Always In Control

Read This Week: Matthew 27

They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews. From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. – Matthew 27:33-37; 45-51 NIV

The tendency is to read Matthew 27 and lose sight of the spiritual and eternal authority still embodied in Jesus. It is easy to look at His arrest, His trial, His appearance before Pilate, and the antagonism of the crowd and think things have spun out of control. It is natural to believe that when one submits to custody, they still have rights but have lost all authority. But this was not the case with Christ. He retained all the authority of God while under the subjection to the processes of man.

This keeping of Jesus’ authority can be seen in the way He responds to questioning. It did not make sense for someone accused of things that He was to respond in such a way to the charges. Pilate, the Jewish leaders, and the crowds are in turmoil, but Jesus calmly expresses faith in God. He is not afraid, for he knows that no human authority will decide his fate. He is still in control. Verses 11-14 capture this remarkable moment:

Meanwhile, Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

Jesus kept His authority in the laying down of His life according to the will of God. Even while going through a trial, being wrongfully accused of a crime, being beaten, humiliated, condemned to die, and placed on a cross, He still had the power to be the sacrificial atonement for our sins. Jesus said to the disciples and His followers that no one takes His life from Him. He gives it upon His own accord and in sync with the will of the FatherHe has the authority to lay His life down and the authority to take it up again. This authority is how He was able to say with finality and make these things happen in verses 45-50:

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

In His eternal power and authority, God is always in control. He never gives up His authority. No person, no entity, no process, no human construct, philosophy, or opposition can strip Him of His sovereignty and supremacy. Even when it looks bleak and as if all hope is lost on earth, God remains in control. Even as Jesus was arrested, tried, beaten, crucified, and buried, He was still in the driver’s seat. No one has the authority to take His power or His ability to accomplish His will. 

Believers should be encouraged by the truth and promise that God is always in control. His authority is gracious and merciful because it offers us salvation and a relationship with the glorious and righteous Savior. His authority is loving because it sustains us through all the seasons and challenges of our lives.

13 Comments

  1. Alma on November 7, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    This week in Matthew 27, God gave me a song called “Jesus Knew”:

    Jesus knew what He had to do, Jesus knew what He had to do
    He sacrificed his life for me and you

    He died on the cross so we could be new
    No more bondage, no more fear
    Our sins are forgiven because his love is true

    I only can imagine what He went through
    I only can imagine what he did for me and you

    Our Father’s Love is true, true, true. Amen.

    I truly can only imagine what Christ went through. I’m blessed because I know how much He went through so I could be free of my sins. He will always love me.

    • Ken on November 11, 2021 at 7:43 pm

      Real nice, Alma. Really helps us to know how much God loves us.

      • Alma on November 15, 2021 at 10:17 pm

        Thank you Pastor Ken . Your such a great Pastor and an encourager. Such a wonderful teacher.

    • Jason on November 11, 2021 at 9:11 pm

      Wow, Alma! This is such a beautiful and true offering of worship expression to Jesus. Your song made me thankful for the cross and sacrifice of Christ. This was my favorite part:

      He died on the cross so we could be new
      No more bondage, no more fear
      Our sins are forgiven because his love is true.

  2. Heidi on November 9, 2021 at 9:11 am

    The Father’s love for us is so amazing. Jesus came here to set us all free from sin, bondage, anything that controls and keeps us from seeing the truth.

    Jesus knew what He came here for. Even though He knew what He had to go through, I feel like it’s different knowing and going through it becomes really hard. I see Jesus suffering and even feeling in the moment that His Father wasn’t there but He was so that gives us hope that we may feel like Father God isn’t with us in our pain He really is with us.

    I’m so thankful to Jesus for showing us we can have hope, that Father God is always with us even when we can’t feel Him. All we have to do is get focused back on trusting the Lord at the moment that He is always working on our behalf to help us with what we’re going through.

    • Jason on November 11, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      This post contained some wonderful and helpful truth, Heidi. This part really struck me this week:

      I see Jesus suffering and even feeling in the moment that His Father wasn’t there but He was so that gives us hope that we may feel like Father God isn’t with us in our pain He really is with us.

      I am thankful that we serve and follow a faithful God who is near and with us even when we can’t see Him or feel like it. He is a good Father who is always near.

  3. Kathy on November 11, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    This was what I heard from God in Matthew 27. My son Jesus was not only the friend of man; He was the friend of sinners. In My Son Jesus being crucified, He paid the debt of all your sins. Some people today still reject Him. Do not be one of them. Do not prefer the lusts of your flesh before the life of your soul. It is possible for you to mock Jesus today by the way you live. Are you just a Sunday Christian, or do you live your life by loving and serving others for Me and bringing others to come to know Me, in all circumstances?

    As long as you are alive, I want you to be a vessel that I can flow through to those whom you come in contact with every day. Your salvation was accomplished because of the cross and what Jesus did for you. Love kept Jesus on the cross, not nails. Through all of this Jesus showed you, if you are scorned or persecuted by the world and made to feel unworthy, disregard this. He showed you that you are worthy! The best reactions sometimes are not to react. Your value comes from Me. Trust Jesus and trust Me.

    What this said to me was Jesus showed us that while he was being persecuted, there were many times he did not react. I am to learn to also not react. My value comes from him and not from people around me.

    • Jason on November 11, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      Such wonderful commentary this week, Kathy. This lines are literally ones that I need to know, understand and apply to my heart and life every day:

      What this said to me was Jesus showed us that while he was being persecuted, there were many times he did not react. I am to learn to also not react. My value comes from him and not from the people around me.

      May God give us the power, discernment, and strength to not react to the words, behaviors, and actions of me but to the Spirit and word of the living God who loves us and gave Himself for us. He alone determines our worth.

  4. Heidi on November 11, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    This song is so beautiful and precious and it goes with this chapter: https://youtu.be/MxG_0Ea6-fs

    Thank you, Jesus for all you have done for us. With so much love and with your arms wide open, your heart is always exposed to us. Thank you, Jesus. I love you.

    • Jason on November 11, 2021 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you for sharing this, Heidi. It is such a beautiful song and this is a part that gripped me:

      Love’s definition, love’s definition was looking at me
      Looking at Him, hanging on a tree
      I began to weep and weep and weep and weep
      This is how I know what love is, this is how I know what love is.

      God is the definition of love. He is love (1 John 4:8). I am so thankful.

      • Heidi on November 14, 2021 at 7:45 am

        My friend, my sister in Hawaii shared this song with me before I shared it. I cried and wept for a while because it touched my heart big time. Every time I play this song, I weep. Because I could see Jesus hanging on that cross with His arms wide open with His heart exposed to everyone for anyone who wants to see. All He did for them because He loves them. Thank you, Jesus, for your everlasting love!

        Thank you, Jason, for sharing that part. I pray that you feel extra blessed today and every day for blessing everyone with your heart from Father God.

        • Jason on November 17, 2021 at 8:53 am

          That is so beautiful. I love that. Thank you for sharing, Heidi. It is hard not to be overwhelmed with emotion when we reflect on the cross and all Christ did for us and the world. Thank you for your kind words to me and I hope and pray the same for you and your family today and every day!

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