By the Help of Wicked Men

Jesus was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him on the cross~ Acts 2:23

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In a simplistic world, there are two kinds of people- those who inflict pain and those who receive pain. Most, if not all of us have been in the extreme ends at some point in our lives. From a Biblical perspective, wicked men have been depicted as an oxymoron, both antagonizing God and yet in their wickedness, being used as instruments in fulfilling the will of God. From the Bible we also know that the wicked men are used directly by Satan, luring them with their own sinful nature to propagate wickedness resulting to suffering on those it executes. For instance, the Bible simply states of Judas betraying Jesus Christ that, ‘Satan entered into him’ John 13:27.

The wicked men in their actions inflict suffering, which Christ promises as something mandatory to those who follow Him- sharing in His suffering and following in His footsteps. However, because ‘God is light and in Him there is no darkness’ 1 John 1:5. He does not cause suffering, but may permit it to happen to us for a while to ‘produce perseverance, character and hope’ Romans 5:34.

Although suffering takes various forms and comes through various conduits, it is important to point out that suffering may be as result of our good or bad actions. Think of Him who suffered without cause, the epitome of one who bore suffering, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. In the case of Christ’s suffering, like most men in the Bible, his suffering was executed by ‘wicked men’. (Think also Cain and Abel, think Joseph and his brothers, think Pharaoh and the Israelites).

Although we might be quick to point to the Roman soldiers and Jews who crucified Jesus and inflicted pain on Him, looking back, all of human-kind inflicted pain on the Son of God simply by our sinful nature, thus necessitating Him to come down to suffer on our behalf and ultimately redeem us from suffering.

So, if we all played a part in setting the precedence for Christ’s suffering, then by measure or degree we have caused harm to our fellow human beings thus being instruments of ‘wickedness’, which God used to at one point in our lives when we knew not Christ. Saul, before becoming Paul persecuted Christians. Years later, when Paul and Silas were imprisoned, the same guard who held them in prison in an ironic twist after seeing the light of God and being saved, ‘washed their stripes… set meat before them…’  Acts 16: 33-34.

This goes to show that the fate of ‘wicked’ men is not sealed and they can be used as instruments of good and Godly purpose if they turn to the light of Christ because He ‘does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’ 2 Peter 3:9. An excerpt from Philip Yancey’s, The Jesus I Never Knew, paints a scene where a ‘wicked’ Roman soldier at the foot of the cross found redemption through the light of Christ.

When Jesus died, even a gruff Roman soldier was moved to exclaim, “Surely this man was the Son of God.” He saw the contrast all too clearly between his brutish colleagues and their victim who forgave them in his dying gasp… By their rigged trials, their scourgings, their violent opposition to Jesus, the political and religious authorities of that day exposed themselves for what they were: upholders of the status quo, defenders of their own power only. Each assault on Jesus laid bare their illegitimacy.

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Like a cycle whereby those who do not know God are used by Satan, the Father of Lies and wickedness to inflict suffering to God’s Children, God’s uses them to accomplish His good will. As the Bible states, ‘The Lord has made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked are made for the day of evil’. However, because God is a just God who urges us to ‘turn from our wicked ways’, like the Roman soldier, through his light, we see the darkness that was in us. By design it is as if God’s light and Satan’s darkness are in constant battles through the seed grafted in human beings. Therefore, ask yourself, are you helping for ‘wickedness’ or are you seeking and willing for God’s light to expel the darkness?

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