And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. –Luke 23:23-24
Man’s ignorance is appalling. We never see a better example of this than in the crucifixion of Christ. Yet in stark contrast we see the wisdom, power, and love of God on display at the cross. He allowed and used the worst thing to accomplish the best. John Flavel said it well in these words:
Did Christ stand arraigned and condemned at Pilate’s bar? Then the believer shall never be arraigned and condemned at God’s bar. Had God intended to have arraigned us, he would never have permitted Christ, our surety, to be arraigned and condemned for us.
Christ stood at this time before a higher judge than Pilate; he stood at God’s bar as well as his. Pilate did but that which God’s own hand and counsel had before determined to be done. Out of his condemnation flows our justification: and had not sentence been given against him, it must have been given against us.
O what a melting consideration is this! that out of his agony comes our victory; out of his condemnation, our justification; out of his pain, our ease; out of his stripes, our healing: out of his gall and vinegar, our honey; out of his curse, our blessing; out of his crown of thorns, our crown of glory; out of his death, our life: if he could not be released, it was that you might.
If Pilate gave sentence against him, it was that the great God might never give sentence against you. If he yielded that it should be with Christ as they required, it was that it might be with our souls as well as we can desire. And therefore, thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.