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When Evil "Backfires"

by Rev. Kirby Williams

What the Sanhedrin meant for evil, God meant for good.

Text: John 18:29-32
Date: 04/07/2023, the Good Friday service.
Series: "Good Friday" Part 14
Occasion: Good Friday

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As we continue our yearly Good Friday series, we return to John's Gospel to find the Sanhedrin with a beaten and bound Jesus, standing outside Pilate's house. Their intent is clearly evil-- to hand Jesus over to Pilate so he will crucify Him. We will analyze the tense dialogue between them and realize that the religious leaders will accept nothing short of crucifixion for their own wicked reasons. But as is the case throughout Scripture, God often allows the evil intent of satan's agents to materialize, but turns the results to His will and to good. In this case, their insistence of hanging Jesus on a tree in order to see Him "cursed", totally backfires on them, bringing about the ultimate destruction of sin and death and sealing the fate of satan in the process! The Sanhedrin meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. And therefore, evil backfires!

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I. Introduction, Gen. 50:20.
II. Exposition of the text, John 18:29-32.
A. Context
B. The evil intent.
1. Introducing Pilate, vs. 29a.
a. Pilate's history.
i. Background
ii. The governor of Judea.
b. Trouble with the Jews.
i. A dramatic "sit-in".
ii. A protest to Caesar.
iii. Murdering worshipers, Luke 13:1.
2. A tense dialog, vs. 29b-31.
a. Pilate's question, vs. 29b.
i. The "back and forth" of the dialog.
ii. A surprising request.
b. The impudent answer, vs. 30.
i. Analyzing the reason, John 18:3.
ii. An "ad hominem" accusation.
iii. False accusations, Luke 23:2.
1) That Jesus was misleading the nation.
2) That Jesus was teaching treason, Luke 20:25.
3) That Jesus was a threat to Rome.
c. Pilate's shrewd response, vs. 31a, Matt. 27:18.
d. The Jew's counter-move, vs. 31b.
3. Evil that God means for good, vs. 32.
a. The Sanhedrin's perspective.
i. Killing the name as well as the man, Deut. 21:23.
ii. The agents of satan, John 8:44.
b. Christ's perspective, Gal. 3:13.
c. When evil backfires, John 3:14, 8:28. 12:32,34.
III. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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