By Charles Stanley, Christian Post Contributor
April 6, 2012|8:44 am

Mark 15

With hundreds of Old Testament prophecies related to the expected Messiah, it shouldn't surprise us that God used many people--believers, non-believers, and even some unquestionably wicked individuals--to ensure that the Savior's earthly life would unfold according to plan. For example, Caesar Augustus ordered a census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, Christ's birth city (Micah 52; Luke 2:1-4).

What's more, God used some of the most powerful men of the day to bring about His Son's sacrificial death. The Pharisees' and Sadducees' trumped-up charges helped turn the crowd against Jesus (Mark 15:10-11). Pilate condemned Him, and the Romans carried out the actual crucifixion; they even bartered for His clothes and chose not to break His legs, as predicted (John 19:24, 36).

During the dark days between Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples must have believed the Messianic program had been derailed. But God's goal wasn't to bring political revolution as some believed. He sent His Son to redeem mankind: Jesus paid the death penalty for our sins.

Before the foundation of the world, God had planned for the salvation of every tribe and nation. Throughout history, He orchestrated events to fulfill His purpose, using even the ungodly to move His plan forward.

Many have had a hand in advancing the Savior's story, but the ultimate responsibility is the Father's. He gave His only Son over to death on behalf of the world He loved (John 3:16). Both the righteous and the wicked who took part in the Easter story were following God's script.

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