Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” John 19:11
The author and finisher of our faith provides us with an example of how we are to stand in the face of accusers and those in authority who carry out unjust deeds. While Jesus was standing before Pontus Pilate to be judged for crimes he did not commit, after being spat upon, beaten and ridiculed. Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” John 19:10 NKJV
How do you respond when you are wrongfully accused? Do you defend yourself with words? Pilate could not understand how Jesus could keep silent and not answer the one who held the power of life and death in his hand. Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
Because Jesus understood that power and authority belonged to God. He knew that Pilate could not do anything to Him unless it was permitted in heaven. If we were more conscious of this truth, we would respond to difficult circumstances without stress, anger or fear. Nothing can harm us unless God allows it, and whatever He allows to impact our lives, it is with perfect knowledge of how much we can bear. Although Pilate saw himself as the powerful one in this exchange, he held an earthly perspective and so power from above was foreign to him.
We must realize that many individuals with whom we encounter have their perspective shaped by culture and or the social construct in which they are part of. It is therefore incumbent upon us to maintain a perspective that is from above. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2 NKJV
The pressure that Jesus felt was made manifest in the garden of gethsemane, as it is written in Luke 22:41-44 NKJV — And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Just a few short hours later he stood before His accusers with confidence and boldness, strengthened with might in His innermost being. Where did this shift in emotions come from?
The moment He submitted His will to our Father in heaven, the angels ministered to Him, strengthening Him. The same is true for you and me, when we submit our will to God, heaven sends help to strengthen us. This is a direct benefit of setting our mind on things above, not on things on earth.
May we face every challenge set before us knowing that power and authority belongs to our God and not our accusers!