The Master’s plan
Acts 23:33 “When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him.”
The letter started, “Claudius Lysias, To His Excellency, Governor Felix: Greetings…” and now Felix was holding the letter and had been delivered the parcel … Paul!
During the whole Christmas period we have been handing cards, letters and gifts to people we love. It is a lovely moment and one that we enjoy.
But there will be many today who feel they are being ‘handed over’ and it may not be so pleasant and it may be confusing. Children from broken families that are not amicable, the elderly who are upset for needing to move into a nursing home and those battling illnesses which seem to have the upper hand. There are all kinds of reasons that people can find themselves today not in control of their lives anymore.
The Christmas story appears through one lens like it is being controlled by worldly leaders and situations. From another angle everything was in the Master plan, but on earth sometimes it doesn’t feel like that.
Jesus later said it would be very difficult for those who followed him: “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” (Matthew 24:9)
He of course experienced being handed over: “Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.” (Mark 15:1)
Jesus knew this experience that perhaps you or someone you love knows today. This out-of-control feeling, of being handed over, this circumstantial leading of their life rather than their own choosing.
In one of the first sermons of the early church we are told very clearly what we should hold on to in such an experience: “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” (Acts 2:23)
If you are a follower, then keep following even though you may feel the hand of man, you are sitting in the palm of God’s hand and master plan.