Jesus Christ, Victor Over The StateSubmitted by Libera_me on Sat, 03/30/2013 - 00:09
With the approach of the celebration of Jesus' resurrection, (Sunday) I was thinking about the relationship between Ron Paul's faith and Liberty.
Many on this forum agree, if we applied the Golden Rule to our foreign policy, it would greatly improve the world. What may not be so well known is how Jesus' death and resurrection were a heavenly battle tactic against the tyranny of both religious legalists and the State.
Jesus was constantly upending the status quo, especially where two groups were concerned. One group was the religious legalists, who were divided into the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Though Jesus had more in common with the Pharisees, the hypocrites among them received the greatest condemnation from Him. This came only after they provoked Him time after time by honoring their own laws above God's law, including the choice to deny your parents aid if you had dedicated the money to the Temple). As for the statists, they were represented by the Herodians, who sometimes teamed up with the Pharisees to try to trip Jesus up. (Matthew 22:15 - 22) The question they asked? Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not? His answer? Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to Him.
As for the Sadducees, they had the priesthood, and sufficient control over the Sanhedrin in Jesus day. They also asked the most entertaining question: If seven brothers marry a widow, whose wife will she be in the Resurrection? (for Jesus' answer, read Matthew 23:23-33 :) Both the Sadducees and Pharisees had a group of 'teachers of the law' who affiliated with them, however, there were also teachers of the law who were unaffiliated. One of them (Matthew lists him as affiliated with the Pharisees) came to Jesus with the best question and reply to the answer: "Of all the Commandments, which is the most important?"
Jesus answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as your self. On these two laws hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Mark 12:28 - 34, with Matthew 22: 34 - 40)
The teacher replied: "Well said, Teacher! You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other than Him. To Love him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as your self are more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
When Jesus saw he had answered wisely, He answered, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God!". This silenced the rest of his questioners, at least for the day. On another day, which Tom Mullins refers to in his wonderful post, Jesus Christ, Libertarian,( http://www.dailypaul.com/152999/jesus-christ-libertarian ) a crowd of legalists are trumped by Jesus' superior interpretation of the law. They had chosen to drag a woman out who had committed adultery, while they were breaking the law in the very act of bringing her out alone. (Deuteronomy 20:10) He deftly points this out by only permitting one without sin to cast the first stone, after first writing in the sand.
The legalists joined the statists in their attempt to trap Jesus, and with a traitor's assistance, they thought they succeeded. After a mock trial before Pilate, who attempted to wash his hands of the whole affair, they pushed for his execution. They mocked Him on the way to the cross, both the Centurions and the members of the Sanhedrin. (With the exception of two notables, Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus)
The Roman soldiers nailed Him to the cross, and tossed insults at Him, as did the religious leaders. Jesus maintained His composure, even to the point of dismissing His spirit to the Hands of God. Normally the Romans controlled how long the victim suffered by breaking the legs or not. When He died, the Temple 'veil, a thick curtain dividing the court from the Temple proper, split in two! This had an impact on one soldier there, who had never seen someone crucified dismiss their spirit. "Surely this is the Son of God!", he proclaimed.
The tearing of the Temple curtain displayed visibly what He had already accomplished spiritually, freedom from the tyranny of sin. (Luke 23:44 - 49) Two members of the Sanhedrin who did not agree with the decision, as upright men, came to ensure His body was not just thrown to the side. Joseph of Aramathea claimed the body from Pilate. Then he and Nicodemus prepared it for burial, and sealed the tomb. Pilate is not out of the story yet, however.
The unbelieving Sadducees and Pharisees then requested from Pilate that a guard be placed at the tomb, and the Roman seal was placed at the tomb. This set them up for the greatest fall in to their own trap in history. Pilate, who had wanted to wash his hands of the whole affair, ended up placing the statist seal of approval on the death of Jesus.
In the end, neither the Seal of Rome (which brought the death penalty to anyone who dared to break it unauthorized) nor the religious leaders could prevent the inevitable triumph of Jesus. His resurrection was a triumph not only over legalists, but over TPTB, death and Satan themselves. The complete victory of liberty is assured, just as the Declaration of Independence was followed by the Treaty of Paris! So the Resurrection of Messiah will be followed by His just government!