God Gives Us Power to Sin?
In John 19 we continue to read of the exchange between Jesus and Pilate. Jesus says a fascinating thing in the following passage: 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” I want to focus on Jesus’ words: “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” Pilate mistakenly assumed that he was in charge. He assumed that he had the ultimate power. Jesus corrects Pilate’s understanding of power and the source of power. Neither Pilate or the religious leaders were pulling a fast one on God. The cross was part of God’s plan for redemption of mankind.
I’d like us to think about the idea that God gives us the power to do the wrong thing. On the surface that sounds, at least to me, kind of strange. Why would God give us the power to do wrong? In some ways this is similar to the age old question of why does God allow evil. If God doesn’t give us the power to do wrong, then do we really have the power to do “right”? If there is no “wrong” as we see it, is there really a “right” for us to see? God maintains His sovereignty in this world…no one is going to deceive Him or do something that surprises or sets back God. But God does gives us the power to sin…the ability to yield to temptation. He doesn’t cause us to sin nor does He tempt us to do evil, but He does give us the power to sin. However, He also gives His children the power to resist the temptation and not to sin. It is when we use God’s power in a victorious way over our own desire, that we experience the joy of victory…the joy of obedience…the joy of submission to God. Though God gives us the power to sin, He, through Jesus, gives us a greater power to love, obey, and serve.