“This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled” John 19:24 (NIV)
One of the most famous of Scottish poets was Robbie Burns. His birthday is celebrated world wide by people of Scottish descent on January 25 the day known as Robbie Burns Day.
One of his most famous poems is entitled, “To a mouse” written in 1785. An expression in it goes as follows: The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley. The modern translation is: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
What Robbie Burns was trying to say is that it does not matter who you are, human or a mouse, your plans can shipwreck on previously unknown factors. Someone has suggested the comment, “Man proposes God disposes”.
For so many reasons our well laid out plans stumble because we did not account for something getting in the way such as illness, lack of resources, lack of wisdom in the planning of the future, and so on. Many of us would never have guessed our lives would unfold as they have if we had been asked 25 years ago about our future.
If you read the Bible for the first time and started in one of the Gospels at the passion narratives you might possibly think that Jesus was the victim of circumstances that got the better of Him. He goes through two trials that do not make sense and is cruelly executed. Even one of the men crucified with Him states Jesus’ innocence. You wonder how such a fine man could come to such a dreadful end.
But again and again in the scenes of Jesus’ suffering you get glimpses of a sovereign hand behind the scenes controlling what happened.
What we have in our text today is a statement that it had been prophesied that Messiah’s garments would be divided among several people and lots cast for a particular piece. Psalm 22:18. So when we witness the apparent chaos of Jesus’ life at this dark hour we are not to lose sight of the fact God was making everything happen according to His plan.
Now when you are in up to your neck with crocodiles it is difficult to believe everything is happening according to some grand plan. You have some grounds for thinking life just does not make sense. Many of us have reasoned in this way when tragedy strikes whether we are to blame or not.
What is being played out in Jesus’ life is the truth that God is behind all the events that occur in life. If we have been “born again” by the Holy Spirit (see John 3:1-16), God is doing things in our lives to prepare us for heaven.
Those who are Christians acknowledge with the Apostle Paul that this world is not our real home. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (NIV).
All the suffering of Jesus was part of God’s plan to redeem or save sinners from what they deserve, and to give them heaven, or paradise forever.
If you are a believer in Jesus you may have peace in the midst of chaos in the thought that your life will make sense some day even if now, like the scenes of Jesus’ suffering, you cannot see the plan. You will see that your suffering, like Jesus’ was purposeful and did make sense after all.