The key to success is to be in “the right place at the right time.” History has shown this adage is true more often than not. This trite phrase is second only to “it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” It seems to me that my uncle Wylie related to each of these quotes by saying “Why is it I’m always a day late, and a dollar short?” Timeliness is a universal principle regarding opportunities won or lost.
The week of Passover was about winning the war. In ages, eras, and eons past, the great battle for sovereignty between Satan and the Creator was waged in the heavenly realm, before the earth and all of creation ever existed. Satan wanted the power; wanted to be God. Scripture declares he was one of the mightiest angels God ever created, but he was not God. Satan’s pride and refusal to submit to God’s authority resulted in his being cast out of heaven to inhabit the earth along with God’s lesser creatures. The battle continued on earth, with the fight for human souls. Sin entered the world because Satan wanted to rob God of His glory by causing God’s highest earthly creation to rebel against God too.
The history of the Old Testament is about how these battles were fought through the Hebrew nation; and the promise that one day, a Messiah would win the final battle dealing with Sin. The four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us the story of Jesus’ life, the Messiah. It was a life which served as the final battle ground regarding Sovereignty and Authority, and just who will have the final victory to be called God. The battle plan was simple: in order for Sin to be forgiven, a sacrifice must be made. A debt must be paid.
As far as the Jewish leaders were concerned, the timely death of Jesus was the only solution allowing for them to remain in power over the people. Jesus had grown too influential among the masses. Jesus was arrested, taken to Annas, then to Caiaphas. The Apostle John gives this telling insight into the mind and thoughts of the former high priest.
Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.
So, manipulating Pilate, Herod, and the Roman state, these Scribes and Pharisees were in the right place, at the right time, with the right claims of “crimes against the state.” They were successful at ending the life of Jesus, because they said “He claimed to be a king!” It was timely. It was successful. So they thought. God seemed to have other plans. In hindsight, they probably wished they’d listened closer, had keener insight into what God was busy doing. We have this same view, (hindsight through the written Word of God), to help us understand the significance of the death of Jesus.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
At exactly the right time, pre-ordained by the Creator Himself, Jesus carried His own cross to the place of the Skull, and was crucified. This action was part one of the final battle plan to win the war for Sovereignty, once and for all. It was done out of LOVE. It was done because God’s sovereign desire is that everyone come to know Him, have a personal relationship with Him, then come to live with Him eternally. Satan would have destroyed this plan if he could. But God’s timely presence, His providential care, demonstrated with absolute clarity, the lengths to which He would go to save those who would believe.
Perhaps its timely that you’re reading this article. Perhaps today is your day to believe, and become part of the family of God.