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Mark 254 - Dark Plans




Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.


“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied.


Mark 15:1,2[1]


Just as the morning sun is beginning to bring light to the eastern sky, they make sure that Jesus was tied up. Not that Jesus was going to try and escape. He hadn’t resisted them at all. From the arrival of Judas and the crowd in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus made no move to run, hide, or escape.


Yet, they tied him up and then led him away. They might have had a rope to pull him along. Or they might have driven him at the point of spears and swords. No matter how they did it, it was both physically and emotionally harsh.


The point of taking him to Pilate was simple. They were under Roman rule and lacked the authority to kill anyone. If they’d gone off and killed Jesus, they would’ve come under harsh and swift Roman justice. Which, by the way, didn’t look anything like our justice system. Basically, you made your case in front of a judge, they decided, and then the sentence was carried out immediately. Bribery was a common way to “seal the deal” of the sentence.


But something more is going on here. The Jewish leaders didn’t realize it, but they were part of a much bigger plan. A plan that God had put in place long ago. He then showed some of his plan to prophets who wrote down what had been revealed to them.


God’s sacrifice was not going to be beheaded, stabbed, or even stoned. God’s plan was that his sacrifice would be on wood, on a tree.


anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.


Deuteronomy 21:23


They were exercising their God-given right to make decisions. Yet, God was using their choices, no matter how awful or selfish, for his glory and our good.


The death of Jesus wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a mistake. It wasn’t out of control. No, it was in perfect alignment with who God is and his plan to save you and me.


And we needed saving because of who we are. We’re under the curse of God. We are cursed because of our selfish and self-centered choices as shown in our words, thoughts, actions, attitudes.


We don’t like to talk about being under a curse, but it’s true nonetheless. Think of it this way. There are two sides to ever law: a reward and penalty, a blessing and a curse.


When I come to a complete stop at a stop sign, I earn the reward to continue with my trip. I earn the freedom to go forward to wherever I want. But when I fail to come to a complete stop I’ve broken the law. This puts me under the penalty side, the curse of the law. And when I’m found guilty, I’ll have to pay the fine.


And it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve come to a complete stop. I don’t earn points that I can use to pay for breaking the law. I’m guilty, putting me under the curse side of the law.


This curse from turning away from God takes three forms.


  1. We’re under the curse – Galatians 3:10[2]

  2. Jesus was made a curse for us – Galatians 3:13[3]

  3. Jesus redeemed us out from under the curse – Galatians 3:14[4]


Jesus became the penalty, a curse for us. This allowed him to pay our penalty. And we receive his payment, not through earning it through anything we do, but when we receive it through faith.


If this isn’t good news, then I don’t know what is. God sees us as lost, broken, cursed. And what does he do? Does he turn his back on us, like we do to so many people that we have judged as morally and spiritually inferior to us?


No, he comes and pays our penalty at the extreme and eternal cost of himself. His son’s death on the cross pays it all for us. And because he’s done it all, our response is worship, thanksgiving, obedience. The old hymn says it so well.


Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.[5]


God took the dark, evil plans and used them for his glory and our good.



[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. [2] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+3%3A10&version=NIV [3] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+3%3A13&version=NIV [4] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+3%3A14&version=NIV [5] I hear the Savior say, Elvina M. Hall (1865)

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