Psalm 2:1-2 “Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.”
Think of the futility. What the Jewish leaders, Herod, and Pilate conspired to do to Jesus was futile. How can you oppose an almighty God? Even if he has become a human being, opposing him is futile. Even if he chooses not to resist you or fight back, opposing him is futile. Even if he let’s you kill him, what is that to the Lord of life and death? He takes back his life whenever he chooses. A little like the mythological Hydra, which grew its head back as soon as it was cut off, or the mythological Antaeus who regained his strength every time he was knocked to the ground, Jesus may look defeated when he dies. But he comes back to life again. The difference is that Jesus is not merely a mythological creature. And he has no undiscovered weakness that makes his defeat possible.
Kings and Commoners still conspire against the Lord and his Anointed One. Now deceased atheist Jon Murray said of Jesus, “There was no such person in the history of the world as Jesus Christ. There was no historical, living, breathing, sentient human being by that name. Ever. The Bible is a fictional, non historical narrative. The myth is good for business.” He conspires and plots in vain. Closing your eyes and pretending he doesn’t exist cannot defeat Christ. When fanatical governments or terror organizations support the murder of Christians, they conspire and plot in vain. Mistreating Jesus’ followers will not erase his memory or his name. Killing them only sends them to glory sooner. Their death often serves as a powerful testimony and seeds of faith for more believers. When people like you and me decide that we are going to become “the master of our fate” and the “captain of our souls,” we conspire and plot in vain. If we presume to set our own standards of right and wrong, or adopt those of our decadent society, we conspire and plot in vain. When we consider ourselves such shining moral examples that we hardly need a Savior, we conspire and plot in vain. Neither our self-deceptions nor our self-flattery will enable us to usurp Christ’s rightful place.
Why would Pilate and Herod and heathen religions and disobedient disciples of Jesus embark on a doomed assault against the Lord and against his Anointed? Jesus constantly confronts us with what God is really like. He threatens to overturn the comfortable little world in which people convince themselves they have all the answers to pleasing God, that their system for saving yourself works. Christ’s call to repentance, humbling self under God’s offer of forgiveness, confines us. The sooner Jesus is out of the way, the sooner people believe they can get control of their fate again; the sooner we can be pleased with ourselves just the way we are.
Thank God that all such plots are in vain, because this King is still the Savior King. The goal of his rule and reign is not to destroy the rebels. It is to win them as allies and citizens by his self-sacrificing love and his forgiving grace. The very death these kings conspired to impose against Christ has become our means for being reconciled to him. It has become the power by which he conquered our hearts and continues to rule in our lives. Jesus’ death for our sins is the reason we no longer want to be free of him. Let me “be his own, and live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness.”