So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.”
Of all the reversals, the thundering ironies, the staggering paradoxes of our Lord’s passion, few are as pulverizing as this: Jesus has granted authority to the Roman governor, by whose worldly authority He, though innocent, is sentenced to death.
Pilate’s worldly authority was likewise bent through paradox to the saving purposes of the Almighty, when he inscribed “King of the Jews” on the Cross. The cynical ruler who with a sneer questioned truth, made known the truth, though he knew it not.
Despite the horror and betrayal, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, in unity with His Father and His Spirit, overruled through all things. His will was accomplished, His purposes achieved, for He was always, and never more than in that hour, Lord of all; and we who acknowledge that Lordship are more than conquerors with Him.
It is the Lordship of Christ we celebrate today. On Easter morning, the final and unanswerable conquest of death and sin is proclaimed through all the world. The scandal of Christ’s church divided recedes from view; in the joy and triumph of Easter we have true unity, under the Lordship of the Risen Christ. We may not even share a calendar, but we share a Lord, Who was crushed for our iniquities, and upon Whom was the chastisement that brought us peace.