Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Mar 01, 2011 | Comments (1)

The Trump Of God

It was darkness. The four figures are silhouetted against the evening background of the City's highest mountain. They are dealing in a high stakes game of life or death. Judas opens. He is known as one of the Apostles who believed Jesus to be the Anointed One, God’s Messiah, Christ the King. The belief in the Kingdom was that God would send His Messiah into Israel. The Messiah would defeat all the enemies of Israel including the hated Romans. He would restore the boundaries of King David and bring everlasting peace and prosperity to His chosen people. Acts 1:6

The Zealot party believed they could force the hand of God by starting an uprising. It would unleash the power of Rome. God would not stand by seeing His people destroyed. He would loose His Messiah to destroy the Roman armies of occupation and restore His Kingdom. The Zealots would always travel in pairs. Among the disciples was Simon the Zealot. Luke 6:15 and then there was Judas. The Sanhedrin did not know who they were dealing with.

The Sanhedrin was composed of elitist elders of both the priestly Sadducees and the Pharisee laymen. They did not want to lose their power by inciting the Romans. Judas played the hand that was dealt him. He had grown impatient with this Jesus the Lover. There was too much love and not enough hatred. Judas intended to force the hand of God. He bluffed the Sanhedrin into betting thirty pieces of silver he would lead them to a time Jesus was alone. They feared taking Him when He was in a crowd as the people might rebel against their authority. Judas kept putting them off until the night before the Sabbath. It was in Gethsemane they arrested Him and brought him before the High Priest.

Judas then played his trump card. Gotcha! It was the Law! If one was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to die, they must have a second trial to confirm the sentence. Because of the Sabbath starting Friday evening, no work could be done. Jesus would be in prison some three days before the second sentence could be pronounced. The people would feel betrayed by their rulers. They would revolt against them, bringing in the Romans to put down the riots. God’s Messiah would then be unleashed upon all of Israel’s enemies. Thy Kingdom come.

Judas had played his trump card. Then the Sanhedrin played one of theirs. They already had met for the first sentence weeks ago, John 11:47-51. This was the final sentence. The next day would be before Pilate. Judas lost his silver, his dream and his life.

The next day found Pilate unwilling to carry out the death sentence of crucifixion. He hated the Jewish leaders, believing as a Roman he was superior to them. The custom during special Holy Days was to placate the people by releasing a condemned man to them. It was whispered to Pilate (the Sanhedrin was way ahead of this bumbling Roman) that he could give the people the choice between Barabbas the robber and murderer or Jesus the Man of God’s Peace and Love. Pilate played his trump card. “Who should I set free”, not realizing Barabbas was convicted for robbing and murdering their hated Romans. Barabbas was their Robin Hood. Give us Barabbas. What shall I do with Jesus? Crucify Him! I wash my hands of His blood. Pilate trumped by the Sadducees sent Jesus to the place of Skulls. There He dies on the cross. “It is Finished” hear Him cry.

The Sanhedrin had played their last trump, game over. They won the final hand. But they forgot four hands had been dealt. One more hand was to be played. One more trump was left. It was the Hand of God. Good Friday is God’s Friday. It is followed by the silence of the Sabbath. Then as the sun begins to arise above the hill tops outside the City wall, there is the thunderous clap followed by a lightning strike. The stone is rolled away. The tomb is empty and the Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

It is truly the Trump of God. (see I Thessalonians 4:16, I Corinthians 15:52). Only found in the old King James translation. Other translations call it the trumpet of God. God’s trump is the old “Ace in the hole”. Any bridge player knows the Ace of Spades Trump Card defeats all other cards any time, any place and any time it is played and He did.

Comments (1)

  1. GeneC:
    Oct 25, 2011 at 05:30 PM

    Thank you Fr. Paul for explaining these scenes the best way I have found.


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