for truly in [Jerusalem] there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27–28, ESV)
As you read the story of Jesus' crucifixion, does it ever seem to you like you're trapped in a bad dream or an ordinary day that completely spiraled out of control? There have been occasions after a big argument with my wife and we're both in our corners fuming that I step back and ask myself, "How did that just happen?" One minute we were reminiscing about our favorite dates and the next we were in each other's face.
I used to look at the night of Jesus' death this way. He gets picked up in the garden by a few clueless soldiers. After a little grumpiness from the high priest, it actually seems like he's going to walk because both Pilate and Herod have no idea what the whole thing is all about. But the angry voices get louder, Pilate is backed into a corner and before you know it Jesus is taking his last breathes on the cross as blood and water stream down his side." And you ask yourself, "How did it come to this? How could this have happened."
It happened because it was planned by an sovereign, all-powerful God.
God was weaving a tapestry. The threads included angry mobs, lies, murder, hatred, betrayal, cowardice, pain and agony. It's hard to believe anything beautiful could come from such thread.
But it did. The atoning blood of Jesus opened the door of eternal life for those who would believe.
God is weaving a tapestry today and there is no thread he cannot use.