gloried most had been the messianic expectation which involved the coming of a Deliverer out of Jacob who would liberate them from the yoke of Roman bondage and restore to them their freedom and sovereignty among the nations, and now publicly to proclaim their allegiance to the Roman emperor Caesar and their denial of the messianic hope—both of which allegations were sheer hypocrisy—evidence how far these desperate people went in their effort to destroy Jesus— the real Messiah.

There was far more truth in their wild and reckless affirmations than they intended; they did indeed by this denial of Jesus shut themselves off from His kingdom; by asserting loyalty to Caesar and by renouncing its rightful King the Jewish system committed suicide on that fateful morning in Jerusalem. The Lord earlier warned the Jews of their eventual destruction by Caesar (Luke 19:41- 44; 23:27-31), the fulfillment of which, minutely detailed by Jesus, reached its climax in the terrible siege and eventual fall of Jerusalem and the consequent end of the Jewish civil and religious state.

The malignancy and spiteful hate in their deliberate and calculated efforts to destroy the Saviour are without parallel in human history, and the retribution they suffered in consequence has seldom been equaled. All who had a hand in that historic miscarriage of justice have suffered the retribution usually reserved for the most wicked of earth. The infamous Judas died in shame, a suicide. Pilate, whose political fortunes he valued far more than simple justice stood helplessly by and watched his prestige fail, ultimately dying in banishment and in disgrace. Caiaphas was expelled from the high priesthood, Herod perished in shame and in exile, the house of Annas suffered destruction at the hands of a mob, and his son was dragged through the streets of the city. The siege of Jerusalem, with its unspeakable horrors, became the tragic lot of the race as tens of thousands of her people suffered and died, the direct descendants of those who had derisively shouted, “Let his blood be upon us and our children.” If ever a rebellious people deserved its fate, they did; and yet, the blood they shed, in the limitless and unfathomable depths of God’s great love and wonderful mercy, was poured out even for them and among the last words their innocent victim uttered was a plea for mercy in their behalf. Love at last had conquered and the Lord had achieved His purpose in coming into the world.

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Author: Editor

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