There are many great examples of good overcoming evil, but the greatest in history occurred some 2000 years ago when God sent His Son into the world. He wasn’t born in a palace, but in a stable outside an inn in a tiny, forgotten little village in Judea. No one expected him, no leaders hailed his arrival. In fact, when the local ruler heard of his birth, he ordered all the baby boys of that village slaughtered just to make sure they got the right baby.
Rumors abounded regarding his parents. When he grew up, his own family doubted his true identity. As he began his ministry, the common people heard him gladly, but not the religious leaders. They saw him as threat to their interests.
Eventually they decided that he must die! Fueled by hatred, jealousy and blind rage, they schemed and plotted and bided their time. Surely, this upstart rabbi would make a mistake sooner or later. When he did, they would pounce on him like a fox on a rabbit.
The day came for the showdown in Jerusalem. The religious leaders penetrated his inner circle and bribed his treasurer. Late one night, they sprang their trap, sending out hundreds of armed soldiers as if he were a general leading an army. But he allowed himself to be arrested and taken away.
Quickly he was tried and put in jail. Five times in six hours he stood before various judges. Some were cynical, some angry, some curious. None knew what to do with him. Witnesses made absurd charges against him, claiming he was a right-wing extremist, a rebel, a troublemaker, an insurrectionist, a traitor to the nation.
In the course of time, he was convicted of crimes he didn’t commit. The Bible tells us that when he was questioned, he refused to defend himself. When he was attacked, he refused to answer in kind.
Later, they beat him with their fists, then ripped off his beard, then spat on him. Finally, they lashed him. They crucified him along with two thieves. As he hung on the cross, his first words were a prayer for his tormentors: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Shortly after that, he died.
What a great man he was. Only God’s Son could have done what he did. How did Jesus survive the most awful day in human history? How could stand there and let himself be accused of crimes he didn’t commit? Why didn’t he strike back? Why didn’t he fight for his rights?
The answer is found in the little phrase–”He entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”1 Pet. 2:23) He believed that God was a God of justice, therefore he didn’t have to say a word in his own defense. He knew that God would take care of him in the end. And God did. On Friday he was crucified. On Sunday he rose from the dead.
Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t talk back? Aren’t you glad he didn’t retaliate? Aren’t you glad he submitted to God’s plan and went to the cross? If he hadn’t, we would still be lost in our sins. Because he did, we have everlasting life.