Summary: The love of Christ Jesus prevailed evn in the pervasive darkness of man's denial of God's love for the world and God's promise failing to accept the time of change because of their blindness to the faith of Christ Jesus.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (January 22, 2016)
“Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” (Isaiah 48:17, King James Version [Exhortation to obedience]; “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen...Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (St. Matthew 6:13; 15:14, King James Version [Our Father's Prayer; The Canaanite's faith]).
Greetings To The Elect Of Christ,
Giving tribute to those in a most prestigious and favorable way, I speak to you today of leadership. The death of Christ Jesus heralded in a new salvation but before the old way of the Jews was open to the new salvation plan, leadership in high rank led to God's saving grace. There was a mix in leadership that pervasively attributed to a few leaders who unassumingly assisted and the others who intentionally led to the death of Christ and foreshadowed the leaders of today in what is now known as “followers of Christ” which brought in the birth of the way of Christ Jesus, The Church of Christ---the Christians' Church. Firstly, let us look at the leaders of the time of Christ's death. Of Roman ruling leadership, there was Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea (A.D. 26 to 37), notoriously known for Christ's crucifixion, mentioned in all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), Acts and I Timothy, who was blinded by his ambition and by his love of the power he had to kill the Jews.
Pilate's leadership was seen through his duties from that of a Roman soldier to his high Roman post of Governor, primarily assigned to collect tributes and taxes, in Jerusalem. We are speaking of a man who controlled the Jews but did not desire to live permanently in Jerusalem with them rather stay on the Mediterranean coast, in Caesarea---to maintain his mainstream Roman rule posture and image but in long visits he persecuted the Jews, kept them in their place and at all costs kept the peace in fear of losing his high post. He also believed strongly in the powers of this world and held his allegiance to the powers of this world, so he was gripped by the darkness, in ambition always in fear of losing his position because he felt he'd already received warnings from Rome which consumed him so much because he slaughtered the Jews, raided their dwellings, and crucified them, for all to see, more frequently than not. These brutal acts of frequent violence upon the Jewish people blinded Caiaphas in his faith to God to see Christ through the eyes of faith instead of the rule of law, the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law or the spirit of the new law the gospel message that Jesus brought to them as a prophet's message to the people of the new law of faith.
Moreover, the beatings and killings caused the Jewish priest Caiaphas who answered to Pilate to fear that he would stop or cancel Passover or he would annihilate all the Jews during Passover, for the high priests, Caiaphas blamed Jesus, called him an agitator, for the disorderly conduct of the people, for Caiaphas believed Jesus would stir the people up during Passover and cause the wrath of the Roman Governor to come down upon them to destroy them, so Caiaphas felt if he did not give Pilate Jesus to crucify before Passover, then the Jewish people of Jerusalem were doomed with little hope of survival. With that said, Pilate even had power to execute for this power tool permitted him freedom to hate any assembly of disorderly conduct with an inflexible will that decided with a relentless force against them time and time again whenever they gathered together and disagreed amongst themselves using his full power and authority to kill the Jews and shut-down the Jewish temple so the high priest Caiaphas used Pilate's power to crucify Jesus, a man who demonstrated powers of God who Caiaphas was threatened by because he strongly felt that Jesus would take over the priesthood, take away his leadership of the high priesthood over the Jews from him and his family---he felt that Jesus would make his mark in the
hearts and minds of the people during Passover when he spoke to them, so he had to move quickly to get Pilate to do as he wished, which was, crucify Jesus. Is that not the reason why Herod Agrippa described Pilate in a letter to the emperor Caligula “as naturally inflexible---a blend of self-will and relentlessness” (The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 1994)? However, Pilate did believe in Jesus' innocence but was led by his self-will punishing Jesus twice---scourging him 40 stripes then crucifying him because the high priest influenced the people to choose their militant insurrectionist-a murderer over Jesus. Pilate was swayed or influenced by the contempt and mockery shown to Jesus by the Jewish priests and scribes, which conduct he must have enjoyed seeing because that was the way he conducted himself with them, so upon seeing that darkness of which Pilate loved the rule of the world---the rule of darkness, this conduct of hate towards Jesus obviously compelled him by convicting him in his heart to also sentence Jesus to death because he did not listen to the forewarning of his wife Claudia who protested against him crucifying Jesus, so she stood against the Jewish council, known as the Sanhedrin and what they did in an illegal hearing held at night, led by the high priest Caiaphas.