Powerplay

Powerplay
Words of Faith 3-20-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 19
[6b] But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him."
[7] The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."
[8] When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, [9] and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. [10] "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"
[11] Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Next Pilate came face to face with another question, “Who has power?” Where does power come from?
The text says that Pilate was afraid. Fear was probably not a common experience for a man like Pilate. From a worldly view, he was the most powerful person in the region. He carried the authority of Rome. Each day he had the power of life and death in his hands and made such decisions. But now he was afraid because of an encounter with an itinerant Jewish preacher accused of religious crimes.
Exactly what caused Pilate to be afraid, we do not know. It may have been because the religious leaders reported the claim that Jesus was the Son of God. He may have had a superstitious reaction to this. It may have been his immediate observation of Jesus. The torturous flogging of Jesus and humiliating degradation by the soldiers would normally “break” even the most hardened of criminals or zealots. But Jesus was clearly different. Instead of spitting out curses, hatred, and cries of despair, Jesus exuded the only thing He could, the fruit of the Spirit. Through the bruises, sweat and blood, not one iota of hate could be felt, only silent, patient, long-suffering love.
It must have been getting to Pilate. He must have realized that Jesus was winning this battle with each moment that passed. Try as he may, Pilate could not crush the love out of Jesus. He could not break the spirit of this one prisoner. He could not even instill fear.
Pilate made another attempt to assert his “power”. "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"
I wonder if there wasn’t a long, patient, pause here.
Power? Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…” Don’t kid yourself. You have no power except what is allowed to you. None of this would even be happening if it were not the will of the Father. You are taking nothing from me that I do not freely give.
That is an important thought for our day. Where is the power? God is the power. We have no power that has not been entrusted to us. We have no decision that He has not carefully placed in our hands. We have no ability or position that has not come with His approval. We have no wealth that did not come by His giving. Don’t kid yourself. Power? He is the power.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Amen. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)