There was Collusion and Obstruction of Justice.
It has distressed me that the release of the Mueller report on Maundy Thursday has overshadowed the holiest week of the Christian year. I have intentionally not watched the news—not even the weather—for days. I refuse to allow the political machinations of our deeply dysfunctional government to distract me from sharing in the sufferings of Christ.
Yes, there was collision and obstruction of justice. Judas colluded with corrupt religious leaders to betray his Lord for a month’s wages. The political classes colluded with one another to eliminate a threat to their tenuous, power-sharing arrangement with Rome. Jesus was unjustly accused of an offense he did not commit.
The mob was also culpable. They demanded the death of an innocent in exchange for a murderer’s exoneration. A ruthless politician literally washed his hands of the situation and ordered Jesus to be tortured to death in the most horrendous way imaginable—by scourging and crucifixion. It was a tragic obstruction of justice.
The ancient prophet said of God’s suffering servant, “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
Peter didn’t try to spin these events. Weeks later on the Day of Pentecost, he boldly preaches that none of this took God by surprise…
“But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip” (Acts 2:23-24).
All who conspired against Jesus and crucified him on Good Friday are accountable, but it was God who planned it all. And because my sin separates me from God, just as much as those who killed God’s Son, I am also to blame. But the cross redeems us all.
Peter would later write, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18 NIV).
“And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior’s blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
Greg Gallaher, Senior Pastor
Georgetown First United Methodist Church