Caiaphas, Caesar, Christ
Are there multiple ways Messiah can wage the battle, achieve the victory and save the world and us?
Does the supreme value of Kingdom-come justify whatever means are necessary to get there?
When Jesus told them what being Messiah would mean and Peter rebuked him, Jesus named him “Satan.”
When James and John asked for special places on Jesus’ right and left, and Jesus says those places are already taken, Jesus may have meant the crosses that would be on either side of his.
When James and John asked about fire-bombing the unwelcoming Samaritan village, Jesus rebuked them and continued on to Jerusalem, signaling his determination to give own life rather them demand the life of others.
When the authorities agree to sacrifice another to save themselves (and Nation and Temple), Jesus sacrifices self to save others, including those very authorities.
When Jesus takes basin, water and towel around the table he did not hesitate to wash the feet that would abandon, deny and betray him.
When “apostolic zeal” produced two swords, Jesus said that would be enough.
When one of the twelve swung a sword, Jesus said, “Put it away,” healed the wounded, and assured that if was that kind of kingdom Heaven’s armies would be there.
When the Governor asks about the truth, Jesus does not lie, but insists Truth does not attack or defame the detractors and does not protect or defend self.
When the Governor asked about whether Jesus was the King, Jesus accepts the title but rejects what it meant to his inquisitors.
When the High Priest demands that he confess who he is and face the consequences, Jesus does.
When executioners spread his hands and nailed them down, and then propped him upright, they unwittingly set before the world Heaven’s welcome that beckons all Home.
When the placard over his head proclaimed, “King of the Jews,” precisely there and exactly then the Kingdom-not-of-this-world-yet-at-work-in-this-world manifested decisively.
When detractors jeered and trash-talked as he hung dying, Jesus prayed their forgiveness.
When stripped, humiliated and publicly exposed to the crowds, Jesus does not cry out or revile, but commends his spirit to the One who is faithful.
When the anguish of sin-bearing darkens soul and spirit, Jesus shouts his solidarity with the God-forsaken of all places and times.
When Jesus finally says, “It is finished” and breathes his last, he has only just begun.
If Jesus really is the Image of the unseen God, if Jesus reveals the One God no one can otherwise see, if Jesus is the One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells embodied, then there are not multiple ways for Messiah to wage the battle, achieve victory and save the world and us. And the supreme value of the Kingdom of God does not justify the means used, but instead the nature of the King’s own self determines the only path that can take us there.
When Friday’s dusk fades all the way dark and demons danced their victory jig, they could never have guessed what the God they hate had just done through them!
Later, when high priests and emperors went to bed, their nightmares began.