Matthew’s Gospel rushes quickly to its conclusion. The enemies of Jesus were about to have their way or so it seemed. Cunningly they planned, saying, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people” (26:5). Nope, sure don’t want to have the people in an uproar! The story unfolds, and Jesus is killed. The enemies of Jesus get their way, right? Well . . .
Here's the thing, all this happened just as God intended, even to the point of precise prophetic language. The Psalmist had declared, “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:4). That is, let the enemies of Jesus plan and scheme as they will, the Lord laughs at them and has his way. Crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men, these men accomplished exactly that which was intended by “the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). God will have his way!
Still, Pilate sought to continue to control events. He had a guard of soldiers set before the tomb, making it secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. To quote the Psalmist, once again, “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision . . . As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill . . . Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2).
Alleluia! King eternal,
You the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! Born of Mary,
Earth Your footstool, heav'n Your throne. – W. Chatterton Dix (1866)