On this Good Friday, I am reminded of a controversial choice made nearly two thousand years ago which was heavily influenced by a large, loud, and shamefully uninformed angry mob. In an intense moment of decision, the crowd in Jerusalem exerted excessive pressure on the local ruler to make a populist decision regarding the lives of two men. It was a sentence of life or death for two “Sons of the Father”: Jesus the Messiah and Barabbas the Murderer. The angry mob shouted loudly enough long enough that an innocent man was condemned to death, and a guilty man was set free—the choice being applauded by religious leaders present on the occasion.
While to us in the twenty-first century this choice seems exceptionally unfair, the sentence carried out utterly barbaric with the punishment in no way, shape, or form fitting the “crime,” it was this very choice which brought God’s larger plan for the redemption of humanity to fruition. It was a choice with both immediate and eternal ramifications.
Most retellings of the Passion villainize the crowd, the religious leaders, and the Roman authority who made the final verdict; however, this pivotal decision was a critical component in God’s redemptive plan. We cannot fathom any different outcome of that scenario. It HAD to be that way. I’m not saying that the excessive beatings, ridicule, mocking, and torture were part of God’s plan. God’s plan involved a battle victory for satan which secured His victory in the war for the human soul.
Fast forward to today: Good Friday 2016.
We’ve had a week involving terrorism in Brussels, our current President dancing the Tango in Argentina, arrests of terror suspects in France, and “If you say anything bad about my wife, I’ll cyber-bully your wife!” politics here in the United States. Blech!
If you’re having a difficult time deciding whom to vote for in the upcoming election, join the club! The “How I Feel about Picking the Next President” meme is a fairly accurate description of the *apparent* dilemma facing U.S. voters in this election year.
In fact, it was this exact dilemma that sparked the concept for this blog in the first place. Although each presidential candidate exudes confidence and possesses unique qualifications for the job, each one has his or her own problem—a big problem—which overshadows any (or all) of their positive qualities. From the federal investigation of an unsecured email server to schoolyard-like bullying banter between candidates to apparent voter fraud—this election season is plagued with more controversy, distortions of truth, and verbal abuse than any other election in my lifetime. It’s chaotic, disturbing, and embarrassing.
After a week like this, I kinda feel like Bob the Tomato:
“Ya roll the dice, move your mice, nobody gets hurt.”
I suggest there is only ONE thing we can do about the upcoming election: PRAY. Pray hard for discernment, then vote according to your convictions, and trust the Lord for the outcome.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Every day at Noon EDT, I’m taking time to join people of faith all over the world to specifically seek God for clarity regarding the upcoming election. Won’t you join me in prayer? Every day, we are humbly bringing our requests before the throne of God asking Him to:
- Reveal the truth about each candidate;
- Grant us discernment to make good choices;
- Light a fire in the hearts of voters to participate in the upcoming election;
- and provide clear guidance to our current President in these troubled times.
As people of faith, this is what we are supposed to do. Scripture says:
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: 3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:2-3
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.'” Acts 17:26-28a
So, won’t you join me every day at Noon EDT (or whenever it’s most convenient for you) to pray about the upcoming election?