Summer Daily Devotional - John 18
God in the Dock
There is a collection of C.S. Lewis essays, published after his death, titled, God In The Dock. "The Dock" is a reference to the area in English courtrooms where the defendant is kept throughout the trial, symbolizing that he is in custody...that he (the one standing in the dock) is the one on trial. The title illustrates how much of what Lewis wrote about in the area of Christian Apologetics was in response to modern Man's habit of putting God on trial. To Lewis, this was of course backward—in direct conflict with reality. God is not on trial before Man, rather Man is on trial before God.
John 18 is the story of God in the dock—Jesus on trial before the religious and political courts of the day. Every section of this chapter is packed with significance, irony, tragedy, and profound theology.
There's the arrest of Jesus, Peter's denial, Jesus before the High Priest, and Jesus before Pilate. At every turn, Jesus is validated. He is who He says He is. He is the Son of God. He is blameless. He is the Truth. And yet the monkey trial continues. It's backward. It's wrong. It's tragic. God is in the dock, on trial, subjected to the accusations and judgments of sinful Man.
Why? Why did Jesus willingly undergo this catastrophic injustice?
1. He did it because this was the cup His Father had given Him (John 18:11)
Jesus suffered the greatest injustice in history so that you could be justified. The cup Jesus drank in going to the cross was the cup of God's wrath poured out against sin. Jesus the sinless One, bore the wrath reserved for sinners...sinners like you and me.
2. He did it because His Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36)
In view of His eternal Kingdom... "for the joy set before Him," as the author of Hebrews put it, Jesus endured the injustice of sinful Man.
3. He did it to tell the Truth...the Truth that He is King (John 18:37)
This is where the Gospel story becomes irresistibly beautiful. In suffering for sinners, Jesus was testifying to the truth of His Kingdom, so that sinners, the kind of sinners who are prone to deny Him like Peter, or who are prone to accuse Him like the religious leaders, might repent and believe and enjoy his eternal Kingdom.
WHAT THE WORLD SAW AS JESUS' CRUCIFIXION, THE FATHER SAW AS JESUS' CORONATION.
(Just take a sneak peak at the first few verses of John 19 and see for yourself)
Ironically, those who arrested Jesus in the garden unwittingly demonstrated the only right response to this King who died for sinners...the only right response is to fall at His feet.
When Jesus said to them, "I AM He," they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:6).