The Easter hand over
Acts 27:1 “When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment.”
The destiny for Paul was Rome and Caesar. That was his next stop in his exciting life.
For Jesus it was the cross at Calvary. And for you it is … ??
Three things that happen along this path
- You won’t be in control
Paul was handed over to the control of a centurion. He didn’t travel freely, he was held, it still felt like prison even though it was a new chapter and he could see a development in the story.
- It will be cloaked
Acts of love around you can be signs of betrayal. Judas tried to make his betrayal of Jesus appear to be a loving action. If the kiss was indeed a genuine sign of respect then it only reveals the hypocrisy of Judas. “Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him.” Mark 14:45
- Conceitedness will be at the centre.
If people can gain from you they will. “…knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.” Mark 15:10
- Characterised negatively.
The calling of names never stops from childhood and they often do hurt. Adults mainly categorise and put people in boxes with a label on them. “Controller” “Weak” “Too nice” “Harsh” the list continues.
Paul was put with other prisoners. We don’t know their crime but it was most probably a crime as opposed to the innocence of Paul. “She’s just like all the others” could be quoted at you.
Jesus was placed at the centre of the criminals. That is perhaps where he is more comfortable to be. “When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left.” Luke 23:33
- The arduous journey
What is ahead of you may not be easy. Often our strongest challenges are ahead of us.
As we start this new chapter we will follow Paul on what has to be the most harrowing journey of his life, he will go through storms and shipwrecks and the reader will be left wondering will Paul actually make it?
Jesus explaining to his disciples the journey he was taking said “He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him;” Luke 18:32
How Jesus managed to get to the declarations on the cross is amazing for many prisoners had died under the Roman flogging it was that severe.
Will you make it? The circumstances may say you might not. That is to be expected.
So, the path that you are taking, it is steep and it is rough, and you will face these three things: Trading; being characterised negatively and the arduous journey, just like Jesus and Paul.
But remember who is really in control.
At the start of Luke’s book he wrote of Peter’s sermon to the Jews who said, “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge” Acts 2:23
Handed over maybe but still in the hands of God!