“But He Delivered Jesus to Their Will”
On the night of Jesus’ crucifixion, the guards paraded Him before several different officials, beginning with the Sanhedrin council (Luke 22:66-71). The Sanhedrin council, assuming they had enough evidence to convict Jesus of blasphemy in His claims to be the son of God, delivered Jesus to be tried by Pilate. As soon as Pilate learned Jesus was from Galilee, he sent Jesus to be tried by Herod (Luke 23:1-7). Because Jesus was unwilling to answer Herod’s questions, Herod and the soldiers mocked Jesus and sent Him back to Pilate (Luke 23:8-12). Pilate said to the multitude, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him” (Luke 23:14-15). Despite Pilate’s efforts, the people called for Jesus’ crucifixion. Pilate, answering to the cry of the multitude “delivered Jesus to their will” (Luke 23:25b).
What was the will of the Sanhedrin council for Jesus? The Sanhedrin’s will for Jesus of Nazareth was death. Over the course of the past three years, the Jewish leaders had become increasingly jealous of Jesus and threatened by His teachings. These people, who were supposed to be followers of God, saw Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God has their opportunity to kill Him. When the Jewish leaders looked upon the crucified body of Jesus giving up its last breath, it is likely they viewed their will as having been accomplished. However, while the Sanhedrin council succeeded in having Jesus put to death, ultimately, their will was not satisfied. The action of the Jews against Jesus brought about the fulfillment of God’s will.
After Jesus began His process of teaching, He said to His disciples, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). Take notice of Jesus’ intention to do the “will of Him” who sent Jesus. In a later statement, Jesus said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30). Jesus was working to do the will of His heavenly Father. As Jesus said, He had “come down from heaven,” not to do His own will, “but the will of Him who sent” Jesus (John 6:38). Jesus continues, saying, “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39-40). What was God’s will? God’s will was for every person who “sees the Son and believes” to have “everlasting life.” Let there be no doubt; Jesus Christ came to accomplish the will of His Father.
Throughout the three years of His work, Jesus laid the foundation for the new covenant. Once Jesus’ work was fulfilled, He did what was necessary to become the perfect sacrifice for sin and to empower the new covenant. It was at this point, at Jesus’ death, the will of the Jews resulted in the completion of God’s will. By putting Jesus to death, the Jews killed the perfect sacrifice for sins. Consider the words of the Hebrew writer, who wrote, “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.’ Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– in the volume of the book it is written of Me– to do Your will, O God.’ Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:5-10). The will of God was the sanctification of those who would believe and follow Jesus Christ. This sanctification was made possible by the death of Jesus Christ, a death sought by the Jews, but which brought about the will of God.
By putting Jesus to death, the Jews also brought about an end to the Law of Moses. In our previous verse we saw the statement, “He takes away the first that He may establish the second” (Hebrews 10:9). The “first” was in reference to the Law of Moses. The “second” was in reference to the new covenant of Jesus Christ. Jeremiah prophesied this change by saying, “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah–not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jeremiah 31:31-33). According to the Hebrew writer, Jesus’ death fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy. We read, “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:15-17). Take notice the writer refers to Jesus as “the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death.” By killing Jesus, the Jews crucified the “testator,” whose death upon which the establishment of the new covenant hinged.
While it is true Pilate delivered Jesus to the will of the Jewish mob, ultimately, their will was not realized. Instead, the Jewish leaders’ actions against Jesus brought about the fulfillment of God’s will, the salvation of those who would believe and obey Jesus Christ, doing the will of the heavenly Father (Matthew 7:21).
Take stock of your life. Are you seeking to do the will of the heavenly Father or are you, like the Jewish leaders, seeking your own will and desires? Only by turning to the Lord Jesus Christ and following His word can God’s will for you be recognized today.